Welcome to our website which we hope will be of interest or a source of information to you. Ours is a parish of the Antiochian Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, which is in communion with all the canonical Orthodox Churches and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. In line with Orthodox practice, our services are in the language of the people; in our case, English, Orthodox visitors of other backgrounds saying the Lord's Prayer in their native tongue.
The Orthodox Church lies in a tradition that goes back in an unbroken line to the Church of the Apostles and the earthly life of Christ Himself. We are often portayed as a very conservative church but this is a matter of faith and history; one cannot change the truth to fit into a very fleeting, passing, timescale when viewed with the eternity of God and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
In our church you will see many icons of Christ, the Mother of God and many saints and sacred events; a feature of Orthodoxy that proclaims the Incarnation of our Lord and God Jesus Christ and are often referred to as "windows into heaven". The priestly vestments are very beautiful; not for the glorification of the clergy but for the glory of sinful humanity transformed by the Grace of God. The Divine Liturgy is the principal service, when the faithful may receive the Body and Blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Incense is used in all our services and permeates the fabric of the church itself. Thus we have a church that is internally very beautiful visually, has the aroma of sanctity and our ears are filled with beautiful music (Just human voices: instruments are not allowed). In some way the church building reflects the glory of Heaven and a place fitting for God.
Fr George's Letter for August
THE IMAGE NOT MADE BY HANDS
In August there are three “Feasts of theSaviour”, the Procession of the Life-giving Cross on 1st August, the Transfiguration of Christ on 6th August and the Image Not Made By Hands (or the Mandylion) is celebrated on 16th August. The word Mandylion in Greek means cloth. So what does this tell us about the feast? The Mandylion is an icon of theSaviour'sface depicted on a cloth, often held by two angels. The story of this icon is as follows; a certain King Abgar of the city of Edessa fell ill and sent a messenger to Jesus asking to be healed. Christ pressed a cloth to His face and miraculously imprinted His image upon it and sent it to Abgar, who was healed of his illness, but not completely until he was baptisedby Thaddeus, a disciple of Christ. The saving of Edessa from a siege by the Persians in 544 AD was believed to have been brought about by this miraculous icon. Some four hundred years later on 16th August 994 AD it was with great ceremony brought to the capital of the Empire, Constantinople, where it was greatly venerated.
In 1204 AD it was plundered along with many sacred relics and artifacts by the army of the Fourth Crusade. It has led some to believe that the Shroud of Turin was also one of these treasures or indeed the Mandylion itself. If you are familiar with the Veil of Veronica, a picture which is very similar to our icon, you will know the story of Veronica who wiped the face of Christ with a cloth on His way to Calvary. This was a later western story after the Cloth's appearance in the West. The icon can be seen in many places often above doorways and gates and above the Holy Doors on the icon screen. Have you noticed this icon in our church?
Please pray -
FOR THE SICK:
especially Patriarch John, Margaret, Joan, Pauline Moorhouse, Doris and George Brailsford, Charlotte, Emma, Megan, Olga, Dani, Shirley Carolyn, and James Dellow.
FOR THOSE IN NEED:
especially Michael Moore; Ondar; George; Christina, Christos and family.
FOR THOSE IN CAPTIVITY:
especially Archbishops Paul (Antiochan) and John (Syriac) of Allepo, kidnapped in Syria and for all held captive in that troubled country;
FOR THOSE WHO LIE ASLEEP IN THE LORD:
All Orthodox Christians departed this life, in particular John Alfred Luxton (22nd) and Maureen Fletcher (30th) and all whose anniversaries occur this month; also for those who have died recently and for all who are coming to the end of their earthly lives.
Abduction of the Archbishops
Please join us in praying for their Eminences Archbishop Paul (Yazigi), Antiochian Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo and Alexandretta and Archbishop John (Ibrahim), Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo, along with countless other Syrian and Iraqi peoples, abducted by persons unknown and whose whereabouts are unknown.
Archbishop John (Ibrahim)
Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo
Archbishop Paul (Yazigi)
Antiochian Orthodox Bishop
of Aleppo and Alexandretta