On the 3rd and 4th of July 2021 His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira & Great Britain made his first archpastoral visit to the church of the 318 Godbearing Fathers in Shrewsbury. His Eminence was accompanied by Archimandrite Nikodemos, the Chancellor of the Archdiocese.
Following his arrival His Eminence presided over Great Vespers after which he gave the people of God the opportunity to ask questions concerning the Faith and ministry. Moses, the youngest member present at vespers, asked why the archbishop carried a staff and was told of his role as a shepherd of the flock. He also told him of the time when Moses stretched forth his staff over the Red Sea.
The community Board of Trustees then held an evening dinner reception for his Eminence while the Archbishop gave his pastoral advice to support the ministry of the community and took many questions including on mission, today’s society, and the Archdiocese programmes for catechism, training of Sunday School teachers and youth.
The following day His Eminence presided over Matins and the Divine Liturgy. Archimandrite Nikodemos, Protobresbyter Stephen Maxfield, Presbyter Timothy Pearce concelebrated. Deacon Panteleimon Maxfield and Deacon Ioan Petkov served.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy the Archbishop presented the children of the Varangian Guard Youth Club with certificates and badges of honour to reward them for their perseverance and commitment to learning their Faith.
Accompanied by the presbyters, deacons and the people of God, His Eminence then processed to bless the land recently purchased by the community. The land is to be used for providing much needed facilities for fellowship and the community’s children and youth ministries.
Father Stephen thanked His Eminence for visiting. Father Stephen said: “You have not had an easy start to your episcopacy because of the lockdown measures and you have not been able to visit all of the communities across the country but you have found time to visit our community. We are all very grateful.”
The Archbishop thanked the community in return. He said: “I’m very grateful because I had a beautiful experience during the liturgy when all the people chanted.”