Archbishop Nikitas at St Nicholas, Shepherds Bush

On Sunday, 24th February 2024, Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain presided during Matins and celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of St Nicholas Shepherds Bush along with His Grace Bishop Spyridon of Amastris. They were joined in the service by Revd Protopresbyter Dr Stavros Solomou, Priest-in-charge. The Revd Archdeacon Dr. George Tsourous and Revd Deacon Georgios Ntallas also served.

In his sermon on the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, the Archbishop conveyed a profound message rooted in humility and the grace of repentance, as illustrated by the Gospel. He emphasised the parable’s last line, “for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted,” highlighting it as the essence of our spiritual journey. The Archbishop eloquently illustrated how the Pharisee, despite his outward adherence to religious practices, was blinded by his own pride, failing to recognise the depth of his spiritual need. In contrast, the tax collector, aware of his shortcomings and sinfulness, approached God with a genuine heart full of repentance and humility. The Archbishop’s message was a powerful reminder that true justification before God does not come from self-righteousness or the mere observance of rituals, but from a humble and contrite heart that seeks God’s mercy above all.