Monday, 5 January 2015

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (1906 – 1991)

Since the writing of this article as stated below, Elder Porphyrios was glorified as a Saint  the Orthodox Church and is commemorated on December 2nd.

There was insufficient room in the December issue of the Messenger to include a summary of the life of the Saint but a fuller version than had been planned is included here.

From the website

This biographical sketch is from Elder Porphyrios: Testimonies and Experiences, by Klitos Ioannidis.

From a page on the very helpful site

In 2013, after this was written, Elder Porphyrios was glorified as a Saint of the Church. His commemoration is on December 2. A number of books on the Elder's life and teaching are in print; especially recommended is Wounded by Love: The Life and Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios, edited by the Sisters of the Holy Convent of Chrysopis.

His family Elder Porphyrios was born on the 7th of February 1906, in the village of St. John Karystia, near Aliveri, in the province of Evia. His parents were poor but pious farmers. His father's name was Leonidas Bairaktaris and his mother's was Eleni, the daughter of Antonios Lambrou. for the full article in the January 2015 Newsletter .

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Services in January 2015

at Audley and Dresden

Sat 3rd 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 4th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Mon 5th 7pm Vesperal Liturgy and Great Blessing of the Waters
Tue 6th 11am Divine Liturgy of Theophany
Wed 7th No Divine Liturgy Today

Sat 10th 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 11th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 14th 11am Divine Liturgy

Sat 17th 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 18th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 21st 11am Divine Liturgy
Sat 24th 2pm Holy Baptism of Michael Aurel Aldea
6pm Great Vespers

Sun 25th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 28th 11am Divine Liturgy
Sat 31st 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 1st Feb 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy

Name Days
1st Vasiliki Harvey
3rd Genevieve
7th Afaf; Cristian; Jan; Oana
14th Nino
17th Antonis; Antony; Anthony Jones
27th Nina (OS)

6th Archpriest Michael Harper (2010)
14th Mary Carter (2005)
18th Fr John (2001)

Parish Feasts
13th Saint Kentigern, Doncaster
16th Saint Fursey, Sutton

Dates for the diary
23rd February – Beginning of Great Lent
5th April – Palm Sunday
12th April – Pascha Sunday
21st May – Ascension Day
31st May – Pentecost

Read the full January 2015 Newsletter

Monday, 1 December 2014

Services in December 2014

at Audley and Dresden

Wed 3rd 11am Divine Liturgy

Sat 6th 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 7th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 10th 11am Divine Liturgy

Sat 13th 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 14th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 17th 11am Divine Liturgy

Sat 20th 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 21st 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 24th 9:30am Royal Hours
11am Vesperal Liturgy of Saint Basil

Note: The Fast Finishes Tomorrow!

Thu 25th10am Divine Liturgy of the Nativity of Our Lord

Sat 27th 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 28th10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 31st 11am Divine Liturgy

Name Days
Sunday before Nativity: Jonathan Bartholomew; Sarah Griffiths
27th Stephanie Giselle; Stefan Kinnersley
28th Simon Stone
Sunday after Nativity: David (Mehdad); Joseph Clive

5th Patriarch Ignatios (2012)
7th Deacon John Mark (2007)
8th Archimandrite David (1993)

Parish Feasts
20th Saint Ignatios, Belfast

Here’s a First! A Book Review...

Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain – Spiritual Counsels Volume 1:
With Pain and Love for Contemporary Man.
Elder Paisios (1924-1994) was a Greek monk born in Cappadocia. He entered the monastic
life as soon as he could after finishing his military service in 1949, and spent his monastic
life on Mount Athos, and in the Holy Monastery of Stomion in Konitsa, and on Mount Sinai
in Egypt.
In the late 1960s Elder Paisios founded the Holy
Monastery of St John the Theologian in Souroti of
Thessaloniki, Greece. This women’s monastery was
under his spiritual guidance from 1967 to his death
in 1994.

It is from this relationship with the Monastery of St
John the Theologian that we get these ‘spiritual
counsels’. The nuns painstakingly wrote down their
conversations with the Elder, both private and
public, and collected and edited the material into
themed chapters. The style is conversational –
questions posed by a nun and the Elder’s response,
and the translation is lively, talkative and, for the
most part, realistically rendered without the clunky
phrasing you sometimes find in translated works of
this kind. Thus it is a very easy book to read (don’t
be put off by its dry and scholarly appearance!), if not always easy to assimilate.
What do I mean by that?
The themes are huge – for example a glance at the headings gives some idea what you’ll be
getting into:

Part I Sin and the Devil
Part II Modern Civilization
Part III The Spirit of God and the spirit of the world
Part IV The Church in our time
Each part is divided into between 4 and 6 themed chapters, though, which makes it an easy
book to dissect, and perfect for ‘dipping’.

Some might object that this is a book of teachings by a monastic for monastics, and can
only therefore have limited relevance to Orthodox living in the world. However, the vast
majority of the book is easily transferred from the monastic to the lay setting – indeed, in
many of his teachings he specifically speaks of laity and their struggles. For example, I was
tempted to skip the chapter (p197 and following) entitled ‘External Noise and Internal
Tranquillity’ – the first pages deal with the extreme importance of internal tranquillity if
cultivating the life of prayer: ‘Oh Yeah!’ I thought, listening as I was to my children singing
off key at the top of their voices, and the morning rush hour zooming past just feet from
where I sat: ‘Oh Yeah!’ But, a few pages on, a subsection entitled ‘Good Thoughts are the
Antidote to Noise Pollution’ describes the process of reclaiming ones ‘shattered thoughts’
and ends with the knockout claim, relevant, I would guess, to each one of us living in the
world: ‘Thinking good thoughts is the best form of ascesis; there is no greater help than
good thoughts’ (p209). He earlier advises: ‘bring good thoughts to mind and your heart will
be filled with a doxology to God’ (p207-8).

The simplicity of this advice – and its directness – exemplifies everything in the book, and
here’s the problem: it would be possible for us ‘cool intellectuals’ to be cynical about some
of his utterances, and write them off as under-educated: but the advice IS very simple,
rooted in, and springing from a lifetime of prayer and spiritual struggle, and if we can turn
off our sophistication and humbly accept these spiritual teachings we will find many
blessings and challenges in this book. But not if we think it’s beneath our dignity!
‘Everything that you observe or hear in this world, you should use to reach up to Heaven.
Let everything transport you on high. This is how one raises himself from creatures to the
Creator’ (p143).
Count me in! I’m looking forward to reading volume II. There are 4 in the series.

Imogen Maxfield


As with Pascha, or Easter, the Feast of the Nativity begins with a period of preparation. It is
preceded by a fast corresponding to Lent and lasting for forty days. The fast begins on
November 15.

On the Sundays immediately before
December 25, special
commemorations emphasise the
link between the Old Covenant and
the New. On December 20 the
Forefeast of the Nativity is
commemorated, and the daily
liturgical texts are directed toward
the Feast itself. On Christmas Eve,
services include the Great or Royal
Hours, the Great Vespers, and the
Liturgy of Saint Basil.
On The Feast of the Nativity itself
the service commemorates the birth
of Christ in Bethlehem, the
adoration of the Shepherds, and the
arrival of the Wise Men with their
gifts. The service held on this day is
the Liturgy of Saint John

The days following Christmas are associated with the Theotokos and Joseph. December 26
is the Synaxis of the Mother of God, and the first Sunday after the Feast commemorates
“Joseph the Betrothed.” December 29 commemorates the Massacre of the Innocents, and
January 1 the Circumcision of our Lord. The Nativity season concludes on December 31, but
the spirit of the festival extends to the celebration of Theophany (Epiphany), the feast
commemorating the Baptism of our Lord in the Jordan River.

The virgin cometh today to the cave to give birth, ineffably to bring forth the
Word Eternal. Wherefore, rejoice, O earth, at the message; with the angels
and shepherds give glory to Him, Who shall appear by His own will, as a
young child, He Who is from eternity, God.

Kontakion Preparatory to Nativity

Friday, 31 October 2014

Services in November 2014

at Audley and Dresden

Sat 1st 6pm Great Vespers

Sun 2nd 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 5th 11am Divine Liturgy

Fri 7th 7pm Great Vespers and Memorial
Sat 8th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy and Artoklasia
>> Lunch in Saint Marina’s Parish Hall << 

Sun 9th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 12th 11am Divine Liturgy

Sat 15th 6pm Great Vespers
Beginning of the Nativity Fast +
Sun 16th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 19th 11am Divine Liturgy
Thu 20th 7pm Great Vespers: Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple

Fri 21st 11am Divine Liturgy: Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple

Sat 22nd 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 23rd 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 26th 11am Divine Liturgy

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

Name Days

3rd Winifred
8th Michael Jafari; Gabriel and Gabriela Aldea; Gabriela Bostan
11th Reader Martin
13th Ioannes Harvey
14th Philip Boothby
16th Matthew Carson; Matthew Cooke
20th Reader Edmund
21st Maria Onofrei
30th Andre Ayoub; Andrew Davidchack; Andrew Onofrei


22nd Aurel (2013)

Parish Feasts

8th Ours! Synaxis of the Holy Archangels

Patronal Festival

Those who failed to show up for the Autumn Fayre can make amends by helping to make
out Patronal Festival a great success.
Acceptances of invitations have come in from far and wide and so we look forward to
welcoming lots of visitors to our spacious, warm church in Dresden on Saturday 8th.

We shall serve Great Vespers and Memorial on the Friday at 7pm at Audley, then on the
Saturday 10am Matins, 11am Divine Liturgy and Artoklasia at Dresden, with festal
refreshments in Saint Marina’s Hall afterwards. Let’s make this a very special occasion to
show our hospitality and share our joy.

It is difficult to know how many are likely to turn up to the services and to the feast 
afterwards, but if you are able to provide food and/or drinks for the occasion then please make lots! There are facilities at Saint Marina’s Hall for heating things up, so hot food is just as welcome as cold.

Archangel Michael

The Holy Archangel Michael is one of the most celebrated of the Angels and bodiless 
powers; he is called the Archistrategos, or chief commander, of all the bodiless powers. 
According to Holy Scripture and Tradition, he has interceded for humanity multiple times 
and continues to serve as the Defender of the Faith. St Michael is most often invoked for 
protection from invasion by enemies and from civil war, and for the defeat of adversaries 
on the field of battle. He is celebrated primarily on November 8, the Synaxis of Michael and 
all the Bodiless Powers of Heaven; September 6 also marks the miracle of the Archangel at Colossae.

The name Michael means "like unto God" or "Who is like unto God?"
Michael first appears in the Old Testament in the book of 
Joshua's account of the fall of Jericho. Though Michael is not 
mentioned by name in the text, it is said that Joshua "looked 
up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn 
sword in his hand." When the still unaware Joshua asks which 
side of the fight the Archangel is on, Michael responds, "neither...but as commander of the army of the Lord I have 
now come" (Joshua 5:13-14) (1).

In the book of Daniel, Michael appears first to help the Archangel Gabriel defeat the Persians (10:13). In a later vision it is revealed to Daniel that "at that time [the end times] Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then..." (Ch. 12) (1). 
Michael thus plays an important role as the protector of Israel and later of his chosen people, the Church.

The Church Fathers also ascribe to Michael the following events: During the Exodus of the 
Israelites from Egypt he went before them in the form of a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar 
of fire by night; the power of the great Chief Commander of God was manifest in the 
annihilation of the 185 thousand soldiers of the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib (4/2 Kings 
19:35); also in the smiting of the impious leader Heliodorus (2 Macc. 3: 24-26); and in the 
protection of the Three Holy Youths: Ananias, Azarias and Misail, thrown into the fiery 
furnace for their refusal to worship an idol (Dan 3:22-25). Through the will of God, the Chief 
Commander Michael transported the Prophet Habbakuk (December 2) from Judea to 
Babylon, to give food to Daniel in the lions' den (Dan. 14:33-37). The Archangel Michael 
disputed with the devil over the body of the holy Prophet Moses (Jude 1:9). 

In New Testament times, the holy Archangel Michael showed his power when he 
miraculously saved a young man, cast into the sea by robbers with a stone about his neck on the shores of Mt Athos. This story is found in the Athonite Paterikon, and in the Life of St 
Neophytus of Docheiariou (November 9).

Perhaps his most famous miracle, 
though, is the salvation of the church 
at Colossae. Here a number of pagans 
tried to destroy this church by 
diverting the flow of two rivers directly 
into its path. However, the Archangel 
appeared amongst the waters, and, 
carrying a cross, channelled the rivers 
underground so that the ground the 
church stood on would not be 
destroyed. The spring which came 
forth after this event is said to have 
special healing powers.

Michael also has been associated with 
healing in other cases, as well as his 
primary role as leader of the Church 
Militant. He has been said to appear to 
Emperor Constantine the Great (d. 
337) at Constantinople, to have 
intervened in assorted battles, and 
appeared, sword in hand, over the mausoleum of Hadrian, in apparent answer to the prayers of Pope St. Gregory I the Great (r. 590-604) that a plague in Rome should cease. Russians in particular have a special veneration to Michael, along with the Theotokos. 
According to OCA, "Intercession for Russian cities by the Most Holy Queen of Heaven 
always involved Her appearances with the Heavenly Hosts, under the leadership of the 
Archangel Michael. Grateful Rus acclaimed the Most Pure Mother of God and the Archangel 
Michael in church hymns. Many monasteries, cathedrals, court and merchant churches are 
dedicated to the Chief Commander Michael. In Russia there was not a city where there was 
not a church or chapel dedicated to the Archangel Michael."

Michael, Captain and leader of the armies of heaven,
Unworthy as we are, we beseech the without cease to surround us with 
thine intercessions,
And cover us beneath the shelter of the wings of thine ethereal glory.
We bend our knee, and cry out with perseverance;
Deliver us from danger, O Prince of the Powers on high.