Dear brothers and sisters,
Greetings for the after-feast of the Baptism of the Lord, at the end of a busy day in Wiltshire, and after a final festal service in Nazareth House yesterday.
On such a joyful day, with the Great Blessing of the Water at the end of Liturgy as everyone gathered round, it was lovely to welcome parishioners from far and wide, with the return of our students, new faces, and some familiar faces for the first time in while. Buoyed and blessed by the feast of the Lord’s Baptism, we look forward to our return to St John’s, Canton after fourteen months in Nazareth House.
Thanks to all who contributed to such a joyful Liturgy, especially those who contributed to our trapeza, which will now be a weekly feature of life of St John’s, so – if you are able – please bring something to our bring-and-share lunch.
Due to the impracticalities of weekday celebrations in Nazareth House, around ten of us headed to Chiswick for Theophany, and greatly enjoyed celebrating the feast with our cathedral clergy and brothers and sisters. We are extremely grateful to Fathers Vitaly and Yaroslav and the sisterhood for their warmth and hospitality, and hope that we, as a parish, may connect more with our cathedral over the coming year.
Today day started with a house blessing near Warminster before the sanctification of the River Wylye at Hanging Langford, a Theophany lunch with Wessex parishioners, a visit to the chapel of St Laurence in Warminster (an intended winter Liturgy setting for our developing Wessex mission), and the evening blessing of Porphyrios’s narrow boat. It was lovely to gather on the house-boat with the icon corner as its obvious focus and centre, praying together in our first Wessex prayer meeting, and then enjoying a warm and congenial bring-and-share supper.
I am very grateful to our Wessex parishioners for their warmth, hospitality and generosity, which will be one of the great blessings of our mission in Wessex, and which – I am sure – will impress itself upon those who meet us and the Church in Wiltshire and beyond.
We look forward to heading to Dorset tomorrow, for another house blessing and a pilgrimage to the shrine of St Wite in Whitchurch Canonicorm.
His Grace, Bishop Irenei, has blessed our mission to serve our very loyal Wessex parishioners who are part of the Cardiff parish, and we look forward to serving them in their own corner of the world, blessed by so many saints and such a noble and profound Christian legacy. We hope to announce our first Liturgy over the next few weeks.
Wednesday will see the relocation of most of our effects to St John’s in Canton, where we will resume parish life, with the Liturgy at 11:00, after confessions from around 10:15 to 10:55, at which time the proskomedia MUST take place.After being without facilities, we look forward to having a kitchen and food area, so please make the most of this, and bring something for our lunch after Liturgy. Thanks to all who did so today. I will hear confessions in Nazareth House on Friday this week, and would appreciate requests by 20:00 on Thursday.I will also be happy to receive requests for house blessings, which have begun in Wessex, before we also do so in Wales.
May God bless you.
In Christ – Hieromonk Mark