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.

Two Talks

There are no talks for weeks, then two come along together...

Thursday 6th November: 
Nicholas Chapman will be at Saint Aidan’s Church (Clare Road, Manchester M19 2GG) at 7:30pm:

A presentation by Nicholas Chapman, Director of Holy Trinity Publications, on the foundations 
and manifestations of Orthodoxy in Britain from the beginnings of the Protestant reformation to World War I. 
Our new book title, "Embassy, Emigrants, and Englishmen: The Three-Hundred-Year History of a Russian Orthodox Church in London " will be available for purchase.

Admission is free and open to the public.

More information about the book, including a detailed Table of Contents, can be found here:,_Emigrants,_and_Englishmen.html

UK Publicity Tour dates:


Tuesday 18th November: 
Archimandrite Raphael Pavouris will be at the Church of the Holy Trinity and Saint Luke, Birmingham (Park Approach, Erdington B23 7SJ) at 7:00pm

The subject of the talk is “Orthodoxy in Britain”.

Light snacks and refreshments after.
Contact Fr Christos for more information – 07818 412574.


Autumn Fayre

At the time of typing, this has just taken place and takings from the event are estimated to
be just over £1,000!
Well done everyone who took part – thumbed noses to those who didn’t!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Services in October 2014

at Audley and Dresden

Wed 1st 11am Divine Liturgy

Sat 4th No Local ServicesPilgimage Saint Winifred in Holywell

Sun 5th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 8th 11am Divine Liturgy

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

Sat 18th 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 19th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 22nd 11am Divine Liturgy

Sat 25th 6pm Great Vespers
Sun 26th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy

Wed 29th 11am Divine Liturgy

Name Days
9th James
12th Edwin; Wilfred
18th Luke (Howard) Joy
23rd Jacovos
28th Terence

10th Richard (2013)
19th Metropolitan Gabriel (2007)

Advance Notice:

Parish Feast of the Synaxis of the Holy Archangels – Saturday 8
th November

This is the first time we have the opportunity to invite other priests and their people to
share in our Patronal Feast. We now have a church spacious enough to accommodate as
many as will come and Saturday is easier for people to be out of their own parishes.
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 afterwards. Let’s make this a very special occasion to show our hospitality
and share our joy.

Holy Archangel Michael pray to God for us!

Autumn Fayre - Saturday 25th October 2014

So much to do, so little time...
Apologies for the lack of proper newsletter this month.

Autumn Fayre
Please pledge your services and resources to Kim and Irene who are working hard as always
to get this month’s Autumn Fayre up and running.

This will be in the Scout Hall on Saturday 25th October from 11am until 2pm.

Please bring goods to church to be sorted and priced, well in advance of this date – it’s not
too late to rootle through your cupboards and attics.
If you cannot find anything to bring – or even if you can – then bring yourself!
We still need staff to look after the stalls, make refreshments and do some meeting and
If you can do none of these things, any donations would be most acceptable but we would
rather have you than your money if possible.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Services in September 2014 at Audley and Dresden

Wed 3rd           11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist

Sat 6th              6pm Great Vespers
Sun 7th            10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Mon 8th            11am Divine Liturgy of the Feast of the Nativity 
                              of the All-holy Theotokos
Wed 10th          11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist

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

Sat 20th             6pm Great Vespers
Sun 21st           10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 24th           11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist

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

Name Days
5th       Emma Louise Elizabeth Bostan
8th       Francesca Joy
9th       Anna Oshkereli
17th     Sofia
24th     Thecla Read
26th     John Roger, John Chadwick

3rd       Leon (2010)
10th     Gearge Harry Fearns (2005)
24th     Fr Dennis (2010)

Parish Feasts

14th     Holy Cross, Lancaster

Two churches, one parish
As you can well imagine, with the great blessing of two churches, there is twice as much work to be done to preserve our Faith and Worship, not to mention our two buildings, decently and in good order.
Very few actually contribute to the “working” of the Church Worship and maintenance, thus making it a heavy, though very enjoyable, burden on those few.
There are the “visible”: servers; singers; readers; candle-tenders; and in the hall, tea makers; servers and washers-up (and Priest! - Ed.)
Then there are the “invisible”: cleaners; candle-makers; bread-bakers; seamstresses; kolyva makers; bookstall workers and flower arrangers.
The parish council is needed to help organize the fund-raising and social life of the parish. We are very short of members for the council.
All that is needed for any of these “jobs” is the willing heart. Training can be given for any of the specialist “jobs”.
The very least that is expected of everyone is attendance at every Divine Liturgy, but much more is needed to bring us great blessings and a real feeling of belonging to the parish family. If you are willing to help in any way please speak to Fr. Samuel.

Donations to Syria
The thousands of pounds we managed to contribute to the Syria appeal through Fr Gregory have been dispatched to Syria, but not quite in the way we anticipated. Fr Gregory came up against all sorts of problems in transferring funds from the UK to Syria, there being various roadblocks in place with banks and the Foreign Office to prevent foreign funding of terrorist activities. He was not able to overcome these and so the whole amount was contributed to the workings of an authorised charity working in the area. UNICEF are carrying out similar work to the offices of our Patriarchate in providing food, medical supplies and shelter to those of all faiths in the area. Although essentially a children’s charity, the work undertaken to improve the lives of children inevitably has benefits for their families and the community. Please make further donations direct to that charity or others of your choice, rather than contributing through St Michael’s from now on – it will all end up in the same place anyway.

Work in the South Aisle
Varnishing of the floor in the South Aisle was completed just in time for the arrival of the new icon of the Theotokos “Life Giving Spring”.
Many murmurings over the past couple of weeks have complimented Terence on his fine work.
The icon currently stands in isolation, flanked by a couple of pews we found in the vestry, but it is anticipated that over time, more icons will be added and the iconostasis effectively extended right across the church.

Terence is of course very happy to take commissions although I fear his waiting list is going to be growing by the week! His next work for the church is, I am reliably informed, a memorial cross to hang where the memorial candles are currently located.

On the subject of candles…
In front of the two principle icons, two silver candlesticks in the middle of the sand hold small nightlights which will last for the whole service. This means that unless you particularly want to add a new candle, one will always be lit at the icon and you don’t need to wander to the back of church to replenish them when the last orange one burns out. J
Note to our younger parishioners – the candles represent people’s offerings and prayers. Please don’t play with them or treat the whole as a sandpit for your entertainment!

Autumn Fayre
The preparations for the Autumn Fayre are already starting to get underway. Kim tells me that it happens in October.
New artefacts to sell would be gratefully received as stocks are running very low after the success of previous Fayres and you cannot keep trotting out the stuff that didn’t sell last time after all!
Please sort through your cupboards, sheds, attics and especially under the stairs, and bring whatever you find to add a little to church funds.
This is also an excellent opportunity to volunteer to help, as per Fr Samuel’s plea at the start of this newsletter. The Fayre will not set itself up, and we all benefit in some way from the proceeds!

Nativity of the Theotokos
The Holy Virgin and Theotokos Mary was born to elderly and previously barren parents by the names of Joachim and Anna, in answer to their prayers. Orthodox Christians do not hold to the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, in which it is supposed that Mary was preserved from the ancestral sin that befalls us all as descendents of Adam and Eve, in anticipation of her giving birth to the sinless Christ. The Orthodox believe that Mary indeed received the ancestral sin, having been conceived in the normal way of humanity, and thus needed salvation like all mankind. Orthodox thought does vary on whether Mary actually ever sinned, though there is general agreement that she was cleansed from sin at the Annunciation.
On the eve of the feast, Vespers is served and contains three Old Testament readings that have New Testament meaning. In Genesis 28:10-17, Jacob's Ladder which unites heaven and earth points to the union of God with men which is realised most fully and perfectly in Mary the bearer of God. "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!" In Ezekiel 43:27-44:4, the vision of the temple with the door to the East perpetually closed and filled with the glory of the Lord, symbolizes Mary. And in Proverbs 9:1-11, Mary is also identified with the "house" which the Divine Wisdom has built for herself.
Sometimes Matins is served on the morning of the feast. The Gospel reading is from Luke 1:39-49, 56. It is read on all feasts of the Theotokos and includes the Theotokos' saying: "My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed."
Divine Liturgy is served on the day on the feast. The epistle reading is from Philippians 2:5-11, and speaks of "Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men." The gospel reading is taken from Luke 10:38-42 and 11:27-28 together; this reading is also always read on all feasts of the Theotokos. In it, the Lord says, "blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

Friday, 1 August 2014

Services in August 2014

at Audley and Dresden

Dormition Fast starts on 1st August!
Sat 2nd       Pilgrimage to Ilam (no local service)
Sun 3rd      10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Tue 5th       7pm Great Vespers of the 
                   Feast of the Transfiguration
Wed 6th     11am Divine Liturgy of the 
                   Feast of the Transfiguration

Sat 9th        6pm Great Vespers
Sun 10th     10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 13th    11am Paraklesis to the Theotokos
Thu 14th     7pm Great Vespers of the Dormition

Fri 15th       11am Divine Liturgy of the Dormition

Sat 16th      6pm Great Vespers
Sun 17th     10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 20th    11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist

Sat 23rd      6pm Great Vespers
Sun 24th     10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 27th    11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist
Thu 18th     7pm Great Vespers of the 
                   Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
Fri 29th       11am Divine Liturgy of the 
                   Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

Sat 30th       6pm Great Vespers
Sun 31st     10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy

Name Days
16th     Sub-Deacon Radu
20th     Fr Samuel
Parish Feasts
9th       Saint Matthias, Lincoln
31st     Saint Aidan, Levenshulme

Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos
According to Orthodox Tradition, Mary died like all humanity, "falling asleep," so to speak, as the name of the feast indicates. She died as all people die, not "voluntarily" as her Son, but by the necessity of her mortal human nature which is indivisibly bound up with the corruption of this world. The feast was added to the Roman calendar in the seventh century as the Dormitio. In the eighth century, the title was changed to the Assumptio (Assumption).
The Apostles were miraculously summoned to this event, and all were present except Thomas when Mary passed from this life. She was then buried.
Thomas arrived a few days later, and desiring to see her one more time, convinced the others to open her tomb. Upon doing so, the Apostles discovered that her body was no longer present. This event is seen as a firstfruits of the resurrection of the faithful that will occur at the Second Coming of Christ. The event is normally called the Dormition, though there are many Orthodox parishes in English-speaking countries with the name Assumption. In Greek, Dormition is Koimisis - falling asleep in death - from which the word cemetery derives.
As with the nativity of the Virgin and the feast of her entrance to the temple, there are no biblical or historical sources for this feast. The Orthodox Church teaches that Mary is without personal sins, as well that Mary truly needed to be saved by Christ as all human persons are saved from the trials, sufferings, and death of this world. She truly died and was raised up by her Son as the Mother of Life and participates already in the eternal life of paradise. This life of paradise is prepared and promised to all who "hear the word of God and keep it." (Luke 11:27-28)
The feast is preceded by 14 days of strict fasting, with the exception that fish is eaten on the Feast of the Transfiguration (August 6).
On the eve of the feast, Vespers is served and contains three Old Testament readings that have New Testament meaning. In Genesis 28:10-17, Jacob's Ladder which unites heaven and earth points to the union of God with men which is realised most fully and perfectly in Mary the bearer of God. "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!" In Ezekiel 43:27-44:4, the vision of the temple with the door to the East perpetually closed and filled with the glory of the Lord, symbolizes Mary. And in Proverbs 9:1-11, Mary is also identified with the "house" which the Divine Wisdom has built for herself.
Sometimes Matins is served on the morning of the feast. The Gospel reading is from Luke 1:39-49, 56. It is read on all feasts of the Theotokos and includes the Theotokos' saying: "My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed."
Divine Liturgy is served on the day on the feast. In some churches, it is the custom to bless flowers on this feast before the Liturgy. The epistle reading is from Philippians 2:5-11, and speaks of "Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men." The gospel reading is taken from Luke 10:38-42 and 11:27-28 together; this reading is also always read on all feasts of the Theotokos. In it, the Lord says, "blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ
The Transfiguration of Christ is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on August 6.
Jesus had gone with his disciples Peter, James, and John to Mount Tabor. Christ's appearance was changed while they watched into a glorious radiant figure. There appeared Elijah and Moses, speaking with Jesus. The disciples were amazed and terribly afraid.
This event shows forth the divinity of Christ, so that the disciples would understand after his Ascension that He was truly the radiant splendour of the Father, and that his Passion was voluntary (Mark 9:2-9). It also shows the possibility of our own theosis.
This event was the subject of some debates between Gregory Palamas and Barlaam of Calabria. Barlaam believed that the light shining from Jesus was created light, while Gregory maintained the disciples were given grace to perceive the uncreated light of God. This supported Gregory's larger argument that although we cannot know God in His essence, we can know Him in his energies, as He reveals Himself.
Accounts of the Transfiguration are found in the Bible: Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-9, Luke 9:28-36, and II Peter 1:16-19.
Like all feasts of the Master, the Transfiguration is a vigil-ranked feast, though in parish practice a full All-Night Vigil is usually not celebrated.
Typically, Great Vespers is conducted on the eve of the feast, and on the morning of the feast, the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom is celebrated, traditionally preceded by the Matins service.
The Vespers service includes the readings: Exodus 24:12-18, 33:11-23, 34:4-6, 8; I Kings 19:3-9, 11-13, 15-16. The Matins service includes the reading: Luke 9:28-36. And the Divine Liturgy: II Peter 1:10-19; Matthew 17:1-9.
It is believed that Christ's transfiguration took place at the time of the Jewish Festival of Booths, and that the celebration of the event in the Christian Church became the New Testament fulfilment of the Old Testament feast. Presently it is celebrated on the sixth of August, forty days before the feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross. Just as Peter, James, and John saw the transfiguration before the crucifixion so that they might know who it is who will suffered for them, the Church connects these two feasts to help the faithful understand the mission of Christ and that his suffering was voluntary.
The feast of the Transfiguration of Christ once belonged to the season of Great Lent, but may have been considered too joyous for that time. Saint Gregory Palamas, a great teacher of the Transfiguration, is now celebrated on one of the Sundays of Lent instead.

In Greece and Romania the harvest season traditionally began on the Transfiguration. Grapes, in particular, were not eaten before August 6. In some parishes, the first grapes would be brought to church for a blessing and distributed to parishioners.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Services in July 2014

at Audley and Dresden

Wed 2nd 11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

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

Sat 12th Pilgrimage to Crowland 
6pm Reader Vespers 
Sun 13th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 
Mon 14th 7pm Meeting of the Trustees at Dresden 
Wed 16th  11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

Sat 19th 6pm Great Vespers 
Sun 20th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 
Wed 23rd 11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

Sat 26th  Liturgy & Blessing of the Waters at Stoney Middleton 
6pm Great Vespers 
Sun 27th  10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 
Wed 30th  11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

August 1st ~ Beginning of the Dormition Fast 
August 2nd ~ Pilgrimage to Saint Bertram in Ilam (No Local Services) 

Name Days 
10th Alexander Oliver Joy 
12th Veronica Irene Dobson 
17th Marina Guinness 
18th Dara Elizabeth Davidchack; Elizabeth Nash; Elizabeth Ella Jade Reeves 
20th Monk Elia; Ghassan Ayoub 
22nd Mary (Maria) 
24th Anca Bostan 

23rd Tameena Ayoub (2011) 
26th James Arthur Carter (2008) 
31st Tsinara (2008) 

Parish Feasts 
17th Agia Marina, Longton; St Marina, Grimsby. 

July 12th - Pilgrimage to Croyland

The year 870 is especially memorable for the cruel outrages of the pagan Danes, who in
different parts of the country slaughtered innumerable victims, in their thirst for
conquest and hatred of our holy religion. Lincolnshire and East Anglia were among the
provinces which suffered most, and there, shortly before the glorious martyrdom of St
Edmund, the chief monasteries were utterly destroyed. Bardney in Lincolnshire, where
the relics of St Oswald had long reposed, was entirely demolished, and all the monks
murdered, without leaving so much as a record of their names. The same took place at
Ely, where the two communities of men and women founded by St Etheldreda were put
to the sword. At Peterborough, then called Medehampstead, the Abbot Hedda and all
his monks, in number 
eighty-four, were also 
exterminated, the shrines 
of the Saints profaned, and 
the library burned. It was 
on the 26th or 30th of 
August that the barbarians 
reached Croyland, the 
celebrated retreat of St 
Guthlac. The solemn Mass 
was just ended but the 
clergy had not left the 
sanctuary, when the 
pagans broke into the 
church. The celebrant, 
who was the Abbot 
Theodore, the Deacon Elfgetus, and the Sub-deacon Savinus, were murdered in the 
sacred vestments before the altar, and shortly 
afterwards the Acolyths Egdred and Ulrick.
Some of the community escaped, and hid
themselves in a neighbouring forest; but those 
who sought to conceal themselves within their 
own walls seem all to have been discovered 
and cruelly butchered. Amongst these were 
Askegar, the Prior, and Sethwin, the Sub-prior, 
as well as two venerable monks, Grimkeld and 
Agamund, who had attained their hundredth 
year. The shrine of St Guthlac was profaned, 
and the holy place left in a state of complete 
desolation. It was about the same time that the 
Monastery of Bennet Hulme in Norfolk was 
destroyed in the like manner, and the holy man 
Suniman, for whom it had been built about half 
a century before, put to death with all his 

Troparion to All the Saints of Lincolnshire (Tone 8) 
As the bountiful harvest of your sowing of salvation, 
the shire of Lincoln offers to you, Lord, 
all the saints who have shone in these lands. 
By their prayers, keep the church and our land in abiding peace, 
through the Theotokos, O most merciful One. 

July 27th - Saint Panteleimon

His parents were Eustorgius of Nicomedia, a
pagan, and Saint Eubula (March 30). They
named him Pantaleon, which means in all
things like a lion, but when he converted to
Christianity, he changed his name
to Panteleimon, which means all-merciful. He
learned about Christianity from the priest who
later baptized him, Saint Hermolaus.
Hermolaus was living with two other priests,
Hermippus and Hermocrates; the three were
"survivors of the massacre of 20,000 Christians
in 303 (December 28)."
St. Panteleimon had been educated as a
physician, and he "dedicated his life to the
suffering, the sick, the unfortunate and the
needy. He treated all those who turned to him
without charge, healing them in the name
of Jesus Christ. He visited those held captive in
prison. These were usually Christians, and he
healed them of their wounds. In a short time, reports of the charitable physician spread
throughout the city. Forsaking the other doctors, the inhabitants began to turn only to
St. Panteleimon."
Other physicians brought his case before the Emperor Maximian. St. Panteleimon
confessed to being a Christian and refused to offer sacrifice to the state gods.
"[He] suggested that a sick person, for whom the doctors held out no hope, should be
brought before the emperor. Then the doctors could invoke their gods, and Panteleimon
would pray to his God to heal the man. A man paralyzed for many years was brought in,
and pagan priests who knew the art of medicine invoked their gods without success.
Then, before the very eyes of the emperor, the saint healed the paralytic by calling on
the name of Jesus Christ. The ferocious Maximian executed the healed man, and gave St.
Panteleimon over to fierce torture."

Hermolaus, Hermippus, and
Hermocrates were brought forth;
they confessed and were beheaded.
Throughout the many tortures, St.
Panteleimon remained untouched.
Enraged, Maximian ordered that St.
Panteleimon be beheaded. The
soldiers took him to an olive tree,
but when they struck him while he
was praying, the sword melted like
wax. After he finished his prayer, "a
Voice was heard from Heaven,
calling the passion-bearer by his new
name and summoning him to the
heavenly Kingdom." He instructed the soldiers to rise from their knees where they had
fallen in fear and to complete the execution. After they followed his instruction, the
olive tree became covered with fruit.
Although his body was thrown into a fire, it came out unharmed and was buried by
Christians. His head is located on the island of Andros at the Panachrantos
monastery and, on occasions, is taken to other monasteries for veneration. Some of
his relics can be found at the Putna Monastery (Bucovina, Romania), as well as in the Ss.
Peter and Paul Cathedral in ConstanĊ£a, Romania.
"St. Panteleimon is invoked in the prayers at the blessing of water and the blessing of oil,
together with St. Hermolaus and the other unmercenaries and wonder-workers." There
is an Akathist hymn in his honour.

Holy Passion-bearer and healer Panteleimon, 
entreat the Merciful God, to grant our souls forgiveness of 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Services in June 2014 Audley and Dresden

Sat 31st May 6pm Great Vespers 
Sun 1st June 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 

2nd June– Meeting of the Trustees at 7pm in Dresden 
Wed 4th 11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

Sat 7th 6pm Memorial and Great Vespers 
Sun 8th10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 

8th - 15th Fast Free for Pentecost 

Wed 11th 11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

Sat 14th  6pm Great Vespers 
Sun 15th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 

16th June  - Beginning of the Apostles Fast 
Wed 18th  11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

Sat 21st  6pm Great Vespers 
Sun 22nd 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy 
Wed 25th  11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist 

28th June- Summer Fayre in the Scout Hall 
Sat 28th 6pm Great Vespers 
Sun 29th 10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy (Feast of the Holy, Glorious  and All-praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul)

Name Days
15th All Saints: Sorin and Roxana
22nd Alban Robert Cooke
29th Paul Dominic; Pavlos Harvey; Pauline Baiasu

3rd Bede (2009)

Parish Feasts 
9th Saint Columba, Doncaster
17th Saint Botolph, London

(Icon source:

Summer Fayre

Although you may not be able to tell that spring has arrived by looking out of the window, it
apparently has. I wonder if 28th June is going to seem a little early for a “Summer Fayre”,
but there you go.
It brings with it an appeal for saleable goods, raffle prizes and homemade produce as well
as help on the day – the usual stuff which you are now familiar with.
I am sure Kim would appreciate help before the event too for sorting, pricing and such.
If you can hang around after the event and help tidy up and move anything unsold back to
the church, your assistance would be very welcome.
Speak to Kim if you can offer yourself, your expertise or your goods.
The event takes place in the Scout Hall at Dresden on Saturday 28th
Come along and support it or we will never speak to you again!

Refurbishing works at Dresden and building up of Funds 

We are going to have a little pause in the disruption of life at Dresden for a while.
Both of the side aisles will almost have been completed by the time you read this.
That will only leave the nave and the outside of the building.
The nave ceiling is going to be especially tricky and the West wall of the church is going to
require some work to the plastering where cracks can plainly be seen.
Outside, there may be some woodwork to replace and the drainage may well need
Now is the time for rebuilding the funds.
The work so far has been done very cheaply indeed – all to exacting Church of England
surveyor specifications as regards the use of lime mortar and special paints. This is due in
no small part to Alban and his team of painters and decorators who have given their labour
at Alban’s expense. Donations have also provided the materials.
There is also the iconostasis to finish and although two additional icons – of the Holy
Forerunner and Baptist John and the Holy Resurrection – have been ordered from Efrem in
Manchester, it will be a while before he has time in his heavy workload to write them for
us. Do make an offering specifically for these icons if you wish.
Meanwhile, if any more of you would consider making your donations to the church
through direct debit, or better still filling in a Gift Aid Form with your details if you are a tax
payer, it would help us hugely. Appropriate forms will be at the back of church in Dresden
and you can easily set up direct debits through your online banking.
Sort Code: 30-90-16 / Account Number: 01961148 / ST MICHAELS ORTHODOX CHURCH
Slowly but surely, our church in Dresden is being made a worthy temple.

More thanks... 

A big thank you to all who contributed financially and skilfully to Great and Holy Week and 
Pascha in our two churches. 
I am not sure what it was this year that made all of our services so particularly moving 
again, but certainly the posies, the dressing of the bier and the church with the most 
amazing floral displays added to the experience. 

Dates for the Diary (days away from the parish) This Month:

21st June
We are invited again to the delightful surroundings of the Pisani Chapel in Derbyshire by
Chris Tsielepi.
The chapel is on the site of the Pisani Marble works just outside Whatstandwell (DE4 5HN
for SatNav users) and while tiny, is marvellously adorned with beautiful marble.
The company which invites us to celebrate services each year supplies marble to luxury
hotels, banks and other institutions around the world and has also been involved in
restoration works at St Peter’s in Rome and St Mark’s Venice.
We serve the Blessing of the Waters at the spring adjacent to the chapel at 11am and after
lunch provided by our hosts, an Akathist at 2pm.

Looking forward... 

26th July 
Organised by Chris Tsielepi again, this event at Stoney Middleton in Derbyshire coincides 
with the village festival of Well Dressing. 
A Divine Liturgy is served in the village church dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours at 11am 
and immediately afterwards we walk around to one of the larger wells in the village to 
serve a Blessing of the Waters. 
A light lunch is provided by the villagers and we are finished in plenty of time to get back for 
Vespers at Dresden. 

2nd August 
The first Saturday in August traditionally sees our hosting of the pilgrimage to Ilam. 
This is a full day of services which start I think at 10.30am with the Divine Liturgy in the 
church adjacent to Ilam Hall followed by a picnic lunch. 
After lunch, those who are more mobile take a short trek to the spring of Saint Bertram for 
the Blessing of the Waters, while those who cannot make the spring walk round to Saint 
Bertram’s Cave on the banks of the river Manifold. 
The day finishes with the veneration of the shrine of Saint Bertram followed by Great 
Vespers in the church. 
Each year more and more people from more and more parishes are attracted to this 
wonderful day out. 
Already people are asking about the event this year and some members of the Greek 
Orthodox Church in Walsall have also expressed an interest in attending. 
Ilam is becoming a real centre for the Orthodox as Ilam Hall which is now a Youth Hostel, 
also plays host to an Orthodox Youth Camp each year. 
Speak to Reader Martin if you require directions or more information on any of these 
Chris Tsielepi who organises the Derbyshire events is an Orthodox Christian whose family 
are from Northern Cyprus and who now lives in Stoney Middleton. 

Gird up your Brooms

As soon as you read this, please volunteer yourself for cleaning duties at Dresden before
the grand re-opening of the church on the first weekend in June.
There is a lot to do from mopping to dusting and polishing as well as pew hauling for the fit.
Please do not leave it to the usual victims to carry out all the work.
Last time many people answered the call and made relatively light work of the whole

Visit of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God – Friday 6th June

We are invited again this year to join with the parish of Saint Elisabeth the New Martyr (ROCOR) in Wallasey as the miraculous icon tours the UK. 
I have written at length about this icon in past newsletters so if you want to read more, there are archives on our website and much other information through the web. 
Services will begin at approximately 6pm and the icon will leave the church promptly at 8pm. 
Directions to the church are on the Saint  Elisabeth’s website. 

Talking of Nuns... 
A party of nuns from Minsk in Belarus will be joining us on Wednesday 4th June and will be 
displaying their handicrafts at Dresden. I am hoping Fr Samuel will have more information
beforehand to indicate how long they are staying and if those of us who keep office hours
will be able to swell their pockets (if nuns have pockets) by buying something that evening.