Home Blog

Press Release: Ordinations of Bishops

PRESS RELEASE

We are pleased to announce the following:

– His Grace Bishop-elect Raphael of Ilion will be ordained on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, (Matins: 9:00 AM) at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Panteleimon and St. Paraskevi in Harrow, London.

– His Grace Bishop-elect Iakovos of Claudiopolis will be ordained on Thursday, March 11, 2021, (Matins: 9:00 AM) at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Divine Wisdom in Bayswater, London.

Archbishop Nikitas Attends Lunar New Year’s Dinner as Annual Tradition

Archbishop Nikitas Attends Lunar New Year’s Dinner as Annual Tradition

On Monday, 19th February 2024, His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain attended the annual Lunar New Year’s Dinner graciously hosted by parishioner, Mr. Anthoy Ling at the Phoenix Palace, London. A culturally and ethnically diverse group of Orthodox Christians consisting of clergy and laity gathered to celebrate the start of the new lunar year. This annual celebration also demonstrates the cosmopolitan nature of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain as well as its vision of cultivating unity in diversity throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. At the conclusion of the dinner, the Chinese new year’s cake was blessed and offered by His Eminence wishing all health, joy, and fortune in the new year.

Archbishop Nikitas in Oxford

Archbishop Nikitas in Oxford

On Sunday, 18th February 2024, His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain presided during Matins and celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of the Holy Trinity and Annunciation in Oxford. Amongst those concelebrating were the Revd Protopresbyter Ian Graham, Priest-in-charge, and the Revd Presbyter Seraphim Vanttinen-Newton. The Revd Archdeacon Dr. George Tsourous also served.

In his heartfelt sermon, the Archbishop drew from Apostle Paul’ epistle to the church in Corinth to remind us that we are indeed the living temples of God. He emphasised, “As the very dwelling of God, it’s essential for us to separate ourselves from the ways of the world. This is not a mere suggestion but a divine invitation to purity and holiness.” This separation, he explained, is not about isolation but about choosing a path that aligns with our sacred identity. “By distancing ourselves from anything that defiles our spirit or body, we open our hearts to a deeper relationship with God,” he continued.

In his address to the congregation, the Archbishop further emphasised the significance of unity in Christ. He highlighted how the diverse and multicultural congregation in Oxford transcends the variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and unites as one family. This unity, he noted, is a testament to the strength of their collective commitment to Christ and to each other, embodying the very essence of the Church as the body of Christ in the world.

Following the Divine Liturgy, the day’s celebrations culminated in a festal bring-and-share lunch held in the Community Hall. This gathering provided a wonderful opportunity for fellowship and joy, where the Archbishop had the chance to speak with the parishioners of Oxford, engaging in conversation and answering questions at length.

Archbishop Nikitas in Luton

Archbishop Nikitas in Luton

On Sunday, 11th February 2024, His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain presided during Matins and celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of St Charalambos in Luton. Amongst those concelebrating were the Revd Presbyter Dr. Andreas Andreopoulos, the Rev Oeconomos Nikolaos Kokkinos and the Rev. Presbyter David Somalis, Priest-in-charge. The Rev. Archdeacon Dr. George Tsourous served too.

Following the end of the Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Nikitas presented an epigonation to Fr Nikolaos Kokkinos previously the Priest-in-charge, honouring his years of dedicated service to the St Charalambos parish. Additionally, The Archbishop extended his gratitude towards the current Priest-in-charge, Fr David Somalis, for his exemplary leadership and the significant support provided by the Parish Council. In his address to the congregation, Archbishop emphasised the significance of unity in Christ, highlighting how the diverse and multicultural congregation of St Charalambos comes together as one family. Despite the variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, all members are united in their shared Orthodox faith, exemplifying a beautiful blend of diversity within unity.

The day’s celebrations culminated in a festal meal held in the Community hall. This gathering was a wonderful opportunity for fellowship and joy, bringing together the parish community. Archbishop Nikitas also unveiled a plaque commemorating the Great Benefactors and supporters of the Parish. This gesture served not only as a token of appreciation but also as a lasting tribute to the collective effort and generosity that sustains the parish’s vibrant community life.

Archbishop’s Call for Prayers for King’s Health

Archbishop's Call for Prayers for King's Health

His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas expresses his prayerful support for the restoration of health for His Majesty King Charles III, in light of the recent announcement about the King’s health.

His Eminence encourages the parishes and communities of our Archdiocese, and all the faithful, to continue to pray for our King, and for His recovery and well-being, in keeping with our entreaty during every Divine Liturgy: “For our most gracious Sovereign Lord King Charles III, the Royal Family, His Majesty’s Government, for those in public service, and for the Royal Armed Forces everywhere, let us pray to the Lord”.

The Feast of the Three Hierarchs in London

The Feast of the Three Hierarchs in London

On Monday, 29th January 2024, His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain presided during vespers for the Feast of the Three Hierarchs at the Church of the Holy Cross and Archangel Michael in Golders Green, North London accompanied by the V. Reverend Archimandrite Vissarion Kokliotis, and Protopresbyter John Hookway, as well as Archdeacon George Tsourous and Deacon Gregory-Palamas Florides. The School of Byzantine Music of the Holy Archdiocese, led by Protopresbyter Joseph Paliouras, chanted in the service.

At the invitation of His Eminence The Archbishop, the V. Reverend Archimandrite Petros, Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of Saint John the Baptist in Essex, delivered the panegyric on the significance of Greek and Christian letters, in both Greek and English.

Archbishop Nikitas, speaking at both the commencement and conclusion of the feast, extended his gratitude to Abbot Petros, the participants, the event’s organiser Mrs. Ismene Hatzigianni-Gikas, Coordinator of the Central Educational Council of the Holy Archdiocese, the parish of the Holy Cross and Archangel Michael for hosting the event, Archimandrite Vissarion Kokliotis, and all attendees.

Among those present also were the V. Revd Archimandrite Nephon Tsimalis, Protosyncellus, Mr. Christos Goulas, the Consul of Greece in London, Mr. Odysseas Odysseos, the Consul General of Cyprus, and Mrs. Veroni Irene, Deputy Education Coordinator at the Greek Embassy.

The event saw attendance from clergy of the Holy Archdiocese, teachers from Greek Schools, and numerous faithful.

The service was followed by an official reception in the community hall.

Bishop Raphael visits Middlesbrough

Bishop Raphael visits Middlesbrough

On Sunday, 21st January 2024, the Orthodox parish of the Annunciation in Middlesbrough joyfully celebrated the feast of St Maximos the Confessor. His Grace Bishop Raphael of Ilion presided during the Divine Liturgy, assisted by Revd Presbyter Nikita Banev, the Priest-in-Charge. The occasion was further graced by the presence of the Revd Presbyter David Walker from the Holy Apostles church in Leyland as a guest clergyman.

The service attracted many faithful, including founding members of the parish from 1976. It was particularly moving to see these individuals witnessing their grandchildren receive holy communion from Bishop Raphael.

The chanting was led by Mr Efstathios Mentzas, Protopsaltis from the Church of the Three Holy Hierarchs in Leeds, and Liliana Banev, the Parish’s lead chanter. They were supported by the Edinburgh team accompanying Bishop Raphael.

In his sermon, Bishop Raphael reflected on the life of Fr John Maitland Moir from Edinburgh, whose life exemplified prayer and unconditional love. He shared how Fr John’s constant prayer was “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy,” a phrase embodying inclusiveness and selflessness. Fr John’s humility was evident in his willingness to risk his reputation for others, exemplified by an incident where he begged for money for those in need, unconcerned about misinterpretation.

Bishop Raphael underscored the teachings of Fr John that viewed suffering as a divine selection and a path to acceptance and gratitude for God’s will. He spoke of Fr John’s life transitioning to one of continuous thanksgiving, highlighting his non-judgemental and positive nature. Drawing on the Gospel and the words of Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain, Bishop Raphael emphasised the importance and power of gratitude, especially during suffering. He recommended beginning each day with a thankful heart, suggesting the practice of daily expressing gratitude to God with the words, “Lord Jesus, thank you for everything.”

Bishop Raphael expressed gratitude to God and the congregation, especially thanking Fr Nikita for his spiritual leadership. He acknowledged the emotional support needed by clergymen and extended thanks to Fr Paul for his hospitality and support.

In his response, Fr Nikita expressed his deep gratitude to Bishop Raphael for his longstanding support and friendship, recalling their first meeting in 2000 at the monastery in Essex. He thanked the Bishop for his personal support, his love for the parish, and for officiating the Divine Liturgy. Fr Nikita echoed Bishop Raphael’s message of daily gratitude, urging the congregation to remember and pray for the Bishop.

A highlight of the visit was the festive meal, featuring the blessing of the traditional Vasilopita cakes by Bishop Raphael. Special thanks are extended to all contributors, particularly to Fr Paul, who ensured a warm reception area despite a power cut.

Deacon Jeremiah de Bùrca ordained to the Holy Priesthood

Deacon Jeremiah de Bùrca ordained to the Holy Priesthood

On Monday 22nd January 2024, Deacon Jeremiah de Bùrca was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Claudiopolis, at the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Wood Green, London. The new presbyter of the Holy Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, will serve the growing community under establishment, in Cork, Ireland. Fr Jeremiah, having been ordained the previous day to the Diaconate by Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, expressed his wholehearted gratitude towards both His Eminence and His Grace Bishop Iakovos for their love and support as he begins a new journey within the Lord’s vineyard.

In his address to Fr Jeremiah, His Grace Bishop Iakovos congratulated him on his ordination to the Holy Priesthood. He emphasised the significance and responsibility of the Priesthood, noting that it was a divine calling to serve God’s people. His Grace highlighted the central role of the priest in performing sacraments, especially in the transformation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ during the Holy Liturgy.

Bishop Iakovos advised Fr Jeremiah to remain humble, seek guidance from fellow clergy, and cultivate a life of prayer and continuous learning. He stressed the importance of serving the liturgical and sacramental life of the community in Ireland and upholding the traditions of the Orthodox Church. The Bishop also acknowledged the support Father Jeremiah would receive from the Archdiocese of Thyateira in fulfilling his mission to reconnect people with the authentic Christian tradition.

The message underscored the vision of Archbishop Nikitas for the Archdiocese, focusing on liturgical and catechetical ministries as well as Christian acts of charity and philanthropy. Father Jeremiah was encouraged to embrace this vision and reach out to the people of Cork with enthusiasm and the spirit of evangelism.

Deacon Jeremiah expressed his heartfelt thanks to Archbishop Nikitas for his guidance and to His Grace Bishop Iakovos for their support and guidance, whilst also fondly remembering his late parents, who he believed would be proud. He also acknowledged the support of his family, particularly his wife. Reflecting on his spiritual journey, Jeremiah described it as lengthy and full of twists and turns, but ultimately leading him swiftly to this pivotal moment. Emphasising the Christian duty to share faith graciously with others, he expressed gratitude for the Archbishop’s foresight and trust in him to undertake this significant mission in Ireland.