On Sunday 13th October we held our first Parish Pilgrimage to Harpham,
birthplace of St John of Beverley.
St John of Beverley was one of the great Saints in Yorkshire at the time when the Church in England was still part of the Orthodox Church. He was a member of the religious community in Whitby, became Bishop of Hexham in AD 687 and Bishop of York in 705AD. He founded Beverley Minster where his relics are interred.
The Liturgy By kind permission of the Vicar and churchwardens, the Liturgy was celebrated in the Parish Church of St John of Beverley, Harpham. A good number of parishioners made the journey from North, South and West and we were joined by Rev James and some of the members of the village church.
Unfortunately we were unable to pray at St John’s Holy Welldue to the heavy rain. However, after a shared lunch in the village hall the rain abated and some people were able to visit the well before leaving for home.
Fr. David Sennitt, founder of the Antiochian Orthodox parish of St. Columba and St. Kentigern, Doncaster, passed to the Lord on the evening of Sunday 30th June. His funeral service will be served at that church on Tuesday 23rd July at 11am, followed by his burial at Rosehill Cemetery Doncaster. His obituary is on the Archdiocesan website (link).
Meditations on Great Lent. Each Tuesday evening at 7pm, from 19th March to 16th April, in the Chapel kitchen. All welcome!
We are holding a weekly discussion group on the subject of Great Lent and what it means for Orthodox Christians. We will be using as the text for our discussions the book Meditations on Great Lent: Reflections on the Triodion by Fr. Vassilios Papavassiliou. However it is not necessary for anyone to have read the book before joining the discussions as details for the theme of each evening will be available. If anyone would like to receive these details prior to the meeting please let Fr. Michael know.
We were delighted to receive a visit from our bishop, Metropolitan Silouan, on the weekend of 23rd/24th February. On the Saturday evening he had dinner with the clergy and members of the Parish Council, where we discussed matters relating to the life of the parish and its future
development. In particular, we spoke about our use of the chapel at York St. John University: its advantage of centrality within a city which is itself a focal point for transport connections within the region but also the inevitable disadvantages in limiting the liturgical and pastoral
activities that can be carried out. He advised us that for the moment we should continue to use the University chapel for Sunday liturgies but that we should seek a smaller place, outside the confines of the over-priced city, which might be our own, and in which we could conduct a fuller range of services and parish activities. Sayedna was very aware of the importance of
our parish in this part of the country. To the East there is no Orthodox presence apart from Hull and to the North nothing until Durham. For this reason our congregation is far-flung and contains a very broad range of ethnicities. Many of our congregation make long journeys,
with very inadequate public transport, to be with us, and we need to cherish and support their efforts.
On Sunday 24th, Sunday of the Prodigal Son, His Eminence served a Hierarchical Liturgy in the University Chapel. At the beginning of the service he ordained Maximos Bryan and John Kirkwood as Readers. Both of them have been a mainstay of our kliros for several years and their ordination is a recognition of their service an commitment to the Church. Unfortunately,
Reader John is leaving us almost immediately because a change in his employment situation takes him to Lincoln. However he will be joining the parish of All Saints of Lincolnshire. York’s loss will be Lincoln’s gain. Many Years, Maximos and John!
For his sermon Sayedna preached to us on the importance of Repentance and Forgiveness for our lives as Orthodox Christians, particularly in view of the approach of Great Lent. After the service he met with the children of the parish and spoke to them about their prayer life and they were clearly delighted with the opportunity to meet and talk with him, appreciating his
kind manner. We held a buffet reception for His Eminence in the University Refectory, catered for by the University and we all enjoyed it enormously. Sayedna made a point of talking to the various groups of parishioners, particularly the younger adults and everyone was touched by his gentle and good-humoured demeanour and his wise words of advice. Thank you, Sayedna, for your visit. Many Years and come back to us again soon!
On the Sunday after The Nativity we had the great pleasure of welcoming as guest, Fr. Constantin Naclad. Fr. Constantin is a senior member of the Theological and Educational Department of the Romanian Patriarchate. He and his wife were visiting their son and family in York, who are members of our community. After the Divine Liturgy we had an interesting discussion on church matters in the Romanian and Antiochian Patriarchates. We look forward to welcoming them back to York again when they next visit their family.