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 September
As Christians we often take the cross for granted as it is so familiar to us. We see it in our churches and homes, we wear it around our necks next to our body and we make the sign of the cross when at prayer and in times of great anxiety, distress and also in great joy. All these things are right but let us contemplate on the fact that Christ died on the cross for sinful humanity, a rough cross made for a tortuous death that so many were nailed to in the time of the so called Pax Romana of the Roman Empire.
Christ Himself told us that to follow Him we too must take up our cross and for each of us this has a different and specific meaning. Karl Marx described religion as the opium of the people, a place of dreams and visions in a dark and cruel world. He obviously had no concept of the devotion and struggle of so many people to keep the Faith alive not for themselves but for others.
On the 14th September we celebrate the Universal Exaltation of the Cross when the faithful have an opportunity to venerate in public the precious cross showing that they are not ashamed of proclaiming their faith to others. The cross on this occasion is surrounded by basil (which in Greek means king) and the faithful receive a sprig of basil in honour of the King of Glory.
Also, on the 1st. September, the Church New Year begins and we should look to the cross to shine in our churches throughout the coming year. If we take up our crosses and follow Him, this light will spread and in the world today, as ever, the light that shines from the cross is in desperate need in so many parts of the world and in our own country also.
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 Peter Fletcher (9th), Barbara Clift (12th) and Fr Dennis Moffatt (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 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