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
CHRIST IN GLORY
This month we have two great feasts of the Church, the Holy Transfiguration of Christ on 6th August and the Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Most Holy Mother of God on 15th August. These two feasts would at first sight seem to be unrelated but icon painters' manuals tell us something different. In both icons of these feasts Christ appears in glory surrounded by a bright mandorla (a halo that surrounds the whole body).
The Feast of the Transfiguration celebrates the event when on top of a mountain, St. Peter, St. James and St. John saw Christ in all his true majesty conversing with Moses and Elijah. Peter wanted to build tabernacles for them, perhaps in some way trying to prolong the profound experience. There is a beautiful Byzantine mosaic of the event in the apse of the church in St. Catherine's Monastery at Mount Sinai, built at the foot of the mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
The Feast of the Dormition recalls the death of Mary the Most Holy Mother of God, who does not appear in glory but is carried in the arms of Jesus as a little child (For of such is the kingdom of Heaven.........). Jesus is shown in the same way as in the Transfiguration but this time, years after the Resurrection and Ascension we see him as He truly is and as we hope to see Him in eternity. These two feasts express our Orthodoxy in that we see in Christ's glory the image of His godhead and in the Dormition of Christ's Mother his undoubted humanity as he holds Mary His Mother as a child while the body of Mary lies in human death on a bed surrounded by the grieving apostles.
Do try and be with us at the Divine Liturgy on both of those days as usual at 10.00 am.
Please pray -
FOR THE SICK:
especially 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 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 Paul (Yazigi) of Aleppo and Alexandretta (right) and Bishop John (Ibrahim) Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo (left), along with countless other Syrian peoples, abducted by unknown persons and whose whereabouts are unknown.
Archbishop John (Ibrahim)
Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo
Archbishop Paul (Yazigi)
Antiochian Orthodox Bishop
of Aleppo and Alexandretta