Welsh, Romanian, and Russian parishioners came together on Sunday for the first Divine Liturgy at a new mission parish in Wales.
With the blessing of His Grace Bishop Irinei of London and Western Europe of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Liturgy for the new mission of Sts. David of Wales and Nicholas the Wonderworker was celebrated by Archpriest Luke Holden in Vivian Hall in Swansea, in southern Wales, the diocese reports.
Hieromonk Mark (Underwood) of the Kazan Icon Church in Cardiff was also present, leading the kliros and choir, which sang mainly in English, but also in Slavonic.
Thus, the mission “begins now with a core group of devoted members of already-existing parishes, reaching out to nearby communities with the fervent prayer that the new locale will soon become an independent community in its own right.”
Parishioners stayed after the Liturgy for a time of fellowship. The Hours and Divine Liturgy will be celebrated again this coming Sunday at 10:00 AM.
Gareth Sabba says
I am so happy to read this. Swansea is my home town. I am Orthodox but live in London.
I pray that the Saints of South Wales: Dewi Teilo and Illtyd who brought the light of our Lord to the people are given their rightful place in the country of their birth where they are largely forgotten. Wales was Orthodox once and I pray shall be again.
When I feel the hiraeth pull me home next I pray God willing I will be able to Worship with you.
Cynthia Ann says
All good news, but there will be a lot of hard work to do to overcome the very negative legacy of Calvinistic Methodism.
Arch priest Luke Holden says
I was received into Orthodoxy over 50 years ago. Having a part Welsh family background, and living in Wales for over 35 years, I am very conscious of the religious history of this area. Yes, it will be a struggle to engage the local people. However, most of the chapels in South Wales have already closed. This has recently included the larger Methodist communities, and both Church In Wales and R.C. establishments are not far behind. There is an emptiness and spiritual darkness across the land. The old distrust of a faith like Orthodoxy is being replaced by a more friendly response, or by an open hearted enquiry by youngsters who have never been taught anything about Christianity. They are eager to discover a Christian Faith which predates the errors of the Medieval West and the excesses Of Reformation theology. By God’s grace we will be able to build for the future – starting with a commission for icons of Christ and the Mother of God with Welsh saints. I have baptised Welsh people previously, and have one waiting for baptism. A young Muslim has just been received as a catechumen. Our sister ROCOR parish in Cardiff is seeing a real growth of young Welsh people. Please keep us in your prayers.
Great to hear. The young people who have never been taught anything about Christianity would present fewer problems, as they would not have the doctrinal and/or theological baggage that mature age converts from other traditions often bring with them.
Joanna Cardinale says
Peace be with you.
I am an old calendar orthodox Christian in America. I didn’t know anything about St. Teilo.
Until my son had my grandson baptized Dylan ( Teilo ) . I understand he was a Bishop.
I can’t find an Icon of him as a Bishop. If there is one of him dressed as a Bishop I would love to have one. I am not in a position to pay very much, but love to know. Thank you very much. May we all continue our prayers for Ukraine.