Friday, August 14, 2015

Visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch to the UK

Dearly Beloved in the Lord,

            It is with great joy that I address this letter to you to inform you about the scheduled visit of His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios to the United Kingdom.
            The Ecumenical Patriarch and his holy retinue are due to arrive on Sunday afternoon 1 November and will depart on Thurday 5 November. The visit of His Holiness is in response to an official invitation by His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Justin Welby, Leader of the Church of England.
            The Ecumenical Patriarch will devote a part of his visit to meet and bless His Flock living in the United Kingdom and Ireland and the other part to a series of official contacts with the Leader of the Church of England and his associates.

            In particular, the schedule of His Holiness is as follows:
            Monday, 2 November 2015, 6:00 pm: Great Vespers at the Divine Cathedral of the Divine Wisdom, Bayswater London. His Holiness will preside in the Vespers and preach to the Congregation.
            8:00 pm: Official Dinner in honour of His Holiness at the Hotel Marriott, Central London. All ticket holders will also attend the Official Dinner, and in this connection we advise all our Clergy and Church Officials and Lay Leaders of across our Communities to undertake a sale of Dinner tickets and encourage the Faithful to purchase them in time.
            Among those officially invited to the Dinner are, His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Justin Welby, Leader of the Church of England, the Ambassador of Greece, Mr Konstantinos Bikas and his wife, the Cyprus High Commissioner Mr Euripides Evriviades and his wife, the Ambassador of Turkey and his wife and the Ambassadors of the Orthodox Countries in the United Kingdom.
            We expect that the members of the Greek-Orthodox Church in London and the countryside will join us both in the Vespers as well as at the Official Dinner to greet His Holiness, our Ecumenical Patriarch, who - along with the other Leaders of the World Orthodox Churches - is scheduling a Panorthodox Synod, set to take place in Constantinople in 2016.
            It is for these reasons, my dearly beloved in the Lord - Clergy and Laity - members of this Biblical Eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne of Constantinople, that I address this letter so that you can be informed in time and be able to attend both the Vespers and the official Dinner in honour of His Holiness the Ecumenical Patrtiarch Vartholomaios.
            I strongly advise all Priests to inform the Faithful of their Parishes and prepare ourselves to welcome our Ecumenical Patriarch when, God willing, he arrives this coming November in the United Kingdom.
            Wishing you all health, a good Summer Holidays and the blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ to all your families and undertakings, I remain with wishes and love in the Lord and honour.
London, July 2015
                                                Archbishop Gregorios
                                                of Thyateira and Great Britain

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