Suffer the little children to come unto me

On Sunday, 29 May – following the Divine Liturgy at The British Orthodox London Mission of St. Thomas the Apostle at Charlton – Abba Seraphim, assisted by Archdeacon James and Subdeacon Athanasius Hall, baptised and chrismated eleven-week-old Alexander Peter Nicholas Sidoli of Rotherhithe, whose godparents had travelled from Wales and Shropshire to make their vows on his behalf. Alexander, whose ancestry is a mixture of Italian Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox, also received his first communion and Abba Seraphim spoke of the Orthodox tradition of infants receiving chrismation (or confirmation) at the same time as baptism, which meant that they become full church members from the outset and are able to enjoy the blessing of Holy Communion from their childhood to enable them to grow spiritually, as well as physically, in their formative years.