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 December
“THE STAR CAME TO REST WHERE
THE YOUNG CHILD WAS.”
During the preparation of the bread and wine for the Divine Liturgy (The Proskomedia) when the Lamb has been prepared for the communion of the Faithful and the commemorations of the living and dead have been made the priest says “ The star came to rest over the place where the young child was. '' While doing this he holds the asterisk (star) over the incense and places it on the discos to support the veil so that it does not touch the prepared Lamb and particles for the living and the dead. Thus even before the public beginning of the Liturgy we have a vivid illustration of the incarnation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I think it is a pity that the preparation is hidden from most of the Faithful and yet the true significance of Christ's birth was hidden from the world by the nature of its location and its humble surroundings. In the Gospel accounts the evangelists tell of Wise men from the East who brought the Christ Child expensive gifts that symbolised that this child was a king (gold), God (frankincense) and that He would die (myrhh). So rich and learned men were called to be witnesses to the birth of Christ. Let us not forget also that the humble locals of Bethlehem, the shepherds, were called, not by the guiding of a star, as the Wise Men who knew about such things, but by the splendour of the angelic host who told them directly of the birth of the Messiah.
As we prepare for the Feast of the Nativity let us come with joy to the cave in Bethlehem and ponder on God's great love for us whether rich or poor, wise or simple, of great faith or of a struggling belief. He calls all humanity to share the joy of the angels. This should not be difficult as every new birth brings joy into the world and how much more joy can the Child of Bethlehem bring to each of our troubled souls? Let us also remember the Mother of God in her many icons with the Christ Child in her arms. In her selflessness she always gestures towards her Son, inspiring us to try and do what He wants of us.
Have a very happy and holy Christmas and amid all the hype and greed which surrounds us do come to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has done for us.
Please pray -
FOR THE SICK:
especially Megan Tolhurst, Olga, Dani Williams, Shirley Carolyn, and James Dellow.
FOR THOSE IN NEED:
especially Michael Moore, Ondar, Christos, George, Christina 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 our Patriarch, Ignatius IV of Antioch (5th), Grigori (16th) 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