Over the weekend some exciting developments have taken place in the St George Orthodox Ministry of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Father Peter Farrington had been instructed to begin his ministry within the Patriarchal Diocese under the name of the St George Orthodox Ministry, and now HG Bishop Angaelos has blessed Father Simon Smyth and Deacon Antony Holland to also serve in the Patriarchal Diocese within the St George Orthodox Ministry.
Father Simon was ordained a priest of the Coptic Orthodox Church in 2000, and was made a Hegoumen in 2009. While Deacon Antony was ordained a Deacon of the Coptic Orthodox Church in 2015. Father Peter, Father Simon and Deacon Antony will now work as a team supporting the development of English language mission communities in Stoke, Swindon and Portsmouth together with the other committed members of these communities in the service of those seeking to understand and experience our Orthodox Faith.
On Friday, 3rd of June, Father Simon, Father Peter and Deacon Antony celebrated the Liturgy at the Coptic Centre in Stevenage with HG Bishop Angaelos and Father Shenouda. This was a wonderful experience for and the perfect beginning of their service together in the St George Orthodox Ministry of the Coptic Orthodox Church under the supervision of Bishop Angaelos and the jurisdiction of His Holiness Pope Tawadros. After the celebration of the Liturgy Bishop Angaelos held a lengthy meeting with Father Simon, Father Peter and Deacon Antony, discussing the future of the St George Orthodox Ministry of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and offering valuable advice and much appreciated pastoral care.
Father Peter then drove Father Simon and Deacon Antony to Portsmouth, allowing for much further useful and encouraging conversation and discussion about the service. Then, on the morning of Saturday, 4th June, Father Simon, Father Peter and Deacon Antony met again at St Mark’s Church, Portsmouth, where the Liturgy of St Basil was celebrated. This was a very happy day as it was Father Peter’s birthday, and only the third occasion that Father Simon and Father Peter had prayed the Liturgy together. There were 28 people in all at the Liturgy, which is a hopeful sign of a continuing growth in the community there.
Father Peter will now attend most Liturgies in Portsmouth on the first Saturday of each month to pray with Father Simon and Deacon Antony. While he will also begin to celebrate at Portsmouth on the third Saturday of each month with Deacon Antony to extend the services being offered there.
It is also hoped that it will be possible for Father Simon and Deacon Antony to visit the communities in Stoke and Swindon. Bishop Angaelos was kind enough to promise to visit the communities of the St George Orthodox Ministry of the Coptic Orthodox Church as his busy diary permits.
Father Simon, Father Peter and Deacon Antony were very grateful to HG Bishop Angaelos for the commitment of his time, effort and attention to the pastoral needs of those now gathered together in the St George Orthodox Ministry over many months. There is much hopefulness for the future developments of this ministry and for the spiritual welfare and growth of all those in the communities brought together in this united service.
If you would like to support the St George Orthodox Ministry of the Coptic Orthodox Church, then please use one of the links below. We try to raise as much funds locally as possible but our expenses for travel, church rental and mission costs are presently more than we can generate ourselves. The funds you provide will go directly to the St George Orthodox Ministry and will be used to support and extend our Orthodox mission activities. Thank you.