Update on the Archdiocese

As a result of a decision of the Holy Synod of Constantinople arrived at in November, the parishes of the Exarchate for Churches of Russian Tradition in Western Europe, to which our parish of the Holy Prophet Elias in Devon has belonged for the past 10 years or so, are likely to be reorganised. At this stage it appears that we will be included in the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain and that therefore HE Archbishop Gregorios will become our bishop.

However, HE Archbishop John, who made a pastoral visit to the parish in July, has asked the priests of the Exarchate to join him Paris on 15thDecember to consider this development. Our parish priest, Father Porphyrios, intends is to take part in this meeting. He asks your prayers. The Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland website (http://www.exarchate.org.uk/) is a useful source of further information.’

A communique from the Council of the Archdiocese about this matter may be found here: http://www.exarchate.org.uk/communiqu%C3%A9-council-archdiocese-30th-november-2018 .

Christmas Cards Now On Sale

This year, as usual, we are selling Christmas cards in support of the St Gregory’s Foundation (http://stgregorysfoundation.org.uk/)  an Orthodox charity working in Russia and other former Soviet territories.  Set up in the early 1990s, its first task was to bring food, clothing and other forms of aid to communities experiencing shortages in the wake of the collapse of the USSR.  Since then it has taken on a variety of humanitarian and educational projects, working in partnership with local parishes and other organisations in the following areas:
  • Helping disabled children and teenagers with communication difficulties to connect to the world so they can become as independent as possible.
  • Providing education, training and skills to graduates from orphanages to give them a good start in life.
  • Helping young parents who grew up in orphanages to bond with their children and keep their family.
  • Empowering children and families living with impaired hearing to take a full part in their communities.
  • Giving security, care and food aid to disadvantaged children.
  • Offering legal support, security and training to street children and teenagers to help them integrate into a wider society.
The cards are attractive and well produced, and carry greetings in Russian and English.  Prices are £5.50 per pack of 10 for most designs and £4.50 for the smaller Theotokos icon card; these include envelopes and the cost of postage from SGF headquarters to our parish.
For Christmas 2018 a colourful new design has been introduced; it is entitled ‘Provincial Russia’.
Cards are available at St Anne’s Chapel when the church is open for its usual services. For more information, contact us hpeliasdevon@gmail.com.

Church Closed Oct 20/21/24

Just a reminder that the church will be closed this weekend  (October 20/21) and there will also be no Vespers service on Wednesday October 24th, but services will resume as usual from Saturday, October 27th.

Archpriest John Marks

On Sunday 15th July, during his pastoral visit to the parish, His Eminence Archbishop John of Charioupolis visited Archpriest John Marks and his wife, Dawn Marks, at their home in Combe Martin. His Eminence spoke appreciatively of Fr John’s many years of service to the parish and Deanery. Fr John remains a priest within the Archdiocese but is now retired and relieved of all responsibility for pastoral care and will not be taking services. His Eminence cited Fr John’s ill health for his decision and urged Fr John to rest.  The church in Fr John’s house will continue as a private chapel but will no longer serve as a public church within the parish.

HE Archbishop John’s visit to our parish

HE Archbishop John visited our parish last weekend, 14-15th July 2018.

Our patronal feast of the Holy Prophet Elias was especially significant this year as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the beginnings of the parish. Fifty years ago the monastery church at Willand outside of Exeter was dedicated and fifty years ago Fr Nicanor was made a deacon.

Archimandrite Barnabas had been advised to come to the South West by Metropolitan Anthony. He put Archimandrite Barnabas in touch with Father Nicanor, who helped him settle in this area.

On Saturday evening, HE Archbishop John clothed Sister Sarah in the Riassa and Kamilavka. Sarah became a nun in the late 1950’s and she has lived as a solitary for the past 30 years or so, most recently on the edge of Dartmoor. She joined the Holy Orthodox Church and comes to our church for the Divine Liturgy each Sunday. It is a special joy for me to welcome her into our monastic fellowship.

On Sunday, HE Archbishop John served the Divine Liturgy and ordained Brandon Gallaher a deacon. Fr Patrick Hodson, Fr John Behr (St Vladimir’s Seminary, New York State), Fr Nicanor Wilkins, Fr Stephan Maikovsky, Fr Timothy Curtis and Hieromonk Porphyrios concelebrated. Protodeacon Peter Scorer and Deacon Alexey Kostyanovsky served and brought Brandon forward for ordination.

At the end of the Liturgy, HE Archbishop John gave Fr Nicanor the honour of having the Liturgy served with open doors up to the Lord’s Prayer, if he is participating in its celebration. He gave a gramota to Mrs Irina Scorer in recognition of her devoted service to the church over many years, as Director of the Choir.

HE Archbishop John then joined parishioners for lunch.

Later, Hieromonk Porphyrios took His Eminence to Combe Martin to meet Fr John Marks and his wife, Dawn. It was a very cordial meeting and a highlight of the weekend. His Eminence paid tribute to Fr John’s long and devoted service as a priest and visited the house chapel. Michelle Gallaher came and was on hand to translate.

Next day, Hieromonk Porphyrios and Deacon Brandon took His Eminence Archbishop John to Exeter airport for his return flight to Paris.

There is a short history of the parish for sale. Copies are available at St Anne’s Church and from Protodeacon Peter.

Hieromonk Porphyrios, Rector

Pastoral Visit of HE Archbishop John of Charioupolis, 14th-15th July 2018

HE Archbishop John of Charioupolis is making a pastoral visit to Exeter this coming weekend of 14th-15th July 2018, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Dedication of the Monastery Church at Willand and the beginnings of our parish. You are warmly invited to the following:

St Anne’s Church, Old Tiverton Road, Exeter

Saturday 14th July 2018

6.00pm: Vigil for the Patronal Feast of the Holy Prophet Elias. His Eminence will preside at the Vigil Service.

Sunday 15th July 2018

10.00am: HE Archbishop John arrives at the church.

10.30am: HE Archbishop John serves the Divine Liturgy and ordains a Deacon (Dr Brandon Gallaher).

1.00pm: HE Archbishop John joins parishioners for lunch at St James’ Hall, Mount Pleasant Road, Exeter, EX4 7AH.

For the lunch, please bring food and drink to share. As it likely to be hot weather, it is advisable to transport your food in cool bags with added ice packs.

Upcoming Special Vespers for Local Saints

There are two special vespers services for local saints that may be of interest:

 

Vespers for Saint Petrock will be held at St Petrock’s Church, High Street, Exeter at 6.00pm on Monday 4th June. The bells will be rung from 5.30pm.

 

 

 

Vespers for Saint Brannock will be celebrated at St Brannock’s Church, Braunton at 6.00pm on Saturday 16th June.

All are welcome to attend!

 

Parish AGM 2018

The Parish AGM will take place on Sunday, March 11th, 2018, after the liturgy and vespers.
The venue will be confirmed after the liturgy or as soon as possible (it will not be at Silvania Hall as previously announced).
 All members of the Orthodox Parish of the Holy Prophet Elias are welcome. Contact the parish secretary by email at hpeliasdevon@gmail.com with any questions, including to find out how to be added to the membership roll.

Triumph of Orthodoxy

On Sunday the 25th February, the first Sunday of Great Lent, the parish celebrated the Triumph of Orthodoxy. Here are a few photographs of our parishioners in a procession with icons around the pretty garden at St Annes.

Meeting of the Exeter University Orthodox Christian Society

Meeting of the Exeter University Orthodox Christian Society

 Dr. Ruth Coates (Bristol University): ‘Deification in Russian Religious Thought.’

 When:  Friday, 1 December, 6.00 pm

 Where: Amory Building 316, University of Exeter

 All are welcome

Refreshments provided.

Deification in Russian Religious Thought

In this talk Dr Ruth Coates will consider the Orthodox doctrine of deification in the context of Russian religious thought, focusing on the last two decades of the Romanov empire: a period known as the Russian religious renaissance. She will suggest that the concept of deification–becoming gods–was widely adopted at this time as a religious response to the apocalyptic anxieties evoked by the revolutionary atmosphere of the period and the anticipation of the collapse of the autocracy. Nevertheless, the reception of the doctrine of deification did not follow a straightforward path from ‘school’ theology and patristics into lay religious thought, and its expression took a wide range of forms of varying degrees of orthodoxy. In her talk Dr Coates will explore the routes by which the deification concept reached the Russian religious intelligentsia and discuss the variety of uses to which it was put.

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