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Celebrating the Feast of St Catherine in Barnet

Celebrating the Feast of St Catherine in Barnet

On Saturday, 25th November 2023, the Feast Day of St Catherine, His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Claudiopolis presided during Matins and concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of St Catherine Barnet & Enfield in North London. Among those concelebrating were the Priest-in-charge Very Revd Archim. Damianos Konstantinou, the Vicar General Protopresbyter Konstantinos Garibaldinos, the Reverend Oeconomos Nikolaos Kokkinos, the Reverend Oeconomos Gregory Wellington, the Reverend Presbyter Konstantinos Mamouris and Archdeacon Dr George Tsourous.

Under the blessing of His Eminence Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, Archdeacon Dr. George Tsourous delivered a sermon reflecting on the life of Saint Catherine the All-Wise highlighting her journey from a privileged life in Alexandria to her unwavering commitment to Christ, defying Emperor Maximinus’ persecutions. He shed light on her intellectual prowess that sparked a crucial spiritual debate, leading to widespread conversion. Further, he explored the dichotomy between the Western emphasis on intellectual wisdom and the Eastern Christian focus on the heart as the epicenter of human existence and divine revelation. Celebrating Saint Catherine’s shift from worldly logic to heartful devotion to God, he conveyed how this became her true wisdom and strength.

His Grace Bishop Iakovos shared His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas’ paternal wishes with the congregation and encouraged everyone to seek inspiration from the lives of saints like St Catherine.

The day, filled with joy and spiritual reflection, concluded with a warm and hospitable reception hosted by the St Catherine Barnett Community.

Constantinople Lecture 2023

Constantinople Lecture 2023

On Thursday the 23rd of November 2023 the annual ‘Constantinople Lecture’ of the AECA (Anglican & Eastern Churches Association) took place at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Divine Wisdom in Bayswater, London. This year’s lecture was delivered by the esteemed theologian and chaplain of HM King Charles, Rev Dr Canon Jamie Hawkey. The Canon of Westminster spoke on the theme of His Majesty the King’s recent coronation in terms of both the liturgical influences of the Orthodox Christian tradition (with holy oil consecrated and offered by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem) and the ecumenical significance of His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas’ active participation in the ceremony, alongside other faith leaders.

Prior to the lecture itself, the chairman of the AECA, Rev Canon William Taylor, offered welcoming remarks, whilst the Rt Rev Bishop Christopher Chessun of Southwark congratulated Canon Jamie following his insightful talk. The V. Rev. Archimandrite Nephon Tsimalis, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, represented His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas.

The lecture sparked glimmers of hope within the context of Anglican -Orthodox dialogue, placing emphasis on practical implementation of Christ’s commandments of unity and of ‘diakonia,’ serving and ministering to others in His name.

The lecture and gracious reception hosted by the Cathedral of the Divine Wisdom was truly a joyous occasion for further fellowship amongst members of the AECA and other attendees, in a spirit of Christian solidarity, in prayer for a brighter future of unity, in faith and fraternal love.

Photo credit: Rev Protopresbyter Anastasios Salapatas

Ordination to the Holy Priesthood of Deacon Andreas Minic

Ordination to the Holy Priesthood of Deacon Andreas Minic

On Saturday, 11th November 2023, Deacon Andreas Minic was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at the Cathedral of St Andrew Kentish Town in London. His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas presided during Matins and concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with His Eminence Metropolitan Kyrillos of Krini and His Grace Bishop Iakovos Claudiopolis. Amongst those concelebrating were the V. Rev. Archim. Symeon Augoustakis, the V. Rev. Archim. Chrysostomos Tympas, the V. Rev. Archim. Ambrosios Vesic, the Rev. Oeconomos Kristian Akselberg, the Rev. Presbyter Konstantinos Mamouris, and Archdeacon George Tsourous.

During his homily before the ordination, Fr Andreas reflected on his journey and acknowledged the significant influences in his spiritual life. He expressed gratitude to His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas for welcoming him into the clergy of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain and for conducting his ordination. He also conveyed his appreciation to his spiritual Father, His Eminence Metropolitan Kirilos of Krini for providing both academic and spiritual guidance. Fr. Andreas extended thanks to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, highlighting his role as the first among equals and his contributions to maintaining the unity of the Orthodox Church in the face of challenges. Additionally, he thanked his family and friends for their support on this momentous occasion.

In response, His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas delivered a homily, emphasizing the concept of the Church as one large spiritual family. In his letter prior to the ordination, he remarked that despite our differences and diverse gifts, we contribute to a harmonious symphony within the Church’s life. He invited everyone, particularly the newly ordained, to join in this symphony alongside him and the rest of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain.

The ordination was followed by a festive luncheon, generously hosted by His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas.

Fr Andrew is currently pursuing a PhD at the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. He is proficient in several languages, including English, Serbian, Italian, Spanish, and Russian, and has a working knowledge of French and Greek.

Archbishop Nikitas in Serbia

Archbishop Nikitas in Serbia

Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, traveled to Belgrade, Serbia, to co-chair the joint meeting of CEC (Conference of European Churches) and CCEE (Consilium Conferetiarm Episcoporum Europae) (5-7 November 2024).

The two day meeting was hosted by the Catholic Archdiocese of Belgrade and afforded the participants the opportunity to share thoughts and exchange ideas on matters of mutual concern. The group heard various reports from the committee members and plans for future meetings. One of the critical issues discussed was the crisis in the Middle East and a statement was issued by the joint committee (please see the attachment). A highlight of the meeting was the visit to the Saint Sava Cathedral and a gracious reception/dinner offered by the Serbian Orthodox Church.

His Grace Bishop Iakovos visits Cardiff for the 150th anniversary celebrations

His Grace Bishop Iakovos visits Cardiff for the 150th anniversary celebrations

On Sunday, November 5, 2023, the Community of St. Nicholas in Cardiff was honoured with the visit of His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Claudiopolis, who was accompanied by Archdeacon Dr. George Tsourous. His Grace Bishop Iakovos, who previously served as the Priest-in-charge of this church for 22 years, presided over Matins and celebrated the Divine Liturgy. The Very Rev. Archimandrite Nicholas Price, the current Priest-in-charge, concelebrated with His Grace, and Archdeacon George Tsourous assisted in the service.

At the conclusion of the Liturgy, with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, His Grace Bishop Iakovos bestowed the Office of Confessor to Father Nicholas, recognising his dedicated pastoral work and authorising him to offer spiritual guidance as a confessor to the Cardiff Orthodox community.

The event was further marked by the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the community’s founding. His Grace Bishop Iakovos conveyed the pastoral wishes of His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas to everyone attending. Notable Christian leaders were present, including His Grace Mark O’Toole, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff, and the Right Reverend Barry Morgan, the former Archbishop of the Church in Wales.

After the service, the community gathered for a celebratory program at a local venue. Attendees enjoyed a sumptuous meal, followed by speeches by the esteemed guests. The program also included a presentation that highlighted the history and contributions of the Greek Community in Cardiff. The festivities concluded with a raffle.

Distinguished guests included His Excellency Mr. Andreas Kakouris, the High Commissioner of Cyprus, and HE Mr. Christos Goulas, the Consul of Greece and Mrs. Maria Loi, the Director and Chair of the Cyprus Educational Mission.

Local dignitaries in attendance included Mrs. Morfudd Meredith, the Lord-Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, and Mrs. Bablin Molik, the Lord Mayor of Cardiff. Mr. Stephen Doughty, the MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, was also present as well as Mrs. David Lermon from the Cardiff Reform Synagogue; Mr. Gurmit Singh, President of the Sikh Gurdwara Cardiff along with Vice Chair Mrs. Surrinder Channa; and Mr. Raad Abdalahad, Chairman of the Iraqi Christian Association of Wales.

Holy Island Pilgrimage

On Saturday, 4th November 2023, approximately 60 to 70 congregants from four parishes of the Holy Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain—St Andrew the First-called (Edinburgh, Scotland), St Columba of Iona (Inverness, Highlands, Scotland), St Bega, St Mungo & St Herbert (Keswick, Cumbria), and The Mother of God and St Oswald (Berwick Upon Tweed, Northumbria)—embarked on a pilgrimage to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. His Grace Bishop Raphael of Ilion presided over Divine Liturgy. The Very Rev. Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Antonios Kakalis celebrated the Divine Liturgy and Deacons Symeon Menne, and Dr Nikita Banev served.

In a solemn and joyous moment post-liturgy, Gregory Dott was received into the Orthodox Church through the sacrament of Chrismation witnessed by the gathered faithful, who warmly welcomed Gregory to the Orthodox faith.

Following the liturgical services, the pilgrims gathered for fellowship at the island’s Community Hall. This gathering provided a valuable opportunity for the community members to engage with one another, share updates, and strengthen their bonds of fellowship.

The day also included a walk around the serene landscapes of Lindisfarne, allowing the participants to reflect and take in the tranquil beauty of the island. The group then departed punctually, via bus and cars, ahead of the returning tide that reconnects the island to the mainland.

Blessing of the new community hall at the Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles Hatfield

On Sunday 29th October 2023, His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain presided during Matins and celebrated Divine Liturgy at the Holy Church of the Twelve Apostles in Hatfield. Among those celebrating were the Very Rev. Archimandrite Nephon Tsimalis, Chancellor, the Rev. Protopresbyter Joseph Paliouras, priest-in-charge, the Rev. Protopresbyter Nikodimos Aggeli and Rev. Oeconomos Dimitrianos Melekis and assisted by Archdeacon George Tsourous. Hundreds of faithful were in attendance.

Following the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence, alongside the Very Rev Archimandrite Nephon Tsimalis, Chancellor, the Rev. Protopresbyter Joseph Paliouras, priest-in-charge, and Archdeacon George Tsourous, proceeded to bless the new community hall. This new facility will house the fellowship hall, Sunday School, an adult Baptistry, and storage facilities for the flourishing Food Bank that continues to assist hundreds of local families. In celebration of this momentous occasion, a generous meal was provided in the presence of distinguished Archons and esteemed dignitaries from the local Council.

Festal Celebrations in Honour of the Holy Glorious Great-Martyr Demetrios the Myrrh-streamer in Edmonton

The Community of St Demetrios Edmonton in North London celebrated the Feast of the Great-Martyr Demetrios, its Patron Saint and protector, with fervour and grandeur. Hundreds of faithful attended the celebrations. His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain presided during the panegyric Great Vespers, Matins, and the Divine Liturgy joined by His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Claudioupolis. Among those concelebrating were the Very Rev. Archimandrite Nephon Tsimalis, Chancellor, the Very Rev. Archimandrite Nikodemos Anagnostopoulos, Priest-in-Charge, the Rev. Protopresbyter John Hookway and numerous area clergy.

During Great Vespers, His Eminence honoured the Rev. Oeconomos John Hookway’s longstanding service to the Community by elevating him to the rank of Protopresbyter. Additionally, Mr. Nicholas Menikou, Mr. Demetrios Iordanou, and Mr. Alexandros Georgiou were elevated by His Eminence Nikitas to the order of Readers. Distinguished guests in attendance included His Excellency Mr. Christos Goulas, Consul of the Hellenic Republic in London, esteemed Heads of Education from the Greek and Cypriot Mission – Mrs. Irene Veroni and Mrs. Maria Loi, as well as the Archons of the Great Church of Christ, Mr. Menelaos Ourris and Mr. Panayiotis Demetriou.

After the conclusion of Great Vespers, the Community hosted a generous festal meal for the entire congregation. On the feast day itself, attendees were treated to a delightful array of traditional savoury and sweet dishes in the church hall.