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Communique of the Panorthodox Assembly

SECOND MEETING OF THE PAN-ORTHODOX ASSEMBLY OF BISHOPS

WITH CHURCHES IN THE BRITISH ISLES

 

The Second Meeting of the Pan-Orthodox Assembly of Bishops with Churches in the British Isles was held on 14th December 2010 at Thyateira House, London.

 

The following bishops were present:

 

His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira & Great Britain

(Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople)

The Most Revd Metropolitan John of Western & Central Europe

(Patriarchate of Antioch)

His Eminence Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh

(Patriarchate of Moscow)

The Rt Revd Bishop Dositej of Great Britain & Scandinavia

(Patriarchate of Serbia)

The Most Revd Archbishop Iossif of Western & Southern Europe

(Patriarchate of Romania)

The Most Revd Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany & Great Britain

(Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia)

The Most Revd Archbishop Anatoly of Kerch

(Diocese of Sourozh)

The Most Revd Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia

(Archdiocese of Thyateira)

The Rt Revd Bishop Athanasios of Tropaeou

(Archdiocese of Thyateira)

 

The Rt Revd Bishop Zenon of Dmanisi & Great Britain (Patriarchate of Georgia), the Most Revd Metropolitan Simeon of Central and Western Europe (Patriarchate of Bulgaria) the Rt Revd Bishop Ioan of Parnassos (Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Ukranian Orthodox Diocese in Great Britain) and the Rt Revd Bishop Chrysostomos of Kyanea (Archdiocese of Thyateira) were unable to attend.

 

According to the decision made at the Inaugural Meeting of the Assembly (21.06.10), the Presidents of the three Committees set up by the Assembly (Theological, Pastoral and Educational) were to each chair a meeting to propose to the Bishops matters for discussion. A meeting of the Theological Committee has yet to be held. The Educational Committee met at Thyateira House on 2nd December. It proposed that the bishops discuss the following:

 

1)         The organisation of a Pan-Orthodox Clergy Conference.

2)         A Pan-Orthodox Newsletter

3)         The preparation of Pan-Orthodox catechetical material, such as pamphlets on liturgical topics, a catechetical book and teaching resources.

 

A Meeting of the Pastoral Committee was held on 16th November 2010 at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition, London. The Committee proposed for discussion:

 

1)         Christian Orthodox mission and the reception of converts

2)         Practices about Holy Communion and Confession

3)         Mixed marriages

4)         Social service: hospital, cemetery and prison chaplaincy

5)         Youth activity (Pan-Orthodox Youth Camps)

6)         Procedures regulating Inter-Orthodox clergy relations

 

The Episcopal Assembly decided:

 

1)      That the Educational Committee should gather together existing catechetical material such as diocesan and parochial pamphlets on the Orthodox Faith both from within and from outside of the United Kingdom for the Theological Committee to examine. The Theological Committee is also to examine the catechetical book ‘The Living God’ (SVS Press) to examine whether it can be used as a standard catechism by all of the dioceses in the British Isles.

2)      To set up a fund for the Pan-Orthodox Assembly, under the name “Pan-Orthodox Assembly Fund” for the purposes of publications and other actions of the Assembly which will require money. Each diocese will pay an annual contribution toward the fund.

3)      The annual celebration of Pan-Orthodox Vespers in London on the Sunday of Orthodoxy will henceforth be organised and publicised by the Pastoral Committee of the Pan-Orthodox Assembly. The Bishops also decided that the Georgian and Romanian Communities should also begin hosting this event. The Assembly also hopes for such Pan-Orthodox services to be held in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Dublin.

4)      On 13th March 2011, the Service of Pan-Orthodox Vespers will be held at the Georgian Orthodox Church of St George: The Ark of the Covenant, Rookwood Road, London N16 6SS, at 5.00 p.m.

5)      To begin planning a Pan-Orthodox Clergy Conference to be held in the near future.

 

In addition to these decisions, the Bishops also discussed the problems of mixed marriages, the reception of converts into the Orthodox Church, the prospect of a shared English translation of the Divine Liturgy, and the need for improved communication between the Orthodox dioceses.

 

The next Episcopal Meeting will be held in 30th June 2011 at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Twelve Apostles in Hertfordshire.

 

The Meeting concluded with lunch provided by Archbishop Gregorios at Thyateira House.

 

London, 17th December 2011

 

From the Secretariat of the

Pan-Orthodox Assembly of Bishops