The establishment of a new community on the islands of Lewis and Harris

A Report on the Establishment of the Orthodox Community of St Taran on Lewis and Harris

With the blessing and encouragement of His Eminence our Archbishop Nikitas a new Community was established under his Omoforion, this time in the Outer Hebrides, on the Scottish islands of Lewis and Harris.

Officially founded on 13 May 2023, this new community is dedicated to St Taran, a revered local Saint from the 5th century. The establishment is a testament to our enduring faith and the commitment to spreading Orthodoxy even in the remotest corners. A significant milestone was reached on 3 September when His Grace Bishop Raphael of Ilion presided over the Divine Liturgy. He was ably assisted by the Revd Fr Michael Harry from the Antiochian Archdiocese and the Revd Deacon Symeon Menne of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain.

This marked only the second celebration of the Divine Liturgy since the community’s inception. In a display of growing spiritual leadership and with the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas, His Grace Bishop Raphael ordained Daniel Davies of Harris and Angus MacIver of Lewis as Readers before the Liturgy commenced.

The founding of the Community of St Taran reaffirms the faith and is a poignant reminder of the vision of the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese remain committed to embracing both immigrants and natives, rooted in unwavering Orthodox beliefs, and envisioning itself as the living embodiment of the ancient Orthodox Church on these isles.

Furthermore, we wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to St Peter’s Episcopalian church (Vestry) for graciously permitting the use of their church building. We are very grateful to them for their invaluable assistance in this endeavour.