A Letter from Father Peter, 14th May 2020

Dear parishioners and friends,

It is now over eight weeks that we have not been able to gather in our church for services, for the Divine Liturgy.

This must be very hard for many of us.  We are so used to coming to church on a Sunday, to receive the life-giving holy Gifts, the Body and Blood of our Saviour, for the remission of sins and for life everlasting.

I know that for many of us our coming together in the church is also a time of communion with each other.  Over the fifty years of our parish life, many of us have formed close bonds, friendships, and for many of you our church is also a home away from home.

Our church is a place of comfort, a source of healing, a true home, the home of our Lord, where we are in the presence of our Saviour, His blessed Mother and all His saints.

We are now having to live like the desert fathers, alone in our cells.  But this does not mean that we are alone.  We can be together in love and in our thoughts, but above all in our prayers. I encourage you all to pray for one another.

Please rest assured that you are all in my prayers, and if you have any special requests for prayer, or if you have names of people you would like me to add to the list of those I remember at the Divine Liturgy, which together with Irina I celebrate every Sunday, please do write to me or call me.

If you need to contact me for any reason, please do not hesitate to do so.

peterscorer@hotmail.co.uk,   Tel:  01392 278585, mob: 07811 128275

A reminder that three times a week the services which I take at home can also be seen on the parish Facebook page.

God willing, it may be possible, in the not too distant future, for us to gather together for prayer once again.

May God bless you all!

Father Peter

”On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of him (out of his belly) will flow rivers of living water.’  (Jn 7: 37-38)

And we can all have “rivers” flowing out of us of “living water,” – of compassion, kindness, wisdom, creativity, courage, patience, humility and love,  “Come and abide in us” today, Lord, as we choose to come and abide in You.

(Paraphrased from Vassa Larin).

Great and Holy Thursday – a letter from Fr. Peter

Beloved parishioners and friends,

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

We are now moving into the final days of Christ’s passion, and more than ever we shall miss the possibility of gathering together in our church on Great and Holy Friday to witness the events leading to the Crucifixion, death and burial of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

It will be painful for us to hear the words sung on Holy Thursday at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy: ‘Of Thy mystical supper, O Son of God, today admit me a partaker…’ when we cannot come to church and receive the Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

We shall not be able to come together to share in the Resurrection of Christ, to proclaim ‘Christ is Risen!’ and to embrace each other with the joy of this radiantly beautiful feast.

But do not despair. Remember that Christ stands knocking at the door of our hearts and of our homes. Remember how Zacchaeus, in one of the Sunday readings of preparation for the Fast invited Christ into his home, and Christ said to him, ‘Today is salvation come into this house..’ Remember also how the apostles, gathered together in a room in Jerusalem in fear, after the Resurrection, refused to believe that Christ had risen, and how He came into the room, even though the doors were closed. He is knocking at the door of our homes and our souls. Invite the risen Christ into your homes.

‘Did not the women who came to anoint him pause and “say nothing to anyone,” when the young man at the tomb told them to be apostles to the apostles? Did not the disciples in Emmaus ask how this could have happened before Jesus explained it all to them on a long walk? We love public drama, but God announced the good news of Jesus’ resurrection quietly – and it hinges on a word. And when Jesus does appear, it’s not through a grand entrance in a splendiferous temple – he appears among the dejected disciples in a room with locked doors. We are in good company today, and for however long this pandemic lasts. The love of God can pierce all hearts, through locked doors, through the hardened hearts of disciples who hid in fear, through the disruption caused by a pandemic. He is among us, even in our worst hour’. (Dcn. Nicholas Denysenko)

On Thursday morning, I shall celebrate the Divine Liturgy, commemorating the Last Supper. In the evening we shall read the twelve Gospel accounts of the passion of Christ. For those of you who have Facebook, I will be streaming some services on the Parish Facebook page, so that you can share in these. If you cannot see these services, try and read some of the Gospel readings and texts. You can find all the services and readings here: https://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2020/04/holy-week-at-home-part-1.html

I greet you all with the joyous Feast of the Resurrection of our Saviour. Christ has triumphed over hell, death no longer has any hold on us.

CHRIST IS RISEN!

Christ is Risen from the dead, Trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs He has given life!

Христос Воскресе ! Χριστός Ανέστη ! Hristos a înviat !

With all my love and blessings

Father Peter

15 April 2020 www.facebook.com/OrthodoxParishOfTheHolyProphetElias/ _________________________________________________________________________________________

Holy Week from Home

Whilst we are unable to meet together to celebrate Holy Week services at St Anne’s or Combe Martin, there are ways that we can continue to celebrate and feel connected with the church community from the safety of our homes.

This delightful booklet entitled ‘Holy Week From Home’, published by the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of North America, gives lots of ideas and a guide to creating ‘a little church’ in our homes during Holy Week and beyond.

Father Peter will continue to post prayers, news and useful links on the Parish Facebook page (Orthodox Parish of the Holy Prophet Elias) and there are Orthodox services available to stream live on Facebook and You Tube. Links to some of these and other online resources can be found in the latest Parish Newsletter, dated 12th April.

A Letter from Fr. Peter

18 March 2020

Turn not away Thy face from Thy servant, for I am in trouble; hear me speedily and : hearken unto my soul and deliver it”(Prokimenon, Sunday vespers in Lent)

Dearest parishioners and friends,

The depth of the crisis which confronts us these days, and in the weeks ahead cannot be over-exaggerated.

Many will without doubt fall ill, and with God’s help, will recover. But many of our community are extremely vulnerable, whether through age or by having underlying conditions that make the virus potentially lethal.

The word ‘crisis’ in Greek means judgement. We are called to live our Christian lives to the full, to love our neighbours, to care for the sick and those in need. We have to make sacrifices in our lives, even if this means refraining from going to public services in our churches, where we can unwittingly pass on the virus.

In view of this, there will be no more services in St Anne’s church for the foreseeable future. We will discuss the possibility of having the church open on Sunday mornings for private prayer, to light a candle. I will let you know if this can be arranged.

Irina and I have decided to isolate ourselves. But we do not want to lose contact with any of you.

If I can be of any help, or give any spiritual guidance insofar as I am capable, or want to ask for special prayers, or if you just want to chat, please do not hesitate to phone me, or write by email or any other social media:

01392 278585, 07811 128275, peterscorer@hotmail.co.uk

When you have time, spend a few minutes in prayer. Pray for each other. Don’t forget the lenten prayer of St Ephrem. Read the Gospels. Keep yourselves and others safe.

I ask our Good Lord, the Father of Love, to bless you all.

Father Peter

Grant us, Lord, Thy peace and fill our hearts with steadfast faith in Thy protection, hope in Thy help and love for Thee and for our neighbour. For it is Thine to have mercy and to save us, O our God, and we give glory to Thee: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and always and in to the ages of ages. Amen

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom’. (Luke 12:32)

Visit of Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain and ordination of Protodeacon Peter Scorer to the priesthood

Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain is to visit St Anne’s on Saturday 1 February to celebrate the Divine Liturgy, during which he will ordain Protodeacon Peter Scorer to the priesthood.  This is a great day for our parish as well as for Peter and his family, and we are looking forward to welcoming a good number of our parishioners, together with friends from further afield.  

After the service there will be a buffet lunch in the Heritage Lounge at St James’s Park, the headquarters of Exeter City Football Club.  This is only 2 or 3 minutes’ walk from the church, and we will be able to use the on-site car park and toilets from 10.00am (the Liturgy is scheduled to begin at 10.30).

Thanks to a very generous donation the main part of the meal (a choice of savoury dishes together with wine/soft drinks) is being provided from outside sources, but for the sweet course we will be following our long-established parish tradition of ‘bring and share’.  Contributions for this may be delivered to the Heritage Lounge before the service — the entrance is clearly marked, and someone should be on hand to make sure they end up in the right place.

Parish AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the parish will be held at Jury’s Inn, Western Way, Exeter, on Sunday 10 November at approximately 1.00pm, following the Divine Liturgy at the usual time at St Anne’s.  As none of the present parish officers (Parish Warden, Secretary, Lay Representatives &c) are due for re-election this time there should be no need for elections.  Minutes of the 2018 AGM (actually held earlier this year) and the Agenda for this meeting will be circulated nearer the time.

A significant item will be discussion of the present position of our parish with regards to the effectual closure of the Archdiocese of which we have been a part for many years.  We need to decide whether the parish wishes to follow Archbishop John and join the Moscow Patriarchate, or to remain under the Patriarchate of Constantinople and Nikitas, Archbishop of Thyateira.

All whose names are on the Parish Electoral Roll are entitled to vote at the Meeting. You may wish to bring sandwiches; coffee and tea will be provided.

Important Notice – EGA in Paris

On 7 September an Extraordinary General Assembly will be held in Paris.  This meeting has been called by our Archbishop John of Charioupolis, the head of the Churches of Russian Tradition under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, to which our parish belongs.

Representatives, both clergy and lay, from about 130 parishes throughout Europe will gather to discuss and vote on the future of our Archdiocese.

In November 2018 the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew informed our Archbishop John of the decision to disband the existing structure of our Archdiocese, and for all parishes simply to merge with existing dioceses of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in each country. 

This means that the Archdiocese which has existed in Western Europe as a self governing body under the Ecumenical Patriarchate since 1931 would cease to exist.  This is deeply upsetting for members of the Archdiocese who regard themselves as free from all national prejudices, and have followed closely the decisions taken at the famous Russian Sobor (Council) of 1917-8, which allowed for the free election of their bishops and full participation by the laity in all decision making.  Many have seen the Archdiocese as laying the foundations for an independent Orthodox Church in Western Europe.

In February this year, the General Assembly of the Archdiocese voted almost unanimously not to disband, but to preserve the unity of the Archdiocese and support our Archbishop.

Since then, many attempts have been made to find some way of keeping the Archdiocese united and intact.  Appeals have been made to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to reverse its decision.  Other Churches have been approached and been asked to take us under their protection.

The only Church which has so far offered to accept the Archdiocese has been the Moscow Patriarchate.  Our Archbishop John has been negotiating with representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate, which has come up with a detailed plan, which they say will guarantee our complete independence and preservation of our current statutes.  However, the final choice for the selection of any bishops would lie with Moscow, and we would be required to commemorate the Patriarch of Moscow at all our services.

Reunification with the Moscow Patriarchate is for very many people not an acceptable option.  This is especially the case for most of our parishes in Britain, which have in the past suffered deeply at the hands of Moscow.  Apart from anything else, if our parish were to join the Moscow Patriarchate, it would mean that we would find ourselves out of communion with other parishes under Constantinople, following the decision by the  Moscow Patriarchate to break Eucharistic communion with Constantinople! 

Our clergy and delegates from this parish will be asked to vote at the forthcoming Assembly on whether to join the  Moscow Patriarchate, or to seek some other solution. One of these would be to remain as an independent church group, temporarily not attached to any of the Patriarchates. 

The clergy representing our parish will be Father Patrick Hodson and myself. Our two lay delegates are Celia Olsson and Martin Olsson.  If you have any thoughts or questions about the future of our Archdiocese, or about our parish, please contact them, or write or phone me.

Protodeacon Peter  (Scorer)

celia.olsson.art@gmail.com

martinolsson827@btinternet.com

peterscorer@hotmail.co.uk   01392 278585 / 07811128275

More Service Updates

Please note that the Liturgy planned for 8th June in Coombe Martin will now be on June 22nd.

Vespers for St Brannock of Braunton will be served at 6 pm at St Brannock’s Church, Braunton. There will be no vespers served at St Anne’s Chapel that evening.

 

Service Updates

The schedule of services for June has now been added. Please note that there will be a liturgy at the chapel in Coombe Martin on Saturday 8th June.

Please  also note the following changes to the upcoming schedule to services in and around the time of the Deanery Conference:

Wednesday 22 Mid-Feast of Pentecost:No Vespers

Deanery Conference Friday 24-Monday 27 May

Saturday 25 May: No Vespers

Sunday 26 May Sunday of the Samaritan Woman: No Liturgy

Wednesday 29 May :No Vespers

Holy Week 2019

Dear all,

Please take note of the following arrangements for the rest of Holy Week and Paskha in St Anne’s Church:
Great and Holy Tuesday  23 April: Bridegroom Matins at 6.30 pm
Great and Holy Wednesday 24 April:  Bridegroom Matins at 6.30 pm, followed by the service of Holy Unction.
Great and Holy Thursday 25 April:  Divine Liturgy of St Basil at 9.30 am.    Reading of the Twelve Gospels  6.30 pm.
Great and Holy Friday 26 April:  Vespers and bringing out of the Epitaphion, 3.30 pm.  Matins and procession with the Epitaphion 6.30 pm.
 (Refreshments will be available in St James’ Church Hall between the two services.)
Please do bring flowers for the Epitaphion and for decorating the church for Paskha.
Great and Holy Saturday 27 April:  Vesperal Liturgy of St Basil with Old Testament readings at 9.30 am.
28 April:  Matins of the Resurrection at Midnight, followed by Divine Liturgy.  (No feast in St James’ Church Hall)
Day of the Resurrection, 28 April, Paschal Vespers at 6.30, followed by a bring-and-share Feast in St James’ Church Hall.
Father Patrick Hodson, our Dean, will be coming  to take services on Great and Holy Friday, Great and Holy Saturday, and the Midnight service of the Resurrection.
Wishing everyone a Holy and Blessed Paskha – Christ is Risen!

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén