Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Services in April 2014

at Audley & Dresden

Wed 2nd 7pm Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts
Thu 3rd 7pm Great Canon and Life of Saint Mary of Egypt
Fri 4th 7pm Full Akathist to the All-holy Theotokos
Sat 5th 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 6th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 9th 7pm Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts
Sat 12th 11am Divine Liturgy of Lazarus Saturday
6pm Memorial & Great Vespers
Sun 13th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy of Palm Sunday
6pm Matins of the Bridegroom (at Dresden)
Mon 14th 7pm Matins of the Bridegroom
Tue 15th 7pm Matins of the Bridegroom
Wed 16th 7pm Anointing Service (No Liturgy at Audley)
Thu 17th 11am Vesperal Liturgy
7pm Matins with Twelve Passion Gospels
Fri 18th 10am Royal Hours at Audley
10am Decoration of the Bier at Dresden
12noon Vespers and Epitaphios Procession at Dresden
7pm Matins and Procession with the Bier
Sat 19th 11am Vesperal Liturgy & Church Decoration at Audley
2pm Church Decoration at Dresden
11pm Midnight Office; Christos Anesti; Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy
followed by Feast in the Scout Hall
Sun 20th 2pm Paschal Vespers of Love
Wed 23rd 11am Divine Liturgy
Sat 26th 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 27th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 30th 11am Divine Liturgy

Name Days
20th Anastasia
23rd George Coulis; George Dobson; George Gandy; George Moriates; Alexandra Bendo;
Alice Davidchack; Georgina Chiurlea; Georgia Winter; (Fr George 6th May O.S.)

16th John Yeomans (2002
22nd Chad Makings (1999)

Parish Feast
23rd Our Cathedral of Saint George in London

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Services in March 2014

at Audley & Dresden

Sat 1st 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 2nd 10am Matins; 11:00am Divine Liturgy and Forgiveness ceremony
Great Lent Begins

Mon 3rd 7pm Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete
Tue 4th 7pm Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete
Wed 5th 7pm Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts
Thu 6th 7pm Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete
Fri 7th 7pm Akathist to the All-holy Theotokos followed by Study Group

Sat 8th 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 9th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy and Procession of Icons
Wed 12th 7pm Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts
Fri 14th 7pm Akathist to the All-holy Theotokos followed by Study Group

Sat 15th 6pm Memorial & Great Vespers
Sun 16th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 19th 7pm Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts

Sat 22nd 6pm Memorial & Great Vespers
Sun 23rd 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
2:30pm Akathist to the Holy Cross at Sandbach Crosses

Mon 24th 7pm Great Vespers of the Annunciation
Tue 25th 11am Divine Liturgy of the Annunciation
Wed 26th 7pm Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts
Fri 28th 7pm Akathist to the All-holy Theotokos followed by Study Group

Sat 29th 6pm Memorial & Great Vespers
Sun 30th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy

Name Days
1st David Pazir
18th Edward Bendo; Dylan Edward Jones
25th Despina; Mary Makings

20th Ioannes (2013); Matthew
23rd Elizabeth Boothby (2007)
28th Priest Patrick (2008)
29th Barbara Worth (2008)

Parish Feast
18th Saint Edward’s, Aethelhampton


1st March sees us back at our usual weekend location at the Church of the Holy
Resurrection in Dresden.
Thanks are due to all the painters, decorators and the many who volunteered
and took part in the cleanup operation at the end of February.
Work on the iconostasis and the delivery of our first two new icons from Efrem
in Manchester gives us a glimpse of the finished article.
Because these icons are brand new, they have yet to be varnished – something
that cannot happen until this time next year. This is the reason why they are
temporarily protected by perspex at the moment.
If anyone would like to donate money towards more icons for the screen,
perhaps as a memorial, please have a word with Fr Samuel.
Those who didn't manage to offer any assistance with cleaning this time around
will be very pleased to hear that the South aisle is going to be repainted in May,
so there will be plenty of opportunity very soon to do your bit.
Specific information will follow about arrangements for May, but we will again
be transferring our weekend services to Audley while that is done.
I think the experience of having our weekend services in Audley these past
weeks, while it has been just like old times, has shown how cramped the church
of Saint Michael had become – even with smaller than average congregations.

Regular Cleaning 

Volunteers are always in demand for cleaning both of our churches.
Dresden has its weekly clean on Thursdays under the supervision of Irene and Kim.
Please see either of them if you can help wield a duster or operate a vacuum cleaner.
Audley currently receives less attention but is no less in need.
It is not fair to ask Irene and Kim to take two buses each way in order to clean that church
as well, so please volunteer and make arrangements to have keys if you have an hour

Nicholas Chapman

Talking of old times – or rather, Old Timers – many of you will remember
Nicholas and his wife Nina who were members of our congregation for many
years and who moved to the United States a couple of years back. We are
delighted to pass on news that Nicholas was ordained to the office of Reader at
Holy Trinity Monastery on 12 February.

Reader Nicholas
Many Years!

Two Invitations

1st March 2014 is the nearest Saturday to the feast of Saint Chad.
We are invited to attend a Divine Liturgy hosted by the Community of Saint
Chad in Rugby at 10am in Lichfield Cathedral (Lady Chapel).
Kairos will begin at 9:30am, which is a little early but has to fit with the kind
permissions of the Dean & Chapter of the Cathedral.
1st March is the feast of Saint David and Saint Evdokia, so their feasts will be
celebrated and that of Saint Chad anticipated.

9th March 2014 is the Sunday of Orthodoxy which we will celebrate in Dresden
with a Procession of Icons – outside if the weather is good.
Bring an icon with you or if you forget, find one in church. There are many!
Last year a small group of us travelled to Erdington in Birmingham for pan-
Orthodox Great Vespers in the Greek Orthodox church attended by
Metropolitan Kallistos.
This year we are invited to the church of the Nativity of the Mother of God in
Walsall by Father John for Great Vespers at 6pm.

Advance notice of Derbyshire Events from Chris Tsielepi
Father Edwin from Chesterfield & Sheffield has agreed to celebrate.

Friday 25th April Bright Friday Feast of the Life-giving Spring
(Not sure where this is being held, so I will find out in time
for the April newsletter).

Saturday 21st June Blessing of the Waters (11am) and Akathist (2pm) at the
Pisani Chapel near Cromford.

Saturday 26th July Divine Liturgy at Saint Martin’s church in Stoney
Middleton (11am) followed by Blessing of the Waters.
This coincides with the Well Dressing at Stoney Middleton
and is always a wonderful day.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Services in February 2014 at Audley

We apologise for any inconvenience

Sat 1st 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 2nd 10am Matins; 10:45am Chrismation of Frances Anna Chadwick, followed by
the Divine Liturgy

Wed 5th 11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist
Sat 8th 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 9th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy

Wed 12th 11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist
Sat 15th 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 16th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy

Wed 19th 11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist
Sat 22nd 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 23rd 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy

Wed 26th No service this Wednesday

Name Days
3rd Archimandrite Simeon; Newly Chrismated Anna Chadwick
16th Nicholas Chapman (OS)
19th Philothei Maxfield

2nd Fr Alban Barter (2009)
10th Photini (2006)

Saint Thekla

We continue to hear little in our news programmes of the plight of our brothers and sisters
in Syria. As I compile this newsletter, the news corporations have all but ceased to report
even on the talks known as “Geneva II” taking place this week. We continue to pray for
them all, but in particular for the two Bishops who are still missing and the kidnapped nuns
of the convent of Saint Thekla in Malloula. One story not reported on TV this month, but
which appeared on the internet told of the desecration of more churches and religious sites
in the town of Malloula. The convent of Saint Thekla was attacked, its iconostasis was
torched and even the grave of Saint Thekla herself was dug up and the relics stolen.
I was moved to read about Saint Thekla. It helps to know a little about a particular saint if
you are going to ask for their prayers.
According to ancient Syrian and Greek manuscripts,
Saint Thekla was born into a prosperous pagan family
in the Lycaonian city of Iconium (present-day Konya in
south-central Turkey) in A.D. 16. When she was 18
years old and betrothed to a young man named
Thamyris, Saint Paul the Apostle and Saint Barnabas
arrived in Iconium from Antioch (Acts 14). Thekla’s
mother Theokleia prohibited her from joining the
crowds which gathered to hear Paul preach. But Thekla
found that if she sat near her bedroom window she
could hear his every word. Thekla sat there for three
days and three nights listening to Paul preach the word
of God. She was particularly touched by his call to
chastity. As it became apparent that Thekla was
becoming interested in the new Faith, Theokleia and
Thamyris went to the governor of the city and
complained about Paul and his preaching. To pacify
them and the other outraged citizens of Iconium, the
governor had Paul imprisoned to await trial.
When Thekla learned of Paul’s arrest she secretly went
to the prison, and using her golden bracelets to bribe the guard, gained admittance to hicell. When she saw the Apostle she knelt before him and kissed the chains which bound his
hands and feet. She remained there a long time listening to his message of the Good News
of Jesus Christ.
Being concerned at Thekla’s prolonged absence, Theokleia and Thamyris asked her servant
if she knew where she was. The servant said that Thekla had gone to visit an imprisoned
stranger. Theokleia and Thamyris knew at once that she was with Paul. They decided to go
again to the governor, this time demanding immediate judgement for the Apostle. After the
governor chastened Paul for the disturbances he had caused in the city, he had him stoned
and expelled from Iconium. The governor then admonished Thekla for her foolishness and
commanded her to return home with her mother and fiancé. When Thekla announced that
she had vowed to remain a virgin for the sake of Christ, her mother became enraged and
asked the governor to threaten Thekla with severe punishment. The governor complied
with this wish and ruled that Thekla was to be burned at the stake unless she renounced
her faith in Christ.
When Thekla refused to renounce her Heavenly Bridegroom, she was taken to the arena for
punishment. As she was tied to the stake she saw a vision of Jesus Christ which gave her
strength to face the flames. The fire was lit, but as the flames came near Thekla a
thunderstorm suddenly arose and a great torrent of rain and hail came down from heaven
and extinguished the flames. Embarrassed because his plan had failed, the angry governor
released Thekla but commanded that she must leave Iconium at once.
Upon her release, Thekla went to the outskirts of the city where she rejoined Paul. She told
him of her trial and miraculous escape from punishment and asked for baptism. Paul
refused to baptise Thekla, saying that this would be accomplished in God’s own way and
time. Paul and Thekla then departed from the region of Iconium and travelled to Antioch in
Syria. As they were entering the city a young nobleman named Alexander saw Thekla. Being
entranced by her beauty he rushed forward and tried to seduce her, but Thekla fought him
off, thus disgracing him in front of his crowd of friends. Alexander went to the governor of
Antioch and complained that this wandering girl had disgraced him, a nobleman, in public.
He demanded that she be punished with death. The governor complied and ruled that
Thekla would face the wild beasts in the arena. Thekla’s only reply was that she be allowed
to preserve her virginity unto death. Her wish was granted and she was given into the care
of the noblewoman Tryphaena, a relative of Caesar, until the time of punishment.
When Thekla was taken to the arena, a lioness was set free to attack her. But to the
astonishment of the crowd, the lioness approached the Saint and sat tamely at her feet. A
bear was then released, but as it came close to Thekla the lioness rose up to defend her and
killed the bear. A large lion was then released. The lioness again came to Thekla’s defence
killing the lion, but losing her own life also. Then all the cages were opened and a large
number of wild animals charged at the defenceless Thekla. After crossing herself andspraying for courage, the Saint noticed a large tank of water which was nearby, containing
the aquatic animals. She climbed into the water, asking that she might be baptised by Christ
as she did so. Seeing that the beasts were unable to harm Thekla, Alexander asked that the
Saint be given over to him for punishment. He tied her to two large bulls in the hopes that
they would pull her asunder. But when the bulls charged off in opposite directions, the
ropes which held Thekla to them were miraculously loosened and she was spared. Seeing
that no harm could be done to Thekla, the authorities released her. She went to the home
of Tryphaena where she remained for eight days preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ
and converting Tryphaena and her entire household. When she departed from Antioch,
Tryphaena gave her a treasure in gold and precious jewels.
After she left Antioch, Thekla journeyed to Myra where she rejoined Paul. She informed
him of all that had occurred, including her baptism and asked that she might be permitted
to spend the remainder of her life as an ascetic. Paul gave her his blessing and she
departed, leaving with Paul all the gold and jewels that Tryphaena had given her so that he
might distribute them among the poor and needy.
Thekla then travelled again to Syria where she went up into the mountains for a life of
prayer and solitude. Many years later a young pagan found her praying in an isolated
canyon and resolved to harass her and spoil her virginity. As he approached her and
blocked her only exit to safety, she prayed that her Bridegroom would protect her as He
had so many times in the past. At that moment the canyon wall was miraculously split
allowing her to escape through a narrow crack in the rock.
Saint Thekla continued her life of asceticism and then peacefully fell asleep in Christ at the
age of 90. Shortly after her death a community of virgins went to live in her mountain cell,
building a small chapel to enshrine her body. This Convent of Saint Thekla still exists today
near the village of Ma‘loula, Syria.

Because of her many sufferings for the Faith the Church counts her as a “Protomartyr”, and
because she converted so many people to Christianity she is also known as an “Equal-tothe-
Holy Saint Thekla, pray to God for us! From the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America website