Who are we?
The Old English Orthodox Church web site is published and overseen by the Old English Church under the blessing of Arch Priest, Father Gregory Hallam of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland. Our Patriarch is His Beatitude JOHN X of Antioch. Our Bishop is ‘The Most Reverend Metropolitan Silouan Oner’. We are in communion with all the other Orthodox Churches worldwide, Antioch being one of the ancient sees of the Christian Church, (Acts 11:26). You can find out about our saints here.
What do we do?
This web site collates Orthodox Churches which incorporate the English language in its services and all are welcome to attend. After the Divine Liturgy on Sundays (in most parishes) tea, coffee and soft drinks are served. The various parishes can be found on the following link .
This Old English Orthodox Church web site has various links and a prayer box, which are also located on the Orthodox church web site, which shows helpful information about the existence of the Orthodox faith that was present in the UK before the Great Schism in His One, Holy, catholic and Apostolic Church. It is the Church that Jesus Christ Himself established.
‘And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.‘ Matthew 16:18
Please feel free to explore the resources displayed here. If you would like to get better acquainted with our faith, we run a 3 year Diploma Course in Orthodoxy entitled E-Quip with personal tutorials and online learning (click). We also have Children’s activities after the Sunday Liturgy outside the major feasts of the Nativity (Christmas) and Pascha (Easter) in most of our Churches.
Our Patriarch is His Beatitude JOHN X of Antioch. His Eminence, Metropolitan Silouan was Enthroned as our Bishop on 27th February 2016. Archimandrite Philip Hall is located in Lincoln . Please follow the link to see where our Orthodox Churches are located.
Today, the Orthodox Church is a global phenomenon with 14 autocephalous churches represented across the world. The legacy of all these churches is to be found in ALL these autocephalous churches and their dependencies.
This and the Orthodox Church web sites are committed to seeing new communities planted throughout the UK. We believe that the English language should be one of the languages used in the Orthodox Liturgy and that an Orthodox Church should be within easy travelling distance to members. We believe that through God’s grace, prayer and evangelistic effort He will allow this to happen
We are hoping to plant at least one new mission church each year in order to fulfill our vision of a community in every county. In support of this effort we are looking for land in order to plant purpose built monastic facilities in and around the UK . Our plans are being supported through the efforts of our members, friends, benefactors and major benefactors .
If you are interested in joining one of our communities or just coming along to see what Orthodoxy is about, then do contact us and arrange to worship with us on a Sunday. If you are not close to one of our communities then perhaps you could help grow a new one in your area. Contact us for further information about our Orthodox Church Planting opportunities .
The Orthodox Church already incorporates many languages in the Liturgy as the Orthodox Church is the second largest Christian denomination in the world. It is the Church that Jesus Christ Himself established and has in excess of two hundred and thirty million members worldwide.
Orthodox Christian Prayers for each day of the week
A prayer of Saint John of Damascus
Master, Lord Jesus Christ our God, Who alone have authority to forgive men their sins, in Your goodness and love for men overlook all my offenses whether committed with knowledge or in ignorance, and make me worthy to receive without condemnation Your divine, glorious, spotless, and life-giving Mysteries, not for punishment, nor for an increase of sins, but for purification and sanctification, and as a pledge of the life and Kingdom to come, as a protection and help, for the destruction of spiritual enemies, and for the blotting out of my many transgressions.
For You are a God of mercy and compassion and love for men, and to You we send up the glory, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
ON FRIDAY BEFORE SUNDAY COMMUNION
The Prayer of St Simeon the Translator
Behold, I approach for divine Communion; Creator, burn me not as I partake; For You are Fire, which burns the unworthy. But, rather, cleanse me from every impurity.
Then the following Troparion:
Master, Who loves mankind, Lord Jesus Christ my God, do not let the Holy Things be to me for judgment because of my unworthiness, but rather may they be for the purification and sanctification of soul and body, and as a pledge of the life and Kingdom to come. For it is good for me to cleave to God, to put my hope of salvation in the Lord.
Of Your Mystical Supper, Son of God, receive me as a communicant; for I will not speak of the Mystery to Your enemies; nor will I give You a kiss, as did Judas, but like the thief I confess You: Remember me, Lord, when You come into Your Kingdom.
ON SATURDAY BEFORE SUNDAY COMMUNION
Another Prayer of Saint John of Damascus
I stand before the doors of Your sanctuary, yet I do not put away my terrible thoughts. But ,O Christ our God, Who justified the Publican, and Who had mercy on the Canaanite woman, and opened the gates of Paradise to the Thief, open to me the depths of Your love for mankind, and as I approach and touch You, receive me like the Harlot and the woman with an issue of blood.
For the one easily received healing by touching the hem of Your garment, and the other obtained release from her sins by clasping Your sacred feet.
And I, deplorable as I am, dare to receive Your whole Body; may I not be burnt, but receive me even as You did these.
And enlighten the senses of my soul, and burn up the indictments of my sins, by the intercessions of her who bore You without seed, and of the Heavenly Hosts, for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen.
THANKSGIVING ON MONDAY AFTER HOLY COMMUNION
I thank You, Lord my God, that You have not rejected me, a sinner, but have made me worthy to partake of Your holy Mysteries. I thank You that You have granted me, although I am unworthy, to partake of Your most-pure and heavenly Gifts. Master
Who loves mankind, Who died and rose for our sake, and granted to us these awesome and life-giving Mysteries for the well-being and sanctification of our souls and bodies, let these Gifts be for the healing of both soul and body, for the averting of every evil, for the enlightenment of the eyes of my heart, for the peace of the powers of my soul, for faith unashamed, for love unfeigned, for the fullness of wisdom, for the observing of Your commandments, for an increase of Your divine grace, and for the attainment of Your kingdom. For You are the true joy and inexpressible gladness of those who love You, Christ our God, and all creation hymns You to the ages. Amen.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING ON TUESDAY AFTER SUNDAY COMMUNION
Of Saint Basil the Great
Master Christ our God, King of the ages and Creator of all things, I thank You for all the good gifts You have given me, and especially for the Communion of Your pure and life-giving Mysteries. I therefore pray to You good Lord Who loves mankind: keep me under the protection and in the shadow of Your wings; grant that even to my last breath I may with a pure conscience partake worthily of Your Holy Gifts for the remission of sins and for eternal life. For You are the Bread of life, the Source of holiness, the Giver of good things, and to You we send up glory, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
A THANKSGIVING PRAYER ON WEDNESDAY AFTER SUNDAY COMMUNION.
Of Saint Symeon Metafrastes (Saint Symeon the Translator)
You Who have willingly given me Your Flesh as food, Who are a burning fire to the unworthy, do not consume me. Burn all my iniquities like thorns; cleanse my soul, make holy my thoughts, make firm my knees and my bones as well. Illumine my five senses and make vigilant my entire being with the fear of You.
Watch over me always; shield and protect me from every deed and word which corrupts the soul. Cleanse me, purify me, and put me in order; adorn me, give me understanding, and illumine me. For in Your goodness You alone sanctify and enlighten our souls, and to You, our God and Master, as is right we send up glory every day of our lives. Amen.
Preparation for Holy Communion in the Orthodox Church in the British Isles and Ireland.
When did you last go to Confession ?
Take a moment to think about this question. Remember the last time you came. Greek priests, Russian priests,Romanian priests, English priests and other Orthodox priests around the world have taught different customs and practices about Confessing our sins. When Orthodox from abroad come to England they find these different customs and practices confusing, unsettling, bewildering. They are not sure what it is right for them to do.
For that reason the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops in Great Britain and Ireland met together in March 2014 and issued guidelines for all Orthodox in this country.
The Bishops tell us first of all that the Orthodox Christian people should regard the frequent reception of Holy Communion at the Liturgy as right, proper and normal. It is to be desired that Christian people should receive the Holy Communion often, even every Sunday. Not just at the Nativity and at Pascha.
Why should Christian people receive the Holy Communion frequently ?
Firstly we receive the Holy Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ because Christ himself commanded and taught us to do this. We receive the Holy gifts in 1 obedience. Christ commands – and – if we love Him – we obey.
Secondly, the Bishops tell us, that frequent and regular Communion protects the faithful from the temptations and devices of the enemy. Holy Communion, rightly received, nourishes the soul. You would not starve your body to death.
Why would you want to starve your soul ?
The Bishops tell us, however, that it is dangerous to receive the Holy Communion without careful and strict preparation, as Saint Paul teaches us. The Assembly of all Orthodox Bishops in this country tells us exactly how we must prepare for Holy Communion.
They tell us:
1. We should prepare by fasting.
2. We should prepare by going to confession.
3. We should prepare by reading some of the traditional prayers of preparation before we come to the Temple.
4. If we are married we should not have sexual relations on the night before we are to take Holy Communion.
5. If we are not married we should never have sexual relations. We should be chaste and celibate.
6. All of these preparations must be done with sincerity, repentance and humility – not done mechanically and thoughtlessly.
Concerning the Fast before Communion the Bishops tell us this:
If you are regularly keeping the Fast from all animal products ( meat, milk, butter, cheese and eggs ) every Wednesday and Friday through the year and keeping the Great Fasts of Lent , the Apostles and the Dormition,and the Advent Fast then you only need to fast before Communion by taking nothing to eat or drink from Midnight before the Liturgy until after the end of the Liturgy. You are not required to fast for a whole week, or even for 3 days. It will be sufficient to fast from midnight. So if you are taking Communion on Sunday morning you make a total fast from Midnight on Saturday until the end of the Liturgy at which you take Communion.
The Bishops also remind us that Fasting does not just mean giving up certain foods. They remind us that St John Chrysostom tells us that we should fast not only with the mouth – but also with the eyes, the ears, the feet and the hands. Fast from looking at thing no Christian should look at. Fast from listening to gossip, slander and dirty jokes. Fast from going to places you should not go to. Fast from hurting anyone with hand or fist. And the mouth itself should not only fast from food but also from telling lies, repeating gossip and slander and running down or criticising other people. “ Let me not 3 judge my brother or sister ! “ So St Ephrem the Syrian teaches us in his Lenten Prayer.
2. What about Confession ?
The Bishops tell us that Confession and Communion belong together. let me read you the exact words of the Bishop’s Recommendations. They say “ Today in the Orthodox Church sacramental Confesson should always be linked with our participation in the Eucharist. (that is to say, with the Holy Communion. ) ( “ Eucharist “ is another name for the Divine Liturgy or Mass ) However the Bishops also tell us that if a Christian is coming to confession regularly through the year – and if that Christian’s conscience is not accusing him or her of a grave and serious sin – then it is not of obligation – not necessary – not compulsory – to come to confession every time before Communion.
Confession should be regular throughout the year but it need not be done every time before every Communion.
BUT…. if a person has not been keeping the Fasts for a long time – and IF that person has not been to Confession for a long time – then they MUST keep a strict and longer fast agreed with by their spiritual father or parish priest – and MUST go to confession before beginning to receive Holy Communion again.
3. So much for Fasting and Confession before Communion
What about the prayers of preparation and thanksgiving ? The Bishops suggest that for ordinary Christian people it will be sufficient that for 3 days before Communion they read one of the traditional preparation prayers each day and for three days after receiving Holy Communion they read one of the thanksgiving prayers each day. So, if you are going to receive Holy Communion on Sunday you should read one Prayer of Preparation on Thursday, one Prayer of Preparation on Friday, and one Prayer of Preparation on Saturday. Then on the Monday after Holy Communion you should read one Prayer of Thanksgiving and on Tuesday one Prayer of Thanksgiving and on Wednesday one Prayer of Thanksgiving. By this means you will enable the Grace of Holy Communion to nourish your soul every day of the week and not just on Sunday !
Finally, the Bishops tell us that there is one time of the year when EVERYONE must go to Confession. And that is before the Holy Communion at Pascha. NO ONE should dare or presume to approach the Holy Gifts and receive the Communion at the great Feast of Pascha without first going to Confession.
This is the recommendation, teaching and advice of all the Bishops in this Country… Russian, Greek, Serbian, Romanian and English. There is now one teaching for all the Orthodox in England. Let us be faithful to it.
A Catholic monk acted as my guide whilst I was in prison and after much reading and searching I was led to discover the truth about our Christian faith… Such honesty! The truth was all that I ever wanted to know. Once I had found that truth, I believed that my faith in Him would do the rest. I was not disappointed and now having been set free from ignorance I am able to Commune with Him every day.
I pray for those who are on a similar journey that they too will be blessed in the same way.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”(Matthew 7:7)
This page reflects upon death and the choices available to the individual should they seek to prepare for death before the event and how their body will be dealt with during this process. In many cases people fail to prepare for their demise and this responsibility falls upon a family member or someone else. This means that in many circumstances a person is left to assume the instructions of the deceased or follow whatever instructions they were given before death occurred.
If these instructions were not given in a written form (signed and witnessed), complications and errors can occur. This could mean that the wishes of the deceased are not followed in respect of the removal of the body, according to their wishes and spiritual beliefs.
The information displayed here is given to try and assist an individual in making a sensible choice on how they want their affairs dealt with upon their death. We also provide information on how to make sure that your wishes are achieved upon your death.
If you would like details for a Christian ending in the UK, please clcik on the link here: