During the Divine Liturgy in Norfolk yesterday, Metropolitan Seraphim welcomed two Orthodox brethren who travelled all the way from Peterborough to attend the service. He also noted how lately an increasing number of people have joined the British Orthodox Fellowship because of a growing interest and respect for the Orthodox Faith. Sadly, however, whilst we have regular services in our existing churches there are still large parts of the United Kingdom where we are not able to actively minister to either Orthodox faithful or those seeking to learn more about the Orthodox faith.
As a result, Metropolitan Seraphim feels that the Church should resume its earlier practice of encouraging the establishment of Prayer & Study groups throughout the country under the patronage of the British Orthodox Fellowship. Our Lord Himself has told us that “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20), so if a family or two or three friends should wish to meet to study Orthodoxy and to share in prayer together, the British Orthodox Fellowship will offer them guidance to support them in their study. Indeed, the Glastonbury Confession, being the dogmatic Constitution of the Church, serves as a useful and instructive means of learning more about the Orthodox Faith. In the past such groups have proved a valuable means of fellowship and if the convener of the group eventually makes the commitment of becoming Orthodox, the British Orthodox Church can then elevate the group to Mission status and through establishing closer links with the church hierarchy; visiting existing British Orthodox communities and receiving occasional visits from the clergy, such missions are strengthened and may eventually become the source of new British Orthodox parishes.
The British Orthodox Church is committed to developing the Fellowship as a means of supporting enquirers and building up those who want to discover more about Orthodoxy. The Fellowship has been created as an open community for those people who want to experience something of Orthodox spiritual life even if they are not yet Orthodox.