Weekly News: 3/16 October

Dear brothers and sisters,

Though we were still a bit short of singers and servers for Sunday Liturgy, it was good to see things settling down to a normal sized congregation, and to have new visitors, whom we hope will return in the future. It was lovely to welcome some of the students from neighbouring Newman Hall, and to be able to chat to them afterwards – on subjects both theological and feline.

We were pleased to have a handful of visitors from our Llanelli mission, making the geographical span of worshippers reach from Carmarthen to Warminster! It’s good to see parishioners car-sharing and ensuring that the maximum number of parishioners are able to reach Liturgy from the further limits of our South Wales and Wessex pastoral area.

With no trapeza at the moment, a good number of parishioners enjoyed social time across the road in Brodie’s café, where we seized the opportunity to discuss plans for a forthcoming pastoral visit to our Wessex parishioners and the need to find a place for Wiltshire Liturgies.

After yesterday’s Liturgy, I was heartened to hear expressions of interest in our pilgrimage to Llancarfan to honour St Cadoc on Saturday 28th October. Our intention is to celebrate the Divine Liturgy at 10:00. Anyone interested should contact Tracy: t_sbrain@yahoo.co.uk

Our 2022 pilgrimage was very enjoyable and informative, and the welcome we received was warm and generous. See: https://russianorthodoxchurchcardiff.com/celebrating-st-cadoc-at-llancarfan

Today saw me in one of the other churches in the same ministry area as Llancarfan, with a funeral in the medieval church in Peterston-super-Ely. I am indebted to Canon Martyn Davies, the rector, and to the Anglican diocesan authorities for allowing an Orthodox funeral in the village church, and for his generous welcome. It was a pleasure to celebrate in such a wonderful setting, and to chant the ancient words of our funeral hymns in a church that has been a local place of worship and prayer since the Celtic Age of the Saints. For most of the congregation, it was the first Orthodox service they have ever attended and people were very positive and appreciative. Please remember the newly-departed Irina in your prayers. Memory Eternal!

Yesterday’s confessions were certainly numerous, though I think we need to be very clear that Sunday confessions (with great time-pressure) are not the time to discuss general personal or family problems, but the time in which we approach Christ in repentance to confess our sins and seek his healing and forgiveness. There is plenty of time outside confessions to talk about other issues. This week’s confessions will be heard on Friday afternoon/evening, before the talk on the intercession of he saints at 19:00. Requests by noon on Thursday, please.

In addition to our prayers for all who are suffering in the conflicts of the Holy Land and Ukraine, we continue to pray for Maria, Nikolai, Catalin, and Oswald, who are travelling; Brigid, Ludmilla, Mike and Steve, in their sickness; Porphyrios’s father Paul as he undergoes medical treatment; and the newly departed Irina.

In Christ – Hieromonk Mark

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