THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN ARCHDIOCES
OF LONDON & GREAT BRITAIN

ONE HOLY CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH

Welcome to the Official Website of The Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of London & Great Britain, Province of Europe,  with its headquarters located in the London, Great Britain. We are part of the OCA-UAOC \ Apostolic Orthodox Church. We are Paternally Affiliated with the Ecumenical Patriarchate since the TOMOS of 1924.

We are united in beliefs and doctrine with the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church. The Archdiocese serves as a beacon, carrier, and witness of the message of Christ to all people through divine worship, preaching, teaching, and living of the Orthodox Christian Faith. The Archdiocese is headed by a Metropolitan, serving Great Britain.

A BRIEF HISTORY:

ORTHODOXY was the first Christian Faith to arrive in the Americas nearly 1,000 years ago! The Vikings in Newfoundland came with Missionaries from the "Old World" years before the Great Schism between East & West - when the Church was still the One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church..."Orthodox" in Faith and "Catholic" in Communion." This fact contradicts the often held belief that Roman Catholicism was the first to arrive when Christopher Columbus landed in the West Indies.

However one may look at it, the fact remains that the first Christians in North America came from Scandinavia at a time when Scandinavian Christians were an integral part of Orthodox Christendom.

Diverse spiritual heritages were planted throughout North and South America with a team of Russian Missionaries arriving on Kodiak Island. Father Herman of Alaska became America's first Glorified Orthodox Saint while St. Innocent was consecrated as first Orthodox Bishop for the New World. The Orthodox Faith was further planted throughout North America by missionary efforts of St. Tikhon (Bellavin), who later became the Patriarch of Russia; He called for the establishment of an "American Orthodox Church." Great cities from New York to Chicago, Toronto to San Francisco were blessed by holy Bishops such as St. Raphael (Hawaweeny) of Brooklyn and St. John (Maximovitch) of San Francisco; everywhere, Communities abounded, rich in Faith and ethnic traditions, by Greeks, Lebanese, Ukrainians, Serbians, Macedonians, Albanians, Romanians, Russians and many more.

Russians & many more.

In the mid 1920's, at the request of Ukrainian Bishop Palladios (Rudenko), seminarists were summoned to New York to serve the Faithful, among them was the energetic, Peter Andreas Zhurawetzky, ordained to the Priesthood by Greek Archbishop Athenagoras (Spyrou), who later became the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Accompanying Father Peter were his Ukrainian classmates Andrei (Kuschak), Bohdan (Shpylka) and Mstyslav (Skrypnyk), who later became the Patriarch of Kyiv in the Ukraine.

Through the brotherly efforts of Archbishop Peter (Zhurawetzky), with that of Bishops Christopher (Contogeorge) & Arsenios (Saltos) for Alexandria, Theophanies (Noli) for Albania, Joachim (Souris) & Konstantin (Jaroshevich) for Greece, and Nicholas (Kedroffsky) & Joseph (Klymowycz) for Russia... the foundation of a unified organization to serve the Americas began to flourish.

By 1951, as reported in The New York Times, the Hierarchs met, and, although wanting to establish an American Patriarchate, their efforts eventually evolved into what the Russian Patriarch St. Tikhon (Bellavin) had envisioned decades earlier while serving as a bishop in America...the Orthodox Church of America.

Many theologians and church historians today would describe the church of the early Christians not as a single, unified structure, but as a communion or family of local churches...having their own local customs and distinctive ways of worshiping. They did not insist on uniformity, but at the same time they were insistent and united in their sacramental life--above all in Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist.

Though scattered throughout the world, they regarded themselves as making up the same, ONE, BODY OF CHRIST, which they demonstrated whenever they received Holy Communion in the Holy Eucharist. They were also united in the same Apostolic Faith & valid Canonical and Apostolic Succession, which meant that they claimed to hold the same True Faith that was preached by the Apostles, the men whom Jesus Christ had appointed to be witnesses to His saving work.

With the establishment of the SEC, Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops, in 1951, we are an integral part of that same Body, comprising many difference ethnic cultures and traditions, but sharing a common Faith, a common way of life, and, to a high degree, a common history that distinguishes us from other Christians.

Now, in 2023-2024, the Orthodox Church of America reaches, with its Dependencies throughout all the world, via our Provinces in Africa, Europe and in America with its Dependencies...and, we also continues to welcome Brothers & Sisters embracing the authentic Orthodox Western Rite through our USA based Western Rite Vicariate and Anglican Rite Metropolia and Brethren of the Syro Malabar Rite in Catania, Italy...all "holding fast" to the same Apostolic Doctrine and Faith of the Early Undivided Church of the Seven Ecumenical Councils...holding Sacred Traditions from before the Great Schism...being "Orthodox" in Faith and "Catholic" in Communion...witnessing Jesus Christ into all the world.

It must also be noted --- regarding the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, of which the OCA-UAOC \ Apostolic Orthodox Church is a Canonical part --- that on 2 November 2018, the Ecumenical Patriarchate declared that it recognized the sacraments as performed by the UOC-KP (Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate) and UAOC (Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church) as valid. It was further stated from this meeting that "when there is some talk about the non-canonicity of the Holy Sacraments celebrated by the clergy of these churches, the Holy Mother Church has answered. These Sacraments and clerical actions are canonical!"

Our Eastern Christian Tradition places us within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of God. We hold as sacred the Holy Scriptures, the ancient Creeds of the Church, the Seven Sacraments and governance through valid Episcopal Orders.

Our mission is to proclaim the Gospel of Christ, to teach and spread the Orthodox Christian faith, to energize, cultivate, and guide the life of the Church according to the Orthodox Christian faith and tradition and to build bridges among all Christians.

The Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of London & Great Britain considers that it sanctifies the faithful through divine worship, especially the Holy Eucharist and other sacraments, building the spiritual and ethical life of the faithful in accordance with the Holy Scriptures, Sacred Tradition, the doctrines and canons of the Ecumenical and local Councils, the canons of the Holy Apostles and the Fathers of the Church and of all other Councils recognized by the Orthodox Church.

The Orthodox Church of America is a missionary arm of the Autonomous Synod of Bishops - Apostolic Orthodox Church (Holy Synod in North America) an independent Self-Governing association of bishops, clergy and laity, having preserved intact the grace of the Canonical Valid Apostolic Succession and based their existence on the canonical foundation of the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Regulations 1917- 1918 Decree of His Holiness Patriarch St. +Tikhon of 7/20 November 1920, as well as the ancient (doimperskoy) tradition of church government based on the principle of autocephaly (self governance) of each bishop. The Apostolic Orthodox Church officially became "autocephalous" from the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000.

To further enrich the Rus-Ukrainian heritage of the OCA-UAOC, the Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops is blessed to be under Canonical Protection of the Apostolic Orthodox Church in Russia.

The Apostolic Orthodox Church (APC), and all those of it's Historic Federation, grew from a true "Revival of Russian Orthodoxy" which began organizing in 1992, under the name Apostolic Orthodox Church, to unite people who profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ - The Saviour of the world. And, to be free from the influence of the secular state, free from any and all government control or manipulation, free from hypocrisy and free from simony (buying) ecclesiastical positions!

The Autonomous Synod of Bishops - Apostolic Orthodox Church professes the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, and Orthodox Faith, based on Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition (the teaching of the Apostles, the Holy Fathers, the Holy Seven Ecumenical Councils and Local Councils). We profess Seven Sacraments (Holy Mysteries), we do not recognize obligatory or forced celibacy of the clergy, we commune the laity under both forms and allow the practice of the traditional Western Rite Liturgy (Mass) with addition of the essential Orthodox Epiclesis, proper commemorations and removal of the "filioque" clause from the Creed. We are not in communion with Rome and do not recognize the dogma of infallibility ex cathedra...but believe and accept what existed before the separation of the Eastern and Western Churches. From the beginning, the Pope of Rome, Patriarch of the West, enjoyed universal Primacy over the other Eastern Patriarchates of the Church...being "First Among Equals"... but NEVER universal jurisdiction.

We try to follow the path that we have received from Our Blessed Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ: the way that elected His closest Disciples - the Twelve Apostles. His life and that of the Apostles left us an example to be followed by every Christian to spread the Gospel "...into all the world." (St. Mark 16:15)

The One True Church, the Orthodox Church, is "Apostolic" because all she has: Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and her Life of Grace - all this, she received from Christ through the Apostles. Our Church encourages its members to continue to live as Christ lived with the Apostles, in humility, simplicity, holiness, joyful, confident and with the unconditional love of God for all His people.

The Deposit of Faith, the Faith of the Apostles, the Apostolic Doctrines held by all the Hierarchs, Clergy, Religious and Faithful of our Blessed Jurisdiction, were not invented by people, but literally heard from the lips of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, and preached by them, due to the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles at Pentecost.

We cherish the Orthodox Faith and the tenets of the first Seven Ecumenical Councils, but allow valid changes & interpretation of the Holy Canons and ritual diversity...if it is for the best preaching of the Gospel and, ultimately, for the salvation of souls.

Recognizing both the Western and Eastern Christian heritage, the richness of theological thought and liturgical traditions, we are ready to work together and to pray with other Christian churches, to welcome them and build up the Body of Christ!

True unity of the Church cannot be found in organizational structures, but in the spirit of brotherly love and unity in AUTHENTIC FAITH and the SACRAMENTS.

The Apostolic Orthodox Church is built on Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Holy Canons of the Universal Church and interpreted for the pastoral needs of today. In the event of a conflict between the Holy Canons and the Word of God and between any Sacred Traditions and the Proclamation of the Gospel in terms of modernity, the APC considers it absolutely necessary and permissible to change the Holy Canons and develop a tradition strictly liable to the spirit and letter of Divine Revelation.

Our Bishops, priests and laity, in observance of Our Lord's words, saying, "Who wants to be great among you, shall be servant of all" (St. Matthew 20:26) consider it necessary to build a Christian life with respect for the needs of Orthodox believers and all Christians and to safeguard the Bishop and Priest, in their obligations, to preserve and teach the truths of the authentic and genuine Orthodox Faith; with prayer and with viable, organized congregations, unconditional love for all, showing mercy and service to others.

Both the Apostles and the very words of Sacred Scripture confirm, that, "no doubt there will be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval" (1 Corinthians 11:19); therefore, the Autonomous Synod of Bishops - Apostolic Orthodox Church permits and encourages diversity of liturgical structure and principles of community life...while maintaining unity and a spirit of brotherly love...calling for the spread of ecumenical communion among all Brothers & Sisters with Faith in Our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ.




















We are part of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church conforms to that of the undivided Orthodox Catholic Church of the first millennium of its existence. It is expressed in the ancient Symbol of Faith of the Nicene Creed, promulgated by the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 and enlarged by the Council of Constantinople in AD 381:
"I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible, and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made, who, for us men, and for our salvation, came down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary; and became man; He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered, and was buried, and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into Heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory, to judge the living and the dead; whose Kingdom shall have no end, and in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, Who proceed from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke by the prophets, and in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins; I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen".

We believe that the source of the Orthodox Catholic Faith is fully expressed in the Nicene Creed (based on Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition).

We believe that Sacred Scripture (the Bible),which comprises the Old Testament (including the deuterocanonical/apocryphal books) and the New Testament, contains God’s revelation to us, particularly that concerning His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that in matters essential to our salvation it is inerrant.

On The Bible:
We do not consider the Bible to be a source of information concerning science or any other human discipline. Its purpose is to teach us about God and about His Son Jesus Christ. It does that within the cultural environment of its time and place, hence the need for careful study to understand its message correctly.

We believe that Sacred Scripture itself is part of Sacred Tradition, that process by which God’s revelation is passed on to us from the Apostles, and unto the Church Fathers and to the unbroken succession of Bishops through the centuries. This handing on occurs through the prayers and liturgy of the Church, through preaching, teaching, catechesis, devotions, doctrines, and the Bible itself.

We believe that Church Tradition is a collection of orthodox practices and beliefs, from the earliest of days, which makes Sacred Tradition an inerrant source of God’s revelation in matters essential to our faith and our Christian life. A very important part of Sacred Tradition is the teaching of the Ecumenical Councils.

We believe that the doctrinal definitions of the first seven Ecumenical Councils, that is those which took place within the undivided Catholic Church, were guided by the Holy Spirit and it accepts them as part of its faith. Those seven Ecumenical Councils are the Councils of Nicaea in AD 325, Constantinople in AD 381, Ephesus in AD 431, Chalcedon in AD 451, Constantinople II in AD 533, Constantinople III in AD 680, and Nicaea II in AD 787.These Councils were concerned essentially with defining the true Catholic faith, in the Holy Trinity and in Jesus Christ the Son of God made man: God is triune, a single God in three Persons, Whom the Saviour Himself named as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, uniting in His single Person both the divine and the human natures.

We believe that equally important in Sacred Tradition are the seven Sacraments. We believe that these Sacraments, which are Baptism and Eucharist, both of which are particularly attested to in Sacred Scripture; Confirmation (or Chrismation), Penance (or Reconciliation), Matrimony, Holy Orders and Unction (or Anointing of the Sick and the Dying), are effective signs of the Lord’s continuing presence and action within His Church and efficacious channels of his Grace. Among the Sacraments, the Holy Eucharist holds prominence of place.

We believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ is really and truly present, in His humanity and in His Divinity, in the species of bread and wine that have been consecrated in the Eucharistic Liturgy of the Holy Mass, and that in Holy Communion we receive Him into ourselves to nourish the very life of the soul: ‘Those who eat My Flesh and drink My Blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day’, (John 6:54).

We believe that in Our Lord Jesus’ plan for His Church, the Apostles and the Bishops hold a special place.

We believe that the Bishops, canonically and liturgically consecrated in the unbroken line of Apostolic Succession are the successors of the Apostles and that they are responsible, as were the Apostles, for the ministry of service to the Church, consisting of preaching and teaching, of sanctifying and of governing, but most of all, for the safeguarding and the handing-on intact, of the Deposit of Faith and Sacred Tradition of the Church under the divine command.

On The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Theotokos:
We believe that Mary, the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Theotokos, the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church and the Queen of Heaven and earth, holds a special place in the faith, the lives and the liturgy of the our Church.

On the Immaculate Conception:
We believe that the Doctrines (teachings) of the Immaculate Conception and the Dormition of Our Blessed Lady and Her ascension into Heaven, are held in accordance with Sacred Tradition, the Church Fathers and the Sacred Liturgy from the earliest of times; and in oneness with the Orthodox Church of the East and the Latin Roman Church in the West.

On the Saints:

We believe in the Communion of Saints, and the fellowship of the whole Church in Glory, the Church Militant and the Church Suffering. It holds to the honouring of Saints, and the prayers for their intercession for both the Church Militant and Suffering.

On Life after Death:
Each person is subject to what is called "private judgment" and to what is called "general judgment”.
The private judgment is what an individual receives immediately after death.

The souls of the righteous, who have received a "positive" private judgment have a certain "foretaste" of Heaven, and the souls of unrepentant sinners who received a "negative" private judgment have a "foretaste" of hell.
However, neither Paradise nor the Inferno even exist yet, because the final division of all humans into those who are saints and those who are damned will occur only after the Second Coming of Christ and the general resurrection of the dead (Matthew 25: 31-46).

Even though a person whose soul is separated from his/her body is not able to repent anymore, and thus cannot change the private judgment by him- or herself, the prayers of others, the prayers of the Church, and especially the prayers of the Most Holy Mother of God the Theotokos still can change the destiny of those who received a negative private judgment.

On the Filioque Position:
We maintain, as does the whole Eastern Orthodox Church, the solid and unquestioning beliefs as set out in the Creed of Nicaea/Constantinople of AD 381. We maintain that, whilst theological debate may continue regarding the Filioque clause, no Church and no Bishop or Bishops, nor successive Synods or Councils may change, alter, add to, or take away from, a Creed once it is proclaimed by a legitimate General Ecumenical Council, and that such Sacred Tradition is held as absolute by the Augustinians Fathers.

On the Divine Liturgy:
The authorized Eucharistic Liturgies we use are: John Chrysostom, Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian, Pope of Rome.

On the Seven Sacraments of the Church:
The Seven Sacraments: We recognize and affirm the seven Mysteries or Sacraments of the Church:
Baptism.
Chrismation (Confirmation).
Communion (Holy Eucharist).
Holy Ordination.
Penance.
Anointing of the sick (Holy Unction of the sick and Extreme Unction for the dying).
Holy Matrimony / Marriage.

Tomos of Autocephaly
Granted by His All-Holiness +GREGORIOS VII OF CONSTANTINOPLE A Tomos of Autocephaly (self-government) was issued by the Ecumenical Patriarch +GREGORIOS VII (Zervoudakis) to the Orthodox Church of Poland which was headed by Metropolitan +DIONISIJ (Valedynsky). Due to the political circumstances (and territorial partitions) between the First and Second World Wars, most of the ancient Kyivan Metropolitanate was located within Poland. In this Tomos, the previous transfer of the Kyivan Church to the jurisdiction of Moscow (1685) was declared uncanonical and the independence of the Kyivan Metropolitanate (The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church) was fully restored.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, November 13, 1924, concerning the declaration of the Orthodox Church in Poland as an Autocephalic Church. +GREGORIOS VII, by the grace of God Archbishop of Constantinople -the New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch The Holy Orthodox Church in the God-Protected Polish State, endowed with an autonomous system and administration and proving its firmness in faith, zealousness by charitable works has requested our Holy Apostolic and Ecumenical Patriarchal See to bless and confirm its autocephalous administrative system, considering that in the new circumstances of political life, only such a system can satisfy and guarantee its needs.


OUR Leadership imageOUR Leadership imageOUR Leadership image

His All Holiness, +BARTHOLOMEW I 
Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch 



His All Holiness Bartholomew was born 29 February 1940. He is the 270th Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch, since 2 November 1991. In accordance with his title, he is regarded as the primus inter pares (first among equals) in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and as a spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide. He was born as Dimitrios Arhondonis (Greek: Δημήτριος Αρχοντώνης, Dimítrios Archontónis), in the village of Agios Theodoros (officially called Zeytinliköy) on the island of Imbros (later renamed Gökçeada by the Turkish government). After his graduation, he held a position at the Patriarchal Theological Seminary of Halki, where he was ordained a priest. Later, he served as metropolitan of Philadelphia and Chalcedon and he became a member of the Holy Synod as well as other committees, prior to his enthronement as ecumenical patriarch. His All Holiness was the target of an assassination plot which was planned to take place on 29 May 2013. One suspect was arrested and there is an ongoing search for two others.

Ordinations & Ecclesiastical Appointments:


August 13th 1961, Ordained to the Holy Diaconate – receiving the ecclesiastical name Bartholomew
October 19th, 1969, Ordained to the Holy Priesthood.
December 25th, 1973, The Nativity, Elevated to the Episcopacy – Metropolitan of Philadelphia (Asia Minor)
January 14th, 1990, Enthronement as Metropolitan of Chalcedon.
October 22nd, 1991, was Elected 270th Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch.
November 2nd, 1991, Enthronement in the Patriarchal Cathedral in the Phanar.


++++++


The Most Rev. Metropolitan Archbishop +MICHAEL
Primate OCA-UAOC
Apostolic Orthodox Church

Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops

His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop MICHAEL has been serving the Orthodox Church for over 30 years. He studied for the Catholic Diocese of Orlando and received his theological training at St John Vianney Minor Seminary in Miami, Florida and at St Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland. He was ordained to Minor Orders in 1974 for the former Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Toledo, Ohio & Dependencies by Metropolitan Archbishop MICHAEL (Shaheen). In 1982 he was ordained to the Diaconate and Priesthood for the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (under the 1924 Tome of Ecumenical Patriarch Gregorius VII of Constantinople) following his marriage in 1981. For his service to the Church, in 1986 he was elevated to the dignity of Mitred Archpriest. He and his Presbytera have four sons and have served the Antiochian Orthodox and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches in Central Florida and in Central Ohio since 1987. In 1997 Archpriest Michael was invited to meet Ecumenical PatriPCarch Bartholomew I when he was visiting the United States; and, also served for many years in "grassroots" ecumenism with the Eastern Rite Melkites and Ruthenians in Columbus, Ohio...with ecclesiastical approbation.
On September 20, 1986, His Eminence was consecrated a Bishop by Metropolitan Peter (Zhurawetsky). From 1986 until 1994, Bishop MICHAEL served as Synodal Secretary; after His Beatitude Metropolitan Peter
reposed in 1994, Bishop MICHAEL was appointed by the Holy Synod of Bishops as Moderator for the Standing Episcopal Conference.
On November 15, 1997 Bishop MICHAEL was invited by Bishop Maximos of Pittsburgh to attend a special Patriarchal Vesper Service and Clergy Reception at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral for His All-Holiness BARTHOLOMEW I Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch. This was a truly historic occasion as Bishop MICHAEL of America greeted the Ecumenical Patriarch from the Phanar in Turkey and received his Paternal Apostolic Blessings for all member Hierarchs, Clergy and Jurisdictions of Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops and the OCA-UAOC.
His Eminence, Metropolitan Archbishop MICHAEL is the Primate of OCA-UAOC, by his love to the Church, he continues to guide, support and assist his Brothers member of the Holy Synod, the Clergy of the Orthodox Church of America and all the Faithful.


++++++


The Most Rev. Metropolitan Archbishop +GEORGE
Metropolitan for the British & European Province


His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop GEORGE read theology in the USA where he attended Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. His Eminence hold a Master Degree in Divinity, he also holds a Master Degree in Business Administration from Cornell University as well and a Doctorate Degree in Theology. On the 22nd of April 1991, at the Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Monastery in Georgia, at the Vigil of the Feast of Saint George the Great Martyr, he formally took the monastic vows in accordance to the Holy Orthodox Tradition. On the 23rd of April 1991 at the Divine Liturgy, he was ordained to the Holy Deaconate. On the 23rd of April 1992, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood and was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite. On Sunday the 11th of June 1995 the Feast Day of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, by the Grace of God and the Laying on of Hands, he was consecrated to the Episcopate.

Metropolitan Archbishop GEORGE lived and worked in the Middle East, USA, Asia, Africa and Europe. He had the opportunity to work closely with many International Humanitarian Organizations and was successful in the many projects he was overseeing.

He was very much active in the SOS Children Organization work where he worked closely with them in Africa and the Middle East assisting and providing humanitarian and developmental support.

In 2016, after spending many years in Central Equatoria and East Africa where he worked closely with Refugees’ Camps, Orphanages, UN Organizations, and Field Hospitals, His Eminence moved to the United Kingdom to continue the mission. He works very closely with many humanitarian Charity Organizations that works with the homeless and soup kitchens.

On Sunday April 1st 2018, Easter Sunday, he founded The Companions of Christ Orthodox Mission in Great Britain. The Mission is dedicated to the national and international exchange of knowledge within the context of the Orthodox tradition. Part of the Mission is to engage with national and international conferences and facilitate group research projects; and to seek partnership with people and institutions both locally and around the world in order to contribute to their mission of teaching and transmitting the faith; we aim to engage contemporary culture in light of the Orthodox tradition; the Mission desire to contribute to the growth and renewal of the Orthodox Church.

The Mission is committed as well to proclaim the Gospel to those who have not heard it, to do charity work to those who are in need regardless of: background, age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief and to foster according to Gospel values; peace, justice and the integrity of the creation worldwide, to defend the human rights of every individual and to work for unity between the Orthodox and other Christians.

On the 8th of October, 2021, His Eminence was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan Archbishop of Great Britain.

Metropolitan George is a  member of:
The OCA-UAOC Holy Synod of Bishops..
The Federation of Fraternal Jurisdictions of the Apostolic Orthodox Church.
The Canonical Hierarchs of the  Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops.

His Eminence is proficient in: English, Arabic, Berber, Patristic Greek, Classical Hebrew and Aramaic.















What is Orthodox Christianity?
The term “Orthodox” means “correct praise” or “right doctrine.” During the early centuries of its history, when it was united, the Church was both orthodox and catholic; that is, it was the Church of “correct praise” and was “universal” (which is what catholic means).
The term “orthodox” was used by the Church to separate itself from other groups that held false doctrines about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, salvation, and the Church. These groups were called “heterodox” or “heretics” by the one, orthodox and Catholic Church.

What is the ideology orthodoxy?

We see ideological orthodoxy as motivating a large spectrum of strategies deployed by devout activists' minds to try and regulate the information traveling from mind to mind. Free speech refers to the unregulated circulation of opinions and information.

What does Orthodoxy Teaches?
The word Orthodox is Greek for "rightly believing" and refers to the correctness and truth of the Orthodox Church’s faith and worship (cf. St. John 4 : 23–24). The Orthodox faith is expressed most fully in the Bible – the God-inspired books of the Old and New Testaments. This same faith is expressed very succinctly by the Nicene Creed, composed by theologians who met at the first two (of seven) Great Ecumenical Councils held in 325 and 381. This statement, based on the Scriptures, teaches that there is one God in three Divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God the Son – Jesus Christ – became man, was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered and died for our salvation, rose from the dead, and ascended physically to heaven, from whence he will come again at the end of the world to judge the living and the dead.

The Divine Liturgy (what Roman Catholics often call the Mass and what many Protestants call The Lord's Supper) is the very heart of Orthodox life and faith. In it we receive Holy Communion which unites us with other Orthodox believers throughout the world. We are also united to the whole "Communion of Saints" – all the departed martyrs, holy fathers and mothers of past ages, the "cloud of witnesses" as mentioned in Sacred Scripture – who join us and the hosts of angels in giving unceasing glory to God (cf. Isaiah 6 : 3; Revelation 7 : 9–17).

But most importantly, Holy Communion unites each of us to Jesus Christ, for He offers Himself to us in his very Immaculate Body, Precious Blood, Soul and Divinity (cf. St. John 6 : 53–57). Orthodox Christians celebrate the Divine Liturgy every Sunday as well as on many feast days throughout the year.

Since the time of the Apostles, the Church founded by Jesus Christ has always been "Orthodox in Faith" and "Catholic in Communion." (for a detailed explanation see our recently published book: "BEING CATHOLIC...That All May Be One! What Pope & Patriarch Must Do to Heal the Church of Christ.")

When did Orthodox Christianity begin?
We trace our history back to the apostles and thus to Jesus Christ Himself. We believe that Christ brought the Church into existence, that it is empowered by the Holy Spirit, that it was to be led by the apostles and then by those whom the apostles were led to ordain (the passing down of this authority through time is called apostolic succession), and that it represents the presence of the body of Christ in this world.

What is the theory of orthodoxy?
Orthodoxy within Christianity refers to acceptance of the doctrines defined by various creeds and ecumenical councils in Antiquity, but different Churches accept different creeds and councils. Such differences of opinion have developed for numerous reasons, including language and cultural barriers.

What is the paradox of orthodoxy?
Orthodox theology is paradoxical when it thinks about humanity as well. Popular debates about human ethics, sin and morality are often reduced to either/or equations. Recall in the debates about the Trinity, people demanded that God is either 1 or 3, but not both. And Jesus was either God or Man, but not both.

What are the three stages of orthodoxy?
The Fathers of our holy Church suggest three ways to make progress in the spiritual life and attain spiritual perfection:

The way of catharsis or purification.
The way of illumination.
The way of perfection by total union with God.


How would you compare the Orthodox Church to the other Christian Churches of the West?
The Orthodox Church is an Eastern Church in the sense that, at least humanly speaking, it is the product of Middle Eastern, Hellenic and Slavic history and culture. In a word, the Orthodox Church has a historical and spiritual development worked out in almost total isolation from the Christian Churches of Western Europe and America, namely the Roman Catholics and the Reformed Protestant Churches The formal break between the Christian East and West cannot be easily pinpointed. It may be put formally in the 11th or 12th centuries. However from as early as the 4th century the Christians of the East were already living with very little contact with the Christians of the West.

The Liturgy of the Orthodox Church as celebrated today developed within those centuries when the East was already in a certain isolation from the West. The liturgy stands at the center of the church’s life and bears witness to the central experience of the Orthodox Faith, namely that man is created for communion with God in the everlasting life of His Kingdom.

Would you say that the Orthodox Church is closer to the Roman Catholic Church than to the Protestant churches?
It is hard to answer that question easily without giving the wrong impression. The Protestant churches, as you know, came out of the Roman Church when this body was already separated from the Eastern Orthodox Church. Thus, as one Orthodox theologian put it in the last century, it is probably true to say that the Roman and Reformed Protestant churches are much closer to each other; historically, spiritually, theologically, culturally, psychologically than the Orthodox Church is to either. The many events and changes in the various churches in recent days, not excluding the Orthodox Church, makes this question still more difficult to answer. Thus, although we might say that the Orthodox are closer to the so-called “high” churches of the West such as the Roman and Anglican, it might be much safer and more correct to approach Orthodoxy solely on its own ground without too much comparison to others.

Why is the Orthodox Easter Celebrated on a Different Date from the Western Easter?

Differences concerning the date of Easter arose between the East and the West as early as the Second Century. The date of the Orthodox Easter was finally fixed by the Ecumenical Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. which decreed that Easter should be celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the first full moon after the vernal equinox (the first day of Spring), but always after the Jewish Passover.
Jesus, after all, according to scripture in all four Gospels, came from Bethany to Jerusalem less than a week before Passover to celebrate Passover. The Easter of the Western Churches is not necessarily preceded by the Passover.

 What are the clerical offices in the Orthodox Church and what is their significance?
The Orthodox Church has the three classical Christian offices: Bishop, Priest (or presbyter) and Deacon. The bishop is the highest office since the bishop is the one responsible to guide the life of the church, to guard the faith and to preserve the unity of the churchly body in truth and love. Bishops are traditionally taken from the monks, and by a regulation dating from the 6th century, must be unmarried. A widowed priest or any unmarried man can be elected to the office of bishop.

The priests (or presbyters) carry on the normal pastoral functions in the Church and lead the local parish communities. They are usually married men. They must be married prior to their ordination and are not allowed to marry once in the priestly state. Single priests or widowers may marry but in this case, they are no longer allowed to function in the ministry. At the present time, the diaconate in the Church is usually a step to the priesthood, or else it exists solely as a liturgical ministry. The deacon may also be a married man, with the same conditions as those for the married priesthood.

What about such very specific issues as divorce and birth control and abortion? What do you have to say about such things?
These important issues all bear upon the appreciation of the family, and generally we can say without hesitation that the Orthodox understand the family to be willed by God as a created expression of His own uncreated life. Thus, in principle, the family must be preserved and glorified as something divinely and eternally valuable. Regarding divorce, the Orthodox follow Christ in recognizing it as a tragedy and a lack of fulfilment of marriage as the reflection of divine love in the world. The Church teaches the uniqueness of marriage, if it will be perfect, and is opposed to divorce absolutely. If, however, a marriage breaks down and collapses, the Orthodox Church does in fact allow a second marriage, without excommunication, that is, exclusion from Holy Communion, if there is repentance and a good chance that the new alliance can be Christian. More than one marriage in any case, however, is frowned upon. It is not allowed to the clergy, and the service of second marriage for laymen is a special rite different from the sacrament as originally celebrated.

The control of the conception of a child by any means is also condemned by the Church if it means the lack of fulfilment in the family, the hatred of children, the fear of responsibility, the desire for sexual pleasure as purely fleshly, lustful satisfaction, etc.

Again, however, married people practicing birth control are not necessarily deprived of Holy Communion, if in conscience before God and with the blessing of their spiritual father, they are convinced that their motives are not entirely unworthy. Here again, however, such a couple cannot pretend to justify themselves in the light of the absolute perfection of the Kingdom of God.

As to abortion, the Church very clearly and absolutely condemns it as an act of murder in every case. If a woman is with child, she must allow it to be born. In regard to all of the very difficult cases, such as a young girl being raped or a mother who is certain to die, the consensus of Orthodox opinion would be that a decision for abortion might possibly be made, but that it can in no way be easily justified as morally righteous, and that persons making such a decision must repent of it and count on the mercy of God. it must be very clear as well that abortion employed for human comfort or to stop what a contraceptive method failed to prevent, is strictly considered by the canon laws of the Church to be a crime equal to murder.

What do you mean by the universality of the Church?
All men are called to be part of the Church, hence the salvific plan of God to gather together His scattered children in unity (cf. Jn 11:52). It is for this purpose that God became Man to take possession of the universe and snatch us from the power of the rebellious angels who, however, believe in Him and tremble (cf. Jas 2:19). The Holy Spirit who is God and who gives life is, for the whole Church, for each and every one of the believers, the principle of their gathering and their unity in the doctrine of the Apostles, and the fraternal communion, in the fraction bread and prayers (cf. Acts 2:42). The people of God cannot be divided as long as they allow themselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit and therefore the need for reconciliation in the Holy Spirit is essential in order to eradicate all the divisions which have struck the Church. All the faithful, in fact, scattered throughout the world, are, in the Holy Spirit, in communion with others. But since the Kingdom of Christ is not of this world (cf. Jn 18:36), the Church remembers that it must act as a unifier with this King to whom the nations have been given as an inheritance (cf. . . Ps 2, 8) and in whose city gifts and presents are brought (cf. Ps 71 [72], 10; Is 60, 4-7; Rev 21, 24). The members of the People of God are called to share their goods and to each of the Churches the words of the Apostle also apply: "Let each put at the service of others the gift he has received, as befits good dispensers of divine grace which is so diverse” (cf. 1 Pet 4, 10) .

Why are non - Christians unable to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion in your Mission?
According to the earliest teachings of the Church, the Eucharist (Holy Communion) can only be administered to those who are Baptized and Chrismated into the Faith. A second century writing known as the Didache instructed believers to “let no one eat or drink from your Eucharist except those who are baptized in the Lord's Name.” In fact, so protective were the early Christians that, there were even restrictions implemented which prevented non-believers from entering churches or attending service.

What is your understanding to Tradition?
We are clear in our believes on Traditions; they are the oral Traditions that were handed to us through the Holy Apostles and the Early Church Fathers on matters regarding the Faith. However, we are clear to acknowledge that there are also traditions (“t") that we ought to evaluate at all times since in most cases, these traditions ("t") are based on ethnic and cultural practises and are not based on Theological and Dogma matters. We confirm that we are serious on Traditions with regards to matters of the Faith and we are sceptic about traditions (“t”) that divides communities and confuse the faithful, traditions (“t”) that relate to ethnic social culture.

What is your understanding to Spirituality?

Spirituality in the Orthodox Church means the everyday activity of life in communion with God. The term spirituality refers not merely to the activity of man’s spirit alone, his mind, heart and soul, but it refers as well to the whole of man’s life as inspired and guided by the Spirit of God.
Every act of a Christian must be a spiritual act. Every thought must be spiritual, every word, every deed, every activity of the body, every action of the person. This means that all that a person thinks, says and does must be inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit so that the will of God the Father might be accomplished as revealed and taught by Jesus Christ the Son of God.
. .. whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Cor 10.31).
Doing all things to the glory of God is the meaning and substance of life for a human being. This “doing” is what Christian spirituality is about.

Does a person have to be Greek, Russian, Arabic or from some other European heritage to be an Orthodox Christian?
Most emphatically NO! The various Orthodox churches welcome anyone for worship and to consider membership. At the present time, the Orthodox churches in the West are experiencing significant growth from Protestants and Roman Catholics interested in our worship and doctrines. The Orthodox Church is Christ’s Church and is therefore open to everyone.

What are the aims of the Archdiocese?
To proclaim the Gospel by establishing missions, to do Charity work to those who are in need regardless of: background, age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, to foster – according to Gospel values; peace, justice and the integrity of the creation worldwide, to defend the Human rights of every individual, to spread the word of God by education and intellectual activity and teaching and to work for Church unity.

Do you only help Orthodox only?

Absolutely not, we help all those who are in need regardless of: background, age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief.

How do you support yourself and your missionary work?
As Saint Paul supported himself by making tents, in order to support his ministry of witnessing to Christ (Acts 18:1–4), so do we as members of the CCOM, we support ourselves and the Society by working secular jobs. We do not ask for any donations or any financial support.


What is your understanding on the Virgin Mary?
The Virgin Mary, the Theotokos (in Greek word that means “God-bearer or Birth-giver to God”, the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son and Word of God. She conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is our belief and tradition that the holy Virgin was a virgin before, during and after the birth of Christ.

Our devotion to the Virgin Mary the Theotokos is not merely a matter of popular piety. It is also an expression of the central teaching of the Catholic Church, the doctrine of the Incarnation of Christ.
Mary to us represents the submission of humanity to the will of God.

I read in the Eastern Orthodox - Catholic Church, there is Weekly Church Cycle. What are they?
Each day of the week has its own commemoration:
1) Sunday - Resurrection of Christ
2) Monday - The Holy Angels
3) Tuesday - St. John the Forerunner
4) Wednesday - The Cross and the Theotokos
5) Thursday - The Holy Apostles and St. Nicholas
6) Friday - The Cross
7) Saturday - All Saints and the Departed

When does the Orthodox  Liturgical year begins and when it ends?
The Eastern - Rite Orthodox - Catholic Liturgical year is very different from the Latin Churches’ Liturgical year used by Roman Catholics. The Roman Catholic Liturgical year begins on the First Sunday of Advent; on the other hand, the Catholic Eastern Right Liturgical year begins on September 1st (First Ecumenical Council in Nicea AD 325) and ends with the feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist (August 29), with whom the Old Testament also concludes. The New Testament, liturgically symbolized by the New Year, begins with the preaching of Our Lord, as indicated by the Evangelist: “After John’s arrest, Jesus appeared in Galilee, proclaiming the good news (Mark 1:14-15).


What about Advent?
The Orthodox - Catholic Eastern - Right Liturgical year does not use the Roman Catholic structure and terminology for cretin seasons; Eastern Catholics do not have Advent or Ordinary time. In the Eastern Right tradition the season prior to Christmas, known in the Latin Church as Advent, is called in the Eastern tradition the Nativity Fast.

You talk about the Church as unity in the truth and love of God. What do you mean by this?
We believe that the life of the Church is life in communion with God Himself, in the Truth and Love of Christ, by the Holy Spirit. We believe that Christ is the Son of God. We believe that He reveals the truth about God and man. We believe that we can know this truth by the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit that He gives to us. The greatest truth shown to us by Christ is that God is Love, and that the only true way of living is by following Christ who called Himself, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Christ gave the great commandment and the great example of perfect love. Thus the greatest truth is love. This is our conclusion. And life in this truth which is love is the life of faith, the life of the Holy Church. Of course there are deviations and betrayals and sins all around. Clergy and laymen alike are guilty. But the Church itself, despite the sins of its members, is still the union with the Truth and Love of God given to men in Jesus Christ, made present and accessible in the Holy Spirit, who lives in those who believe.

What is your Religious habits and your liturgical vestments?
+ Our formal religious habits are with accordance to the tradition of either the Greek Orthodox or Russian Orthodox Church customs.
+ Our Liturgical vestment is Byzantine Vestments. As for those who follows the Western Rite, Western Vestments are used.
+ For those following the Western Rite, Western liturgical vestments are used. 

Do you use a Rosary for prayers?
In the Orthodox tradition, we have a prayer rope (Komboskini in Greek). The typical prayer rope has thirty three knots, representing the thirty three years of Christ's life. In the Byzantine tradition, we regard the prayer rope as the sword of the spirit.

How to pray the prayer rope: It can be used at any time of the day when we have free time, without being seen by anyone, secretly, we hold the prayer rope without left or right hand and move from knot to knot with our thumb whispering simultaneously or meditating upon the prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a sinner " or "Most Holy Theotokos save us".

What's the difference between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism?
The Roman Catholic Church was one with the Orthodox Church until about the 11th century. Rome was one of the original five Patriarchal Sees of the Orthodox Church along with Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria. The Church founded by Christ has always been Orthodox or "rightly believing" in its Deposit of Faith...the Faith of the Apostles...and has been called Catholic or "universal" since the First Century when that name was first given by St. Ignatius, Patriarch & Bishop of Antioch. The rupture that occurred at that time had many complex causes, including the tendency of the Western Church to invest more and more authority in the Pope. The Orthodox Church has never had a worldwide, centralized government like the Papacy; instead, each local church governs itself in mutual accord with all the other local Orthodox churches.

The Orthodox Church has also maintained unchanged the original "unaltered" form of the Nicene Creed (without the "filioque" clause). Contrary to the anathemas of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the Creed..."The Symbol of Faith" imparted to us by God Himself...was altered in the Western Church, and this was another significant cause of the Great Schism of 1054. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church since Vatican II, the Orthodox Church has had no liturgical reform. It maintains a richly beautiful liturgical tradition with many customs dating back to Apostolic times, including fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays, receiving Communion on an empty stomach, ancient liturgical prayers and chants, frequent sacramental confession, standing or kneeling during services instead of sitting, and baptism by full immersion. In the Orthodox Church there is no universal liturgical language (such as Latin in the Roman Catholic Church); it has always been our tradition to pray in the local language. Orthodoxy does not deny the ancient practices of a married Deacons, Priests and Bishops - and - the ministry of Deaconesses, while also valuing and encouraging celibacy for those who are called to the monastic life (cf. St. Matthew 19 : 10–12).

What's the difference between Orthodoxy and Protestantism?
Protestant denominations (such as Baptist, Anglican or Episcopalian, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc.) have their origins in 16th-century Western Europe. These groups were a departure from the Roman Catholic Church - they PROTESTED from her - which, five hundred years previous, Rome had departed or protested from the Orthodox Church. Some of the Protestant reformers, including Martin Luther, were earnestly trying to return to the Church of the New Testament – the early Church of the Apostles, which they believed had been distorted by the Roman Catholic Church. Ironically, with a bit of education they would have found what they were seeking in the Orthodox Church.

In recent years, many groups within Protestantism have abandoned fundamental Christian doctrines and moral teachings, despite the clear witness of Holy Scripture, so highly valued by the 16th-century reformers. But the theological and moral vision of Orthodoxy – what Saint Paul calls "the mind of Christ" – remains unchanged (1 Corinthians 2 : 16; cf. Hebrews 13 : 8). Orthodoxy holds that God never contradicts Himself!





On Freedom:
Freedom is one of God’s greatest gifts to the human being. He who created man in the beginning made him free and self-determined, limiting him solely by the laws of the commandment (Gregory the Theologian, Homily 14, On Love for the Poor, 25. PG 35, 892A). Freedom renders the human being capable of progressing toward spiritual perfection; yet, it also includes the risk of disobedience as independence from God and consequently the fall, which tragically gives rise to evil in the world.

On Peace & Justice:
The Church has diachronically recognized and revealed the centrality of peace and justice in people’s lives. The very revelation of Christ is characterized as a gospel of peace (Eph 6:15), for Christ has brought peace to all through the blood of his Cross (Col 1:20), preached peace to those afar and near (Eph 2:17), and has become our peace (Eph 2:14). This peace, which surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7), as the Lord Himself told His disciples before His passion, is broader and more essential than the peace promised by the world: peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you (Jn 14:27). This is because the peace of Christ is the ripe fruit of the restoration of all things in Him, the revelation of the human person’s dignity and majesty as an image of God, the manifestation of the organic unity in Christ between humanity and the world, the universality of the principles of peace, freedom, and social justice, and ultimately the blossoming of Christian love among people and nations of the world. The reign of all these Christian principles on earth gives rise to authentic peace. It is the peace from above, for which the Unity Catholic Church prays constantly in its daily petitions, asking this of the almighty God, Who hears the prayers of those that draw near to Him in faith.

On Peace & the Aversion of War:
The Church of Christ condemns war in general, recognizing it as the result of the presence of evil and sin in the world: Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? (Jm 4:1). Every war threatens to destroy creation and life.

This is most particularly the case with wars with weapons of mass destruction because their consequences would be horrific not only because they lead to the death of an unforeseeable number of people, but also because they render life unbearable for those who survive. They also lead to incurable diseases, cause genetic mutations and other disasters, with catastrophic impact on future generations.

The amassing not only of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, but of all kinds of weapons, poses very serious dangers inasmuch as they create a false sense of superiority and dominance over the rest of the world. Moreover, such weapons create an atmosphere of fear and mistrust, becoming the impetus for a new arms race.

The Church of Christ, which understands war as essentially the result of evil and sin in the world, supports all initiatives and efforts to prevent or avert it through dialogue and every other viable means. When war becomes inevitable, the Church continues to pray and care in a pastoral manner for her children who are involved in military conflict for the sake of defending their life and freedom, while making every effort to bring about the swift restoration of peace and freedom.

The Christian Church resolutely condemns the multifaceted conflicts and wars provoked by fanaticism that derives from religious principles. There is grave concern over the permanent trend of increasing oppression and persecution of Christians and other communities in the Middle East and elsewhere because of their beliefs; equally troubling are the attempts to uproot Christianity from its traditional homelands. As a result, existing interfaith and international relations are threatened, while many Christians are forced to abandon their homes. Orthodox, Catholic Christians throughout the world suffer with their fellow Christians and all those being persecuted in this region, while also calling for a just and lasting resolution to the region’s problems.

Wars inspired by nationalism and leading to ethnic cleansing, the violation of state borders, and the seizure of territory are also condemned.

On the Attitude of the Church toward Discrimination:
The Lord, as King of righteousness (Heb 7:2-3) denounces violence and injustice (Ps 10:5), while condemning the inhumane treatment of one’s neighbour (Mt 25:41-46; Jm 2:15-16). In His Kingdom, reflected and present in His Church on earth, there is no place for hatred, enmity, or intolerance (Is 11:6; Rom 12:10).

The Catholic Unity Church’s position on this is clear. She believes that God has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth (Acts 17:26) and that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus(Gal 3:28). To the question: Who is my neighbor? Christ responded with the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37). In so doing, He taught us to tear down all barriers erected by enmity and prejudice.
The Church confesses that every human being, regardless of skin colour, religion, race, sex, ethnicity, and language, is created in the image and likeness of God, and enjoys equal rights in society. Consistent with this belief, we rejects discrimination for any of the aforementioned reasons since these presuppose a difference in dignity between people.

The Church, in the spirit of respecting human rights and equal treatment of all, values the application of these principles in the light of her teaching on the sacraments, the family, the role of both genders in the Church, and the overall principles of Church tradition. The Church has the right to proclaim and witness to her teaching in the public sphere.

On the Mission of the Church as a Witness of Love through Service:
In fulfilling her mission in the world, the Church actively cares for all people in need, including the hungry, the poor, the sick, the disabled, the elderly, the persecuted, those in captivity and prison, the homeless, the orphans, the victims of destruction and military conflict, those affected by human trafficking and modern forms of slavery. The Church’s efforts to confront destitution and social injustice are an expression of her faith and the service to the Lord, Who identifies Himself with every person and especially with those in need: Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me (Mt 25:40). This multidimensional social service enables the Church to cooperate with various relevant social institutions.

Competition and enmity in the world introduce injustice and inequitable access among individuals and peoples to the resources of divine creation. They deprive millions of people of fundamental goods and lead to the degradation of human person; they incite mass migrations of populations, and they engender ethnic, religious, and social conflicts, which threaten the internal cohesion of communities.

The Church cannot remain indifferent before economic conditions that negatively impact humanity as a whole. She insists not only on the need for the economy to be grounded upon ethical principles, but that it must also tangibly serve the needs of human beings in accordance with the teaching of the Apostle Paul: By labouring like this, you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ (Acts 20:35). Basil the Great writes that each person should make it his duty to help those in need and not satisfy his own needs (Moral Rules, 42. PG 31, 1025A).

The gap between rich and poor is dramatically exacerbated due to the financial crisis, which normally results from the unbridled profiteering by some representatives of financial circles, the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, and perverted business practices devoid of justice and humanitarian sensitivity, which ultimately do not serve humanity’s true needs. A sustainable economy is that which combines efficiency with justice and social solidarity.

In light of such tragic circumstances, the Church’s great responsibility is perceived in terms of overcoming hunger and all other forms of deprivation in the world. One such phenomenon in our time, whereby nations operate within a globalized economic system, points to the world’s serious identity crisis, for hunger not only threatens the divine gift of life of whole peoples, but also offends the lofty dignity and sacredness of the human person, while simultaneously offending God. Therefore, if concern over our own sustenance is a material issue, then concern over feeding our neighbour is a spiritual issue (Jm 2:14-18).
Consequently, it is the mission of all Churches to exhibit solidarity and administer assistance effectively to those in need.

The Holy Church of Christ, in her universal body, embracing in her fold many peoples on earth emphasizes the principle of universal solidarity and supports the closer cooperation of nations and states for the sake of resolving conflicts peacefully.

The Church is concerned about the ever-increasing imposition upon humanity of a consumerist lifestyle, devoid of Christian ethical principles. In this sense, consumerism combined with secular globalization tends to lead to the loss of nations’ spiritual roots, their historical loss of memory, and the forgetfulness of their traditions.

Mass media frequently operates under the control of an ideology of liberal globalization and is thus rendered an instrument for disseminating consumerism and immorality. Instances of disrespectful, at times blasphemous, attitudes toward religious values are cause for particular concern, inasmuch as arousing division and conflict in society. The Church warns her children of the risk of influence on their conscience by the mass media, as well as its use to manipulate rather than bring people and nations together.

Even as the Church proceeds to preach and realize her salvific mission for the world, she is all the more frequently confronted by expressions of secularism. The Church of Christ in the world is called to express once again and to promote the content of her prophetic witness to the world, grounded on the experience of faith and recalling her true mission through the proclamation of the Kingdom of God and the cultivation of a sense of unity among her flock. In this way, she opens up a broad field of opportunity since an essential element of her ecclesiology promotes Eucharistic communion and unity within a shattered world.

The yearning for continuous growth in prosperity and an unfettered consumerism inevitably lead to a disproportionate use and depletion of natural resources. Nature, which was created by God and given to humankind to work and preserve (cf. Gen 2:15), endures the consequences of human sin: For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together until now (Rom 8:20-22).

The ecological crisis, which is connected to climate change and global warming, makes it incumbent upon the Church to do everything within her spiritual power to protect God’s creation from the consequences of human greed. As the gratification of material needs, greed leads to spiritual impoverishment of the human being and to environmental destruction. We should not forget that the earth’s natural resources are not our property, but the Creator’s: The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world, and those who dwell therein (Ps 23:1).

Therefore, the Church emphasizes the protection of God’s creation through the cultivation of human responsibility for our God-given environment and the promotion of the virtues of frugality and self-restraint. We are obliged to remember that not only present, but also future generations have a right to enjoy the natural goods granted to us by the Creator.

For the Church, the ability to explore the world scientifically is a gift from God to humanity. However, along with this positive attitude, the Church simultaneously recognizes the dangers latent in the use of certain scientific achievements. She believes that the scientist is indeed free to conduct research, but that the scientist is also obliged to interrupt this research when it violates basic Christian and humanitarian values. According to St. Paul, All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful (I Cor 6:12), and according to St. Gregory the Theologian, he writes; Goodness is not goodness if the means are wrong (1st Theological Oration, 4, PG 36, 16C).

This perspective of the Church proves necessary for many reasons in order to establish proper boundaries for freedom and the application of the fruits of science, where in almost all disciplines, but especially in biology, we can expect both new achievements and risks. At the same time, we emphasize the unquestionable sacredness of human life from its conception.

Over the last years, we observe an immense development in the biological sciences and in corresponding biotechnologies. Many of these achievements are considered beneficial for humankind, while others raise ethical dilemmas and still others are deemed unacceptable.

The Church believes that the human being is not merely a composition of cells, bones, and organs; nor again is the human person defined solely by biological factors. Man is created in the image of God (Gen 1:27) and reference to humanity must take place with due respect.

The recognition of this fundamental principle leads to the conclusion that, both in the process of scientific investigation as well as in the practical application of new discoveries and innovations, we should preserve the absolute right of each individual to be respected and honoured at all stages of life. Moreover, we should respect the will of God as manifested through creation. Research must take into account ethical and spiritual principles, as well as Christian precepts. Indeed, due respect must be rendered to all of God’s creation in regard to both the way humanity treats and science explores it, in accordance to God’s commandment (Gen 2:15).

In these times of secularization marked by a spiritual crisis characteristic of contemporary civilization, it is especially necessary to highlight the significance of life’s sacredness. The misunderstanding of freedom as permissiveness leads to an increase in crime, the destruction and defacement of those things held in high regard, as well as the total disrespect of our neighbour's freedom and of the sacredness of life. Eastern & Western Church Tradition, shaped by the experience of Christian truths in practice, is the bearer of spirituality and the ascetic ethos, which must especially be encouraged in our time.

The Church’s special pastoral care for young people represents an unceasing and unchanging Christ-centred process of formation. Of course, the pastoral responsibility of the Church also extends to the divinely-granted institution of family, which has always been and must always be founded on the sacred mystery of Christian marriage as a union between man and woman, as reflected in the union of Christ and His Church (Eph 5:32). This is especially vital in light of attempts in certain countries to legalize and in certain Christian communities to justify theologically other forms of human cohabitation that are contrary to Christian tradition and teaching. The Church hopes for the recapitulation of everything in the Body of Christ, it reminds every person coming into the world, that Christ will return again at His Second Coming judging the living and the dead (1 Pet 4, 5) and that His Kingdom shall have no end (Lk 1:33).

In our times, just as throughout history, the prophetic and pastoral voice of the Church, the redeeming word of the Cross and of the Resurrection, appeals to the heart of humankind, calling us, with the Apostle Paul, to embrace and experience whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report (Phil 4:8) namely, the sacrificial love of Her Crucified Lord, the only way to a world of peace, justice, freedom, and love among peoples and between nations, whose only and ultimate measure is always the scarified Lord (cf. Rev 5:12) for the life of the world, that is, endless Love of God in the Triune God, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, to whom belongs all glory and power unto the ages of ages.


CONTACT US  imageCONTACT US  image


WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU

Emails:
theorthodoxarchdioces.london@gmail.com
metropolitangeorge.orthodox@gmail.com