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Author Topic: Two new English language Orthodox missions in London?  (Read 991 times) Average Rating: 0
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Salpy
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« on: February 20, 2012, 10:05:32 PM »

There is an English language mission starting up in London, in connection with the British Orthodox Church:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Orthodox-London-mission/120962741353666

Now I'm reading that the Coptic Church is starting English language services in London:

http://www.christiantoday.co.uk/article/coptic.orthodox.church.launches.new.ministry.in.the.city/29356.htm

Are these two different missions?
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 08:54:42 AM »

Different. Unfortunately.
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 09:03:05 AM »

Different. Unfortunately.

Why?
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 09:25:26 AM »


Well, the British Orthodox Church is a diocese of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Her purpose is to offer the Orthodox faith to the people there in their language, and with rites appropriate to the culture there. If the Coptic Church has this mission to the British People, why is she now establishing Coptic rite English missions? Why not support the work of the British Church, rather than set up a rival mission? It just seems like wasteful duplication of effort instead of cooperation and pooling of resources.
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 10:12:59 AM »

Does the Coptic Church recognise the work of the British Church and fully support what its aims and objectives are?
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 10:44:33 AM »

I attended the inaugural meeting of the British Orthodox church and spoke to Metropolitan Seraphim about the forthcoming mission under Bishop Angaelos . As far as I understand it they are not in competition but co workers in the field.

I'm sorry to say the Chalcedonians don't seem to be doing anything like this. Don't know why. I belong to the only parish in London where the liturgy is served entirely in English on a Sunday.
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2012, 02:24:04 PM »

Does the Coptic Church recognise the work of the British Church and fully support what its aims and objectives are?

Of course, H.E. Abba Seraphim is the senior Coptic Orthodox Bishop in Britain.
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2012, 02:25:46 PM »

I attended the inaugural meeting of the British Orthodox church and spoke to Metropolitan Seraphim about the forthcoming mission under Bishop Angaelos . As far as I understand it they are not in competition but co workers in the field.

I'm sorry to say the Chalcedonians don't seem to be doing anything like this. Don't know why. I belong to the only parish in London where the liturgy is served entirely in English on a Sunday.

I'm sure they both respect each other and are each happy for the other's work. Neither will be jealous of the other's success. But it creates more confusion and inefficiencies in the long run to have two rites overlapping in the same jurisdiction of the same Church, each targeting English speakers. Just my opinion. I'm sure they're both doing great work though.
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 02:31:32 PM »

I attended the inaugural meeting of the British Orthodox church and spoke to Metropolitan Seraphim about the forthcoming mission under Bishop Angaelos . As far as I understand it they are not in competition but co workers in the field.

I'm sorry to say the Chalcedonians don't seem to be doing anything like this. Don't know why. I belong to the only parish in London where the liturgy is served entirely in English on a Sunday.

I'm sure they both respect each other and are each happy for the other's work. Neither will be jealous of the other's success. But it creates more confusion and inefficiencies in the long run to have two rites overlapping in the same jurisdiction of the same Church, each targeting English speakers. Just my opinion. I'm sure they're both doing great work though.

I can symphathize with your concerns. The same thing happened at a parish (OCA) I was attending in Florida, to an extent. There was a large group of Romanians who integrated well into the parish, but even more that didn't go to the church who wanted to start a Romanian mission. The parish lost a good amount of people to the new mission. It didn't make sense to me at all as the OCA church was rather small (probably less than 25 families or so). As a whole, Orthodox would do better for everyone if they just cooperated with each other.

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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 04:45:07 PM »

there are about 8 million people in london.
father peter and bishop angaelos work closely together on lots of issues.
so, really there is no problem, it's not like they are 2 clergy members who have hardly met working at opposite ends of a tiny village.
if we had 100 orthodox missions in london, it would hardly be enough, so may God bless these 2 groups and give strength, peace and joy to the people who serve in them, clergy and laity.
 Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 04:49:21 PM »

Mabsoota, you said it!
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 01:51:20 AM »

there are about 8 million people in london.
father peter and bishop angaelos work closely together on lots of issues.
so, really there is no problem, it's not like they are 2 clergy members who have hardly met working at opposite ends of a tiny village.
if we had 100 orthodox missions in london, it would hardly be enough, so may God bless these 2 groups and give strength, peace and joy to the people who serve in them, clergy and laity.
 Smiley

Very good point.

Plus, I think it's important that people be able to worship God in a culture they feel comfortable in, if that is possible.  For example, I would imagine there are some British who don't feel entirely at home with the melodies of Coptic hymns, and the BOC would be a better fit for them.  Likewise, I am sure there are Copts who don't want to let go of their heritage, and who still want to hear the melodies they grew up with, even though they may be sung in English.  They would understandably want to stay in their Coptic Church.  I don't have a problem with this.  I think the diversity will attract and retain a greater number of faithful.
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 03:40:12 AM »

Please remember also that the BOC is a minuscule body with two or three acting priests and with no foothold in the capital city. The Coptic church has far more members many of whom are anglicised young people keen spread the gospel.

The two bodies are under the same patriarch and it is in no way like the competition between Greek and Latin missionaries in dark age Europe.
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2012, 10:59:14 PM »

Well, I hope both of these new missions really take off. 

Do they meet on different days?  If so, that gives OO's in the city two different days during the month in which to worship in English.
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2012, 05:16:35 AM »

The BOC intends to have a liturgy on  occasional Saturdays. The Copts are having theirs on occasional Sundays. You can read about this on Bishop Angaelos' website or that of the BOC.

Incidentally, the Copts have had a fortnightly English liturgy in London for some while now. But, Chalcedonian or non-Chalcedonian, English liturgies in London rely on using churches or other premises owned by Catholics or Anglicans. Don't expect to hear too much English in any purpose built Orthodox church!
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« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2012, 06:29:59 AM »

The BOC intends to have a liturgy on  occasional Saturdays. The Copts are having theirs on occasional Sundays. You can read about this on Bishop Angaelos' website or that of the BOC.

Incidentally, the Copts have had a fortnightly English liturgy in London for some while now. But, Chalcedonian or non-Chalcedonian, English liturgies in London rely on using churches or other premises owned by Catholics or Anglicans. Don't expect to hear too much English in any purpose built Orthodox church!

Quite a few of the Greek parishes in London have English liturgies on Saturdays. I think it's just a matter of time before some of them do the odd Sunday too.
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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2012, 09:26:11 AM »

The BOC intends to have a liturgy on  occasional Saturdays. The Copts are having theirs on occasional Sundays. You can read about this on Bishop Angaelos' website or that of the BOC.

Incidentally, the Copts have had a fortnightly English liturgy in London for some while now. But, Chalcedonian or non-Chalcedonian, English liturgies in London rely on using churches or other premises owned by Catholics or Anglicans. Don't expect to hear too much English in any purpose built Orthodox church!

This seems very strange to me. Can you clarify exactly what you mean by English Liturgy?

Most of the churches around me have a celebration of the Liturgy in English, by which I mean there are parts sung in Coptic and Greek, and a few Arabic responses, but it is substantially English. The larger Churches also have an Arabic Liturgy before or after the English one. A few of the Churches have 50/50 English/Arabic (besides of course a few Coptic and Greek parts), or an Arabic Liturgy only, but these are a minority.

Are the Coptic Churches England really so far behind in adopting the local language?

Here in Canada you can get English almost anywhere you go, and what distinguishes the "mission" churches is an avoidance of absolutely any Arabic, and, sadly, usually a use of Evangelical songs instead of Communion hymns, as well as a greater openness to other cultures and ideas, including Evangelical style testimonials.

http://smsv.ca/WorshipSongs.html

http://www.eagleswingsmagazine.com/

What is totally lacking here is any movement towards modifying rites and hymnology to be solidly Orthodox, but decreasingly foreign to the culture here, what the BOC is doing there.

If the Copts are just starting to have english there firmly within the Coptic rite so that all of the youth don't leave and marry outside of the Church rather than stay in a Church that worships in a language foreign to them, and in a foreign language to any potential spouse. I am very surprised that that isn't already the norm. All that I am against is 2, or a half dozen different rites all trying to modify themselves to be suitable to the culture of the land, all doomed to arrive at different points and cause fragmentation and confusion (Some here have the idea that the Coptic Orthodox Church is a different Church than the Eritrean Orthodox Church for example, that the rites are holy, an end rather than a means, and that each different Church, or denomination, in Oriental Orthodoxy should preserve its rites above all else, so they should always maintain separate Churches that they preserve their holy rites, while adapting to the culture of the land separately, which is a mess, if not heresy...)
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« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2012, 03:50:18 PM »

aidan is eastern orthodox.
but i admit that when he visited my 'home' church (coptic) there was not as much english as there should be.
they are working on that now though.
other coptic churches are doing better. some churches have more than half english, and all have a translation into english on the screen or in books.
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« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2012, 04:45:14 PM »

I am not equipped to answer for the Copts on this matter especially on the matter of differing rites. As far as I know the Copts usually celebrate their liturgy of St Basil whereas the BOC have opted for a diiferent rite. You need to ask Fr Peter why.

Although there are examples of liturgies in English with a few Coptic responses, I believe Bishop Angaelos is having the entire thing in English thereby making it available to English people as well as anglicised Egyptians (Why don't the Armenians etc do the same-don't they care about us atheistic Brits?)

The BOC church calls itself a missionary church and indeed with some justification it is especially seeing the efforts of Fr Peter and Fr Simon in spreading the faith. As has been said the more missions the merrier.

As far as the Greeks are concerned, they do have Saturday liturgies in some parishes on a Saturday but so far no one has started a Greek missionary movement to attract the natives or interest them.

The parish I attend has several catechumens, liturgy is entirely served in English (the only Chalcedonian church in London) and it calls itself missionary.

So the Copts must be congratulated .

 
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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2012, 07:48:14 PM »

I am not equipped to answer for the Copts on this matter especially on the matter of differing rites. As far as I know the Copts usually celebrate their liturgy of St Basil whereas the BOC have opted for a diiferent rite. You need to ask Fr Peter why.

Although there are examples of liturgies in English with a few Coptic responses, I believe Bishop Angaelos is having the entire thing in English thereby making it available to English people as well as anglicised Egyptians (Why don't the Armenians etc do the same-don't they care about us atheistic Brits?)

The BOC church calls itself a missionary church and indeed with some justification it is especially seeing the efforts of Fr Peter and Fr Simon in spreading the faith. As has been said the more missions the merrier.

As far as the Greeks are concerned, they do have Saturday liturgies in some parishes on a Saturday but so far no one has started a Greek missionary movement to attract the natives or interest them.

The parish I attend has several catechumens, liturgy is entirely served in English (the only Chalcedonian church in London) and it calls itself missionary.

So the Copts must be congratulated .

 

Actually the fact that the BOC uses a different anaphora than the Coptic Church really has little to do with the question of rites. There is an article by H.E. Abba Seraphim on the BOC website if you want to know more about the reasoning. But if my priest prays St. Cyril's Liturgy while the priest in the next city prays St. Basil's, or if my priest prays St. Basil's while the priest in the next city prays St. Gregory's, this does not mean we are in different rites, we are all still in the Coptic rite. On the Other hand, when Ethiopians pray the Liturgy of St. Basil, still they are using the Ethiopian rite, with its hymns and variances, not the Coptic rite.

The BOC uses substantially the Coptic rite, which it has adopted over time since being received into the Coptic Patriarchate. All the Liturgical services are the same, baptism, weddings, etc. Even the Eucharist is basically the same, just with a different anaphora. However, elements of the rite have been modified in order to be suitable for Western culture. Instead of singing the doxology tunes of the Copts, a western tune is used, etc. This is important, because while the Coptic Church is my Church, it will never be the Church of my parents, or of any large part of my country. Most people will never get past the foreignness of the Church long enough to appreciate the truth of Orthodoxy. Some even see it is unpatriotic, selling out and joining a foreign organization instead of one from home.

Yes, the Copts are to be commended for using English, but only commended in comparison with other groups who have moved more slowly, not in comparison with historic Orthodoxy, which has adapted to the culture of the region and preached the Gospel, rather than becoming an Ethnic club that retains the ways of the old land. It seems strange to accept the BOC, and then at the same time set up English missions with Coptic tunes and customs. Yes, the BOC is very small. But maybe if the Copts supported them as the mission in England of the Coptic Church, so that their priests did not have to work hard at secular employment to support their families, they might be able to support more churches, and reach out more quickly.

In fact, what the Armenians are doing can be considered quite proper. Each jurisdiction should not set up an English mission, following the rites of the jurisdiction, as if we actually were separate Churches. If the Copts are providing mission to the English, then it makes sense for the Armenians and Ethiopians and Indians, etc., to have parishes serving their own people, but to not duplicate the efforts of the Copts, allowing the oneness of the Church to be proclaimed. In fact, as second, third, and fourth persons of each jurisdiction become less connected to the lands of the parents, and more to their new home, it would make sense for them to migrate naturally to the Oriental Orthodox Church of that land, rather than to set different OO Churches of that land. The ethnic parishes would decrease as the local ones increased over time, though there could always be ethnic parishes as needed to fulfill the needs of more recent immigrants. The cynic in me doubts this is the motivation for the other groups hanging back, but who knows.
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« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2012, 08:49:00 AM »

I can't deny that it would have been useful to have some help over the last years. We have had very little resources and have had to rely on ourselves and the resources God has granted us. I have had to try and do things online simply because there has been no real possibility of doing things otherwise, and other clergy have made themselves ill by trying to serve as many people as possible in different places.

I would have been encouraged if a few Copts had decided to commit themselves wholeheartedly to our missionary ministry.

On the other hand, God's will is worked out in His way and in His time. I know that we are prepared to invest time and effort for as many years as God asks in seeking to establish a mission and congregation in London. We have prayed and fasted about this, and it seems that this is God's will.

We are certainly very small indeed, but where are those who will work with us?

We have tried to serve as best we can, and I think that we have managed to serve beyond our little resources. The London School of Orthodox Christian Studies (http://www.lsocs.co.uk) is an example of how we try to serve within our resources. But it cannot be denied that with partners we could have done more over the last 18 years, but perhaps this very narrow and humble way of service has been God's will for us.
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« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2012, 11:18:05 AM »

His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim is too kind.  We Copts should have a bit more etiquette than this.  Lips Sealed
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