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Bishop Iakovos in Edmonton

On Sunday, 7th July, 2024, His Grace Iakovos, Bishop of Claudiopolis, presided over Matins and celebrated the Divine Liturgy. He was joined by the Very Rev. Archimandrite Dr. Nikodemos Anagnostopoulos, Priest-in-Charge, Rev. Oeconomos John Hookway, Rev. Oeconomos Nikolaos Kokkinos, Rev. Presbyter Evangelos Liassi, and Archdeacon George Tsourous.

Despite the bad weather, people still attended and celebrated the annual Festival of the Community indoors. Following the service, the community engaged in several joyful activities. The end-of-year School Celebration featured performances and dances by the children, and awards were presented to recognise their achievements throughout the school year.

A band performed traditional Greek music, inspiring some community members to join in with spontaneous dancing.

As the festivities drew to a close, everyone gathered for a communal buffet meal, highlighting the unity of the community. A raffle added an element of excitement, bringing the day to a delightful conclusion.

Community Feast of the Twelve Apostles, Hatfield

His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Claudiopolis presided at matins and celebrated the Divine Liturgy on the patronal feast of the Twelve Apostles Greek Orthodox Church in Hertfordshire. His Excellency, Dr Kyriakos Kouros, High Commissioner of Cyprus, as well as the local Mayor, Cllr Frank Marsh, graciously attended the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. His Grace Bishop Iakovos conveyed His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas’ paternal and prayerful wishes for the occasion of the church’s feast. In his sermon he highlighted the significance of the Church’s continuation of the Twelve Apostles’ work:

‘Although they faced persecution, the Apostles’ work became the very foundation of our Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ. We, both clergy and laity, are called to continue to preach the Risen Christ and the forever relevant message of His Holy Gospel. May the Holy Spirit continue to blow throughout our own ministries and within the work of our Holy Archdiocese, for we are called to continue the teaching of the apostles, implement their virtuous and prayerful way of life, allow God’s spirit to guide our paths and journeys, always sharing God’s love and truth to all people for His glory.’

Following the Divine Liturgy the plaques containing the names of the generous donators of the community’s new building were unveiled, by His Grace Bishop Iakovos, His Excellency Dr Kyriakos Kouros and Archon Louis Loizou, president of the community. A lunch was then hospitably hosted by the community for the esteemed guests and clergy.

25th Anniversary of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Cambridge

On Monday, June 24th, the Cambridge Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Following the Solemn Evensong service held at the Abbey, the esteemed guests proceeded to the Chapel, where they participated in an Orthodox Doxology Service to thank God for the lives and achievements of the benefactors and professors of the Institute. The service was led by Rev. Dragos, the Dean, in the presence of the Right Reverend Rowan Williams, the baron of Oystermouth, and His Eminence Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The esteemed guests then proceeded to the Jerusalem Room, where they were addressed by the patrons of the institute. After the opening remarks by Fr. Dragos, the guests listened to a speech by Dr. Rowan Williams, who reflected on the challenging past of the Orthodox Church and the gradual opening of society in this country to understanding its essence. Bishop Angaelos advocated for greater involvement from the Coptic Church and Oriental Christians in the work of the institute.

His Eminence, Archbishop Nikitas, a patron of the Institute, was represented by Rev. Presbyter Andreas Minic, the Ecumenical Officer of the Archdiocese. He conveyed an honorary message written by His Eminence for the occasion, addressing some of the issues regarding theological education in the UK and promising to remain involved and deepen the links between the Archdiocese and the Institute.

Photo Credits:
© Razvan Porumb
© Regina Ray Photography

Archbishop Nikitas’ Insightful Contribution at the GSN London Conference 2024

On June 18, 2024, the Global Sustainability Network (GSN) held its annual conference in London and brought together religious leaders, academics, activists, and experts to address the pervasive issue of modern slavery and human trafficking. The Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain was represented by His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas and Dr Petre Breazu from the University of Cambridge, who is a member of the Patriarchal Taskforce on Modern Slavery.

Archbishop Nikitas was a distinguished speaker on the panel Developing the Contribution of Faith Leaders and Faith Communities, where he emphasized the critical role of religious leadership in combating these grave injustices. The panel, featuring Archbishop Nikitas and Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, marked a significant moment as it coincided with the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration against Modern Slavery at the Vatican—a foundational event for the GSN. Archbishop Nikitas brought a wealth of experience and spiritual leadership to the discussion as he emphasized the moral imperative and transformative power that faith communities can wield in the fight against exploitation.

In his address, Archbishop Nikitas stressed the importance of unity among different faiths in addressing modern slavery, and advocated for a holistic approach that combines spiritual guidance with practical action. This involves not only supporting victims but also educating communities to recognize and prevent trafficking and exploitation. The session concluded with a call to action, encouraging faith communities to deepen their engagement and collaborate more effectively with other sectors, including government, business, and civil society. Archbishop Nikitas’ insights provided a powerful reminder of the potential for faith leaders to be catalysts for change, inspiring hope and mobilizing efforts towards a world free from slavery and human trafficking.

Hundreds of Young Adults Attend 2nd Annual COTY Picnic in London

On 23rd June 2024, Sunday of Pentecost, with the blessing and patronage of His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, Christian Orthodox Thyateira Youth (COTY) hosted their 2nd Annual Pentecost Picnic Hyde Park, following the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Divine Wisdom. The diverse group of  Young Adults enjoyed a complimentary catered picnic, field games, singing and dancing, fellowship and fun, until the evening. Participants from London-area Orthodox parishes (all jurisdictions), as well as from various parts of the United Kingdom, enriched the celebrations and highlighted the strength and potential of celebrating our unity in diversity.

To learn more about Christian Orthodox Thyateira Youth, please visit: www.coty.org.uk or follow COTY on IG: coty_org.

Archbishop Nikitas visits Guilford

On Sunday, 16th June 2024, Sunday of the 318 Fathers of the 1st Oecumenical Council, His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Parish of the Holy Trinity in Guilford, Surrey. The Revd Presbyter Dr Constantine Litvinenko, Priest-in-Charge, co-celebrated with the Archbishop, and the Revd Archdeacon Dr George Tsourous also served.

At the conclusion of the Liturgy, The Archbishop elevated Fr Constantine to the rank of Oeconomos, recognising his dedicated pastoral work and effective management of the parish. The Archbishop also honoured Dr Sophia Litvinenko, the Choir Director, for her dedicated service to the community, including leading the choir and Bible Study group, and assisting parishioners, by awarding her the Cross Medal of the Archdiocese.

Fr Constantine, on behalf of the Parish Council, extended warm greetings to the Archbishop and thanked Him for His continuous paternal love and support. Following the liturgy, there was a presentation of artworks by children from Sunday School, led by Anna Taranchenko. The children presented paintings as gifts to Archbishop Nikitas.

The close-knit community in Guilford orchestrated a splendid reception in honour of the Archbishop, providing an opportunity for parishioners to come together and engage with him.

Ordination of Charalambos Clark to the Holy Diaconate

Ordination of Charalambos Clark to the Holy Diaconate

On Saturday 15th June 2024, Charalambos Clark was ordained to the Holy Diaconate at the Church of Christ the Saviour, Woolwich. His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Claudiopolis celebrated the Divine Liturgy joined by the Revd Protopresbyter Constantinos Garibaldinos, Vicar General, and the Revd Presbyter Thomas Koutroukis, Priest-in-charge of the Parish. The Revd Archdeacon George Tsourous and Revd Deacon Gregory-Palamas Florides also served. The V. Revd Archimandrite Michael Pazinas also joined prayerfully in the altar.

In his heartfelt address, Deacon Charalambos expressed profound gratitude, doxology, and thanksgiving to Almighty God. Reflecting on his journey, he acknowledged the great blessing and burden of his ordination to the Holy Diaconate, comparing it to Saint John the Baptiser’s humility before Christ. He spoke of his spiritual journey and the role of Saint Augustine, seeing himself as a prodigal son returning to God. Charalambos highlighted the significance of his wife Anna’s reconnection to the Faith, the influence of Saint Charalambos, and the Divine providence that brought a Bishop from Larnaca to ordain him.

Charalambos called upon the community to support him in his ministry, noting the ripe harvest in need of labourers. He thanked Archbishop Nikitas, Bishop Iakovos, and Fathers Michael and Thomas for their paternal love, guidance, and exemplary service. He expressed deep gratitude to his wife Anna, his children, and all those who supported him, recognising their sacrifices and love. He also thanked his fellow clergymen, godchildren, and the community for their prayers and support. Deacon Charalambos concluded with a prayer for strength and a commitment to his diakonia, giving glory to God for all blessings.

In his address to the new Deacon, Bishop Iakovos highlighted the essence of the diaconate as the embodiment of the Church’s servanthood. He emphasised that all Church functions and sacraments serve Christ’s Holy Body, aiming for the salvation and transformation of believers. Bishop Iakovos commended Charalambos for his fervent faith and service, noting his growth since being tonsured as a reader. As an ordained deacon, Charalambos is called to serve with patience, humility, and love, guided by Archbishop Nikitas and Fr Thomas. Bishop Iakovos encouraged Charalambos to uphold the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience, supported by his family and the Christian community, affirming him as a worthy servant of the Holy Church of Christ.

The day’s events culminated in a heart-warming reception marking a memorable occasion for the Greek Orthodox Community in Woolwich.

The Archbishop in Holborn

On Sunday, 2nd June 2024, Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Parish of the Dormition of the Mother of God in Holborn, London. Among those concelebrating were the Revd Archpriest Stéphane Maikovsky, Priest-in-Charge, the Revd Presbyter Ian Page, and the Revd Presbyter Stefan Strekopytov, who is the current, interim Priest-in-Charge during Fr Maikovsky’s sabbatical year. The Revd Archdeacon George Tsourous, along with Revd Deacons Eugene Gafton and the newly ordained Deacon John Brydges, also served.

At the end of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, the Archbishop honoured Anne-Marie de Visser, the previous Choirmistress, for her dedicated service to the community and the choir by awarding her the Cross Medal of the Archdiocese.

Following the Liturgy, the community hosted a warm reception in honour of the Archbishop. The event featured homemade dishes provided by members of the community from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

The Archbishop greatly appreciated this visit and took the opportunity to solemnly engage with and extend his blessings to the parishioners of Holborn.

Archdiocese represented at the 100th Year Anniversary of the Buddhist Society in London

On 23rd May 2024, the Buddhist Society marked its 100th anniversary at the Guildhall of the City of London Corporation. The Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain was represented by Revd Presbyter Andreas Minic, Ecumenical and Inter-religious Officer of the Archdiocese. In attendance were the Ambassador of Nepal and representatives of the Lord Mayor of London. Guests enjoyed live performances of Japanese and Tibetan music and listened to a reflection on the Buddhist Society’s centennial by its president, Dr. Desmond Biddulph. The Archdiocese reaffirmed its deep commitment to dialogue and broader engagement within UK society.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Office of Thibet