Sunday, 31 January 2010

Services for February 2010

Mon 1st 6.30pm Great Vespers
Tues 2nd 11am Divine Liturgy for the Presentation of Our Lord and Saviour in the Temple
Sat 6th 6pm Memorial and Great Vespers
Sun 7th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy

Meat fast until Pascha

Sat 13th 4pm Wedding of Edward and Elena Bendo followed at 6pm by Great Vespers
Sun 14th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy. 6.30pm Forgiveness Vespers

First Week of the Great Fast

Mon 15th 6.30pm Compline and Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
Tue 16th 6.30pm Compline and Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
Wed 17th 6.30pm Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts
Thu 18th 6.30pm Compline and Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
Fri 19th 6.30pm Compline and Akathist to the Theotokos

Sat 20th 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 21st 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy and Icon Procession
(including at 10:45am – Reception of Paul Dominic into the Holy Orthodox Church)
Wed 24th 6.30pm Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts
Fri 26th 6.30pm Compline and Akathist to the Theotokos

Sat 27th 6pm Memorial and Great Vespers
Sun 28th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy

Choir leader’s note:
There are few services more moving than those in the first week of Great Lent – save of course those
in Great and Holy Week itself.
Last year the only ones present for most of these services were Fr Samuel and members of the choir
(with one or two exceptions - those who always come; despite cold, snow, advancing years or
As Father Samuel has pointed out before; each Sunday we celebrate the Resurrection, even though
we might be in the midst of Great Lent. Those who miss the services between effectively miss Lent,
or at least the services which make apparent the point of it all.
Please come – if only for part of the service as some are quite long – not to listen to us, but to
immerse yourself in what Great Lent is all about.
Although many of these services are very penitential, I always find myself uplifted by them and so
look forward to them every year.
Come ye, and see for yourself! Martin

Namedays in February

3rd Archimandrite Simeon; Edward Bendo
7th Richard
16th Nicholas Chapman (O.S.)
19th Philothei


2nd Protopresbyter Alban 2009
10th Photini 2006

Donations from St. Michael’s to Charitable Causes

Donations from tea and coffee amounted to £74. This was made up to £100 by an
anonymous donation and divided equally between “Many Tears” cat and dog charity
and “Cyprus Donkeys”.
We continue to support Monk Elias in his excellent work; the Archdiocese and the
£200 each have been sent to:
The Donna Louise Trust for very sick children;
St. Elisabeth Monastery, Minsk, for work
amongst all ages and conditions;
“ARCH” for their work in Stoke on Trent with
the homeless and abused;
A Romanian Monastery for work with orphans;
Lebanon for the needs of those still suffering
through aggression;
The Society for the Protection of the Unborn
Child (SPUC).
“Freely ye have received … freely give!”
Thanks be to God for His great provision and mercy to us all.

The Great Fast

Do not concentrate so much on your “belly” that you forget your “heart” and don’t
forget to rein in the “tongue”.
Faithful fasting should be accompanied by much prayer and generous giving to those
in need.
“Much prayer” is made easier by the extra services in church. These services are of
great beauty and lead us into thanksgiving and repentance and so a closer
relationship with God. Most of our congregation miss many, if not all, of these
services and so deprive themselves of blessing.
We are surrounded by very desperate need, brought closer through television and
other media, and so “giving” should be really easy.


The last twenty years or so has seen a marked rise in the idea and practice of
pilgrimage. There have been a large number of publications about sacred sites around
the country. Old pilgrimage routes, such as the paths along the North Wales coast to
Bardsey are being walked again and new pilgrimage routes, such as St Cuthbert's
Way from Melrose to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, have been established.
Now plans are underway to create a new
pilgrimage route of approximately 75 miles
between the cathedral cities of Chester and
Lichfield. The footpath will be called St Chad's
Way after the Saxon saint who brought
Christianity from Northumbria to the ancient
kingdom of Mercia in the seventh century. His
shrine at Lichfield was a popular destination
for pilgrims in medieval times. Chester also
attracted pilgrims to the Holy Rood at St
John’s (the former cathedral) and to St
Werburga’s shrine at the present cathedral.
The proposed route from Chester will begin
along the Shropshire Union Canal and proceed
to Nantwich via Beeston Castle. The route will
continue eastwards across the M6 via Apedale
to the Saxon Cross at Stoke Minster in Stokeon-
Trent. From thence it will take a southerly
direction via the Trentham Estate, Stone and
Stafford before joining the Heart of England
Way across Cannock Chase to Lichfield.

St Chad’s Way ~ Special Features

The footpath will be the first waymarked pilgrimage route in the area.

Modern pilgrims on St Chad's Way will have the opportunity to be resourced so
that they can make a journey of discovery and reconnection and find health in
body, mind and soul. The project will link with the NHS, faith groups and other
organisations with a concern for healing and wholeness.

As well as attracting pilgrims from UK and overseas, the project will be socially
inclusive, such as seeking to provide special pilgrimage opportunities for those
with mental health or addictions issues.

Early pilgrimage was especially associated with storytelling, such as those told
in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The path will include a story trail between Stoke
and Stafford centred on Stone, whose foundational story of the Saxon princes
Wulfad and Rufin, also features St Chad.

The footpath will be a rich educational resource, providing a range of cross
curricular opportunities and the chance for students to experience pilgrimage
for themselves.

Pilgrimage – Medieval and Contemporary

Of Lichfield... “The shrine of St Chad was a
wooden coffin in the shape of a little house with an
aperture in the side through which the devout
can...take out some of the dust, which they put
into water and give to sick cattle or men to drink,
upon which they are presently eased of their
infirmity and restored to health”. (Bede)

Of Stone... The venerable queen (Ermenild,
mother of Wulfad & Rufin) had a finely constructed
church built of stones in the same place... After
this, a multitude of the infirm and those suffering
from diverse weaknesses and of others seeking
God ... was accustomed to visit the place and to
carry stones thither to the building. Whence that
place is called Stanes.” (Hugh Candidus)

Website leads for further information

St Chad:
Legend of Stone Princes and sites on story trail:

The idea for the footpath is the brainchild of experienced long distance walker David
Pott. The former head teacher has also been deeply involved in various reconciliation
initiatives including leading the Lifeline Expedition, a response to the legacies of the
Atlantic slave trade which has received widespread media attention. See

For more information contact David Pott at or by mobile phone
07932 790525