« Diocesan Meeting meets in Manchester »

On Saturday, Dec 20th, the annual Diocesan Meeting was held in Manchester at the Church of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God. The day began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of St Nicholas of Myra. The service was headed by Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh. Archbishop Anatoly of Kerch, Archpriest Gennady Andreev, Deputy Dean of the Manchester Parish, and other clergy of the diocese concelebrated. In the course of the Liturgy, Sergei Sokolovski from the Parish of All Saints of Britain in Birmingham was tonsured as a Reader. In his sermon, Vladyka drew attention to St Nicholas as a model of charitable love for one's neighbour as well as a guide on the path of salvation. He congratulated the children of the community on this feast which traditionally has a special significance for the younger generation. A festive lunch prepared by the community was served for the members of the Assembly in the upper room of the church building.

In his address to the Assembly, Archbishop Elisey reviewed the important events of the past year. These had included the celebration of the centenary of Metropolitan Anthony's birth and the major refurbishment of the London Cathedral. Noting the evident difficulty of gathering the clergy and parish representatives from all parts of our large and scattered diocese, he proposed in future to have Regional Diocesan Meetings (in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Dublin) that would enable greater participation of active parishioners in the consideration of questions of church life in their own regions. The full Diocesan Assembly would meet when it had to carry out its statutory functions. Other matters discussed included next year's Diocesan Conference which will take place from June 5th to 7th on the theme of 'The Mission of the Church Today', the planned registration of the diocese and parishes as Charitable Incorporated Organisations, the situation of the Irish parishes, the training of future clergy and the use of information technology to facilitate communication within the diocese.

Closing the meeting, the Archbishop warmly thanked Fr Gennady and his parishioners who had worked hard to make this first Diocesan Meeting outside of London possible.