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 will resume in March
Five Famous Churches in Sofia
For this month's article Fr George asked me if I would like to write an article about my recent trip to Sofia. Here is an account of five well known churches around the city centre...
The Rotunda of St George the Great Martyr was built in the 4th century, and is the oldest building in Sofia. It has frescoes from several different periods, with an early fragment that dates from the 6th century. Outside the church is the grave of St George the New Martyr of Sofia. There are also some visible remains of the Roman city, including a section of road.
The Russian Church is dedicated to St Nicholas the Wonderworker. Beneath the church is the burial place of St Seraphim the Wonderworker of Sofia. There is a separate space with tables where people write letters to him and drop them into a box near his grave. The murals include panels of text that were painted by Zlatina's grandmother, Lilia, who also painted our icons of Saints Columba and Kentigern.
The Church of Sveta Nedelya (Holy Sunday) in the city centre is a lovely church. The walls are covered in beautiful murals. However, in 1925 a bomb was planted by communist terrorists. Many people were killed. However, members of the government and other important people - who had recently received a blessing from Vladika Seraphim - survived. In this church are the holy relics of St Stephen Milutin, King of Serbia.
The Church of St Sophia (6th century) after which the city is named. There were several earlier churches on the same site, but this one was built in the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, and so it is contemporary with Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. There is a museum underneath, including many vaulted tombs, as it was the site of a necropolis.
The Cathedral of St Alexander Nevsky is one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in the world. It is dedicated to St Alexander Nevsky, who defended Russia from a Swedish invasion in 1240. He is the patron saint of the Russian Tsar Alexander II, who helped the Bulgarians gain their freedom from the Ottoman Empire. Here are holy relics of St Alexander Nevsky and St Seraphim of Sarov. There are also the thrones of the Bulgarian Tsar and the Patriarch.
Love and prayers,
Please pray -
FOR THE SICK:
especially Patriarch John, Mother Esodia, Margaret, Joan, Doris and George Brailsford, Maria, Lilia, Charlotte, Emma, Megan, Olga, 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 Mihajo Milinkovic (2nd) and Nedilco Milic (24th) 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