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 November
LET US BE GRATEFUL!
As the days get shorter and the nights longer we seem to go on to some sort of automatic pilot looking towards Christmas and the undoubted promise that it brings. As Christians this promise of the birth of Christ is vital because, sentimentality aside, God indeed came among us to show us what He wants from us. More importantly He told us how we should treat other people because God loves every single one of His people. Our love can only be a pale shadow of that great love that God shows us even on the cross. A small gesture that we can make is to support the local food bank and donate items to those who are less fortunate than us. There is a box at the back of church where you can leave your donations together with a leaflet that tells you what kind of items are most urgently needed. I hear now and again that some people have misgivings that people may be abusing the system and spending spare money on cigarettes and drink. These people are desperate and are strictly vetted. I ask the simple question do you spend spare money on none essentials like eating out, clothes that are not really needed, gambling (yes I do mean the lottery) etc.? If so do not cast the first stone! The last day for donations will be the first Sunday in December.
We are very fortunate, once again Katya, Boris's grandma has brought us gifts. This time a tabernacle that is to be used for keeping the Presanctified Gifts in during Great Lent, some beautiful table coverings and icons of St. John of Rila and St. Zlata which come with leaflets about the icons which are at the back of church. As well as these a bookmark for the Holy Gospel and rosettes, for the dikeria and trikeria candlesticks used by the bishop, were given by two ill people: Violeta and Alexei. We now have to buy these candlesticks so that they can be placed on the Holy Table so that we are reminded of the love of our Patriarch and bishops and our love for them. It is gratifying to know that the font, which was donated by Katya and her family, has been well used with promises of more use to come.
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 Dom Bede McNeilly (8th) 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