Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese
of the British Isles and  Ireland

"the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch."

[Acts 11:26] 


Antiochian Orthodox Deanery of the United Kingdom and Ireland
Registered Charity No. 1057533

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After the decision of the Holy Synod of Antioch on 15th October 2013 the communities on this site all belong to the Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland.  The existing charity will serve them until a new charity for the Archdiocese can be set up, ie., after the first Metropolitan Archbishop is elected and enthroned. COMMUNIQUE TEXT.

Fr. Philip

After a recent meeting with the Cathedral Council it was agreed unanimously (as in the Deanery) that Fr. Philip Hall should be our candidate for the first Metropolitan of this Archdiocese, and to be presented as such to the Holy Synod of Antioch in due course. Please pray for him, for us and, of course, for the Holy Synod when it next meets, (probably in June 2014). This historic action in unity of the Deanery and the Cathedral community in London is a cause of great rejoicing for the Antiochian Orthodox communities in the British Isles and Ireland. Now begins the important task of making Fr. Philip better known to those who will bear the important responsibility of making this decision, hopefully next year in June.  We have received supportive references from His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware (English)  (Arabic) and Mother Photina of the Pokrov Skete, (metochion to Valaam), Saint Mars de Locquenay, France (English)  (Arabic).

Arabic Fr. Philip


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All the Saints of Antioch

where the disciples were first called Christians (Acts 11:26)

All Saints of Antioch

A Brief Survey of many the Saints of Antioch
by Monk Elia Khalife

There were thousands of saints who originated from Antioch. For example, of the apostles and disciples: Sts. Peter and Paul the Apostles, the founders and patron saints of the Patriarchal See of Antioch; St. Quartos the Apostle, one of the Seventy, the founder and patron of the Archdiocese of Beirut; St. John Mark the Evangelist, the founder and patron of the Archdiocese of Byblos; and St. Sila or Silouan the Apostle, one of the Seventy, the founder and patron saint of the Archdiocese of Botrys.

We also have St. Ignatius the Theophoros, St. Peter’s disciple, who wrote the Seven Letters to the Churches, and according to tradition was the child who was held on the Lord’s knee.

There is also St. John Chrysostom, St. John of Damascus, Sts. Romanos and Cosmas the Melodists, St. Maximos the Confessor from southern Syria, Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, St. Andrew of Damascus (Bishop of Crete), St. Sophronios (Patriarch of Jerusalem), and Sts. Peter and John of Damascus. Cyprus remained attached to Antioch until the 3rd Ecumenical Council (Ephesus, 431); St. Barnabas the Apostle who assisted St. Paul, was also from that island, and, of course, Sts. Spiridon and Epiphanius.

Among the women saints we have St. Thekla the first woman martyr and St. Nona the Apostle to the Georgians in the 4th century; Georgia remained attached to Antioch until the 10th century. Sts. Marana, Kyra, and Domnina the ascetics, mentioned by Theodoret of Cyrrhus in his “History of the Monks” in the 5th century, along with other great ascetics, like Sts. Maron, Aphrahat, Simeon and Daniel the Stylites.

Of special interest to the West is that few bishops of Rome, before the schism, were originally from Syria. St. Margaret of Antioch, a 3rd century martyr, was venerated in Britain for hundreds of years and still has very many churches dedicated to her in England and Scotland. St. Theodore of Tarsus was the Archbishop of Canterbury in the 7th century and was instrumental in organizing the Church in England.

We also have contemporary saints such as St. Joseph of Damascus who played an important role in revivifying the Church and also took part in the modern translation of the Bible into Arabic. He was martyred on July 10, 1860, and canonized by the Antiochian Synod in 1993. Also, St. Raphael Hawawini, a Syrian who became the Bishop of Brooklyn (+1915) and who was canonised in the United States in 2000. There are other contemporary martyrs as well, such as Father Nicolas Khashi and Father Habib Khashi, a father and son, who died in Syria.

Other collected material on new righteous has been offered to the Holy Synod for possible canonization. For example, during the First World War, Patriarch Gregorios IV was given the title “Father of the Poor” because he sold many things belonging to the patriarchate to buy wheat and flour for the hungry, both Christian and Muslim. He was so loved that, when he died, there was a fight between the Christians and Muslims over who would bury him. The Muslims insisted on reading prayers and doing a service over him, and only then would they let the Christians take his body for a Christian burial. His life has been collected and we are awaiting a decision by the Holy Synod.

The Antiochian patrimony is a very rich one, and a great treasury of grace for the entire world.