Pastoral visit to Colchester
Over this past weekend, 2nd-3rd March 2019, Sayedna Silouan made a pastoral visit to Colchester and the Parish of St Helen. This coincided with two happy events, the renewal of the community’s appeal to raise funds to buy larger premises in the centre of the town for their growing parish and the 80th birthday of their parish priest, Fr Alexander Haig: many years!
Sayedna presided over the Vespers and Mattins from the throne where he ordained George Harrison as Reader in the parish. Sayedna served the Divine Liturgy, assisted by Fr Alexander and Dcn Alexander Haig who had joined the celebrations from our Church in Poole; members of the Mosaic Choir sang the liturgical responses. During his homily, Sayedna encouraged all to come to God through prayer and to make use of the coming Great Fast as a means to deepen our faith.
The Liturgy was followed by a lunch attended in large numbers in honour of Sayedna’s visit and to renew the appeal to raise £200,000 for the purchase of St Martin’s Church and convert it for use as an Orthodox place of worship. The community were joined by the Deputy Mayor of Colchester, Cllr Nick Cope and his wife along with one of the members for the local ward, Cllr Darius Laws: both councillors gave speeches in support of the parish purchasing St Martin’s. Sayedna, too, gave words of support and strongly encouraged all to give in order to realise this goal.
The meal was followed by the Mosaic Choir giving an excellent concert of songs from around Europe and beyond. Then an Akathist to St Martin was celebrated in the churchyard of his Church as a supplication to him to help in restoring his house of prayer as a living place of worship.
Can you support our Colchester community in their goal? Please pray for them as they raise this large amount of money, and listen to the Lord’s answer of what he wants you to do. Already more than £110,000 has been raised, can you help? Please visit the appeal website, orthodoxcolchesterappeal.org.uk, and click the “Donate” button to make an offering via PayPal.