Orthodox City Hermit
Orthodox Christian Faith and Life
Orthodox City Hermit
Orthodox Christian Faith and Life
NEW ZEALAND OF MY HEART
A Journey Of Faith In New Zealand
by Alexandra Wood
JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY
When I was a little girl it was still possible to teach Scripture in schools and even people who did not attend church were happy for their children to be taught.
I remember as a child of eight or nine that I pictured in my mind one night the Mount of Olives with a bright full moon and a grove of trees and Jesus praying. I was very moved.
We heard “The Man Born to Be King” by Dorothy L Sayers on the radio, not the original 1940 broadcast of course! There was a very good TV series called “Jesus of Nazareth” which was repeated several times on the BBC I think. William Barclay also was a popular broadcaster later in my teens and I owe him a lot.
I was always interested in the daily life of the people in my Scripture lessons so I became interested in the daily life of the Romans in Britain, the Ancient Britons etc. as I went up through school. I had the advantage of living in the City of London where excavations were part of daily life. I left school at the age of nineteen and went to the Institute of Archaeology to learn to be a Museum Technician. So, Scripture took me to archaeology.
I realised from then on that to be Christian was not fashionable among the intelligentsia and also that those who furiously spurned religion in general did not apply the same standard of proof which they demanded in their own research.
I was not impressed by the intelligentsia. Therefore, I decided to make a hypothesis that God existed. It seemed that more learned people than I could ever be had, in the past, overcome what I could perceive as “Objections to Christianity,” therefore I would try to see if the orthodox teachings actually worked if taken as a practical blueprint for life. This seemed to me to be a more scientific method of assessment.
The book “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis, followed by most of his other religious and ethical essays formed my mind at this time When I got to University as an adult student I found that I had to study Fine Art as part of my Prehistoric Archaeology course along with Ancient History. These were fortunate aberrations for me as D. Talbot Rice was our Art History professor and we had to consider Icons and Byzantine history and we also found ourselves taking in Late Antiquity as we studied Post Roman / Early Christian Archaeology in Britain and Ireland with Charles Thomas. While studying the origins of the monastic movement for Late Roman Archaeology I read “The Desert Fathers” translated by Nora Chadwick(?) and “The Desert a City” by Derwas Chitty and so came across the hermits and St Pachomius, the early British Saints and the extent of the Church in Britain and Ireland. Edinburgh University certainly gave us a good, wide, thorough education!
When I came to New Zealand I finally found myself joining the Anglican Church in the seventies because at the time there was a very orthodox feeling to the church, at least in the parishes. I did find, though, the clergy I met strangely uneducated in early church history and about the Orthodox Church.
The New Zealand Anglican Church then went through some strange and turbulent times with the Charismatic Movement etc.etc.
I found, after a while, that it got most of my pastoral help not from sermons but from the books of John White a professor of psychiatry in Manitoba, one which I am rereading now. It is called “Flirting with the World” and is about worldliness in the church. I also found a very sobering book called “Crumbling Foundations” by Donald G Bloesch about the death of the mainline churches in North America and the opportunity for rebirth as the original faith grounded in apostolic witness. It seemed to mirror concerns I felt here, in New Zealand
I remained in the Anglican church because I found nowhere else to go.
A few years ago I found a book in the public library called “The Orthodox Way” by Timothy Ware and because I was still interested in Late Roman Antiquity I got it out
I read it from time to time and then came the Internet.
Through the Internet I found the British Antiochian Orthodox Church and I asked the priest at Colchester which is near my brother, Fr. Alexander Haig, if there was any Antiochian Orthodox church in New Zealand. He surprised me by saying there was! In the end I found out where Fr Jack Witbrock was living. I also received much help from Fr Gregory Hallam in Manchester and of course there are the plethora of sites on Orthodox topics. None of this was possible before the World Wide Web.
So now I am Orthodox Christian and my patron saint is St Alexandra, wife of Diocletian. Back to late Antiquity! My way to Orthodoxy took many turns but was aided at all times by books and broadcasting and by the Internet so it was a very personal journey, tailor-made to my circumstances. I still continue the great experiment.
The New Zealand Antiochian church is scattered through out the land now. You may visit this site where you will discover a lively community under the guidance of Metropolitan Paul in Australia.
SAINTS OF MY HEART
Άγιος Κολούμπα της Νήσου Iona της Σκωτίας (+597)
9 Ιουνίου, +597
“Στην Αϊόνα της καρδιάς μου,
στην Αϊόνα που αγαπώ,
αντί για τη φωνή των μοναχών,
θα ακούγεται το μούγκρισμα των κοπαδιών.
Μα πριν φθάσει το τέλος του κόσμου,
η Αϊόνα θα ξαναγίνει όπως ήταν”
Προφητεία Αγίου Κολούμπα της Νήσου Αϊόνα της Σκωτίας (+597)
Iona – As It Shall Be
Iona of my heart
Iona of my love
Instead of voices
Shall be the lowing
Of cattle But ‘ere the world
Come to an end
Iona shall be, Iona shall be
As it was
Ορθόδοξοι προσκυνητές στην Νήσο Iona του 2012 της Σκωτίας
Τόποι ιεροί, τόποι αγιασμένοι. Για τον Ορθόδοξο Χριστιανό τέτοιοι τόποι σηματοδοτούν στιγμές προσκυνήματος, λατρείας, πνευματικής ανάπαυσης και μυστικής αναζήτησης. Η ελληνική γη, ευλογημένη από κατάσπαρτα μαρτύρια, μοναστήρια, ασκηταριά και ξωκλήσια, καλεί διαρκώς τον Χριστιανό σ’ ένα αδιάλειπτο προσκύνημα. Κάθε ιερός τόπος γίνεται αφορμή συνάντησης γης και ουρανού. Μια μικρή έξοδος από τον κόσμο και πρόγευση της ουράνιας πατρίδας.
Πρώτοι προσκυνητές, εκείνοι οι άνδρες και οι γυναίκες, που, οδηγημένοι από το Πνεύμα, αναζήτησαν τόπους άσκησης, προσευχής, πάλης των παθών και θείας συνάντησης. Στα βήματα της δικής τους «εξορίας» ψάχνουμε και μείς, διψασμένες ψυχές, τη δική μας συνάντηση με τον Θεό, μακριά από τη φασαρία των καιρών.
Τη συνάντηση αυτή αναζήτησε μια ομάδα κάπου 40 προσκυνητών, που ταξίδεψαν απ’ όλα τα μήκη και πλάτη της γης για να βρεθούν σ’ έναν τέτοιο ιερό τόπο. Έναν τόπο αγιασμένο, που η πορεία της ιστορίας μέσα στους αιώνες, θέλησε να ξεχαστεί -μόνο πρόσκαιρα- στη συνείδηση της μαχόμενης Εκκλησίας. Για τους Ορθοδόξους αυτούς από την Αριζόνα και τη Σιβηρία, τη Νέα Ζηλανδία και την Ολλανδία, το Continue reading “Ορθόδοξοι προσκυνητές στην Νήσο Iona του 2012 στη Σκωτίας”
IRELAND & BRITISH ISLES
Eastern Orthodox Church
Orthodox Parishes in Great Britain & Ireland
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
A list of parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ireland & British Isles.
http://www.rocor.org.uk for further information.
COMING HOME – ORTHODOXY
Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith
This week’s spiritual lesson: We concluded last week our long series of excerpts from the Diocesan conference by Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) at Effingham, England, in May, 1983. It occurs to me it might be useful to continue the Metropolitan’s account of his conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith:
…Then my leader explained to me that everyone who belonged to my group had reacted in exactly the same way, and if no one came we would all be put to shame because the priest had come and we would be disgraced if no one attended his talk. My leader was a wise man. He did not try to convince me that I should listen attentively to his words so that I might perhaps find truth in them: ‘Don’t listen,’ he said. ‘I don’t care, but sit and be a physical presence’. That much loyalty I was prepared to give to my youth organization and that much indifference I was prepared to offer to God and to his minister. So I sat through the lecture, but it was with increasing indignation and distaste. The man who spoke to us, as I discovered later, was a great man, but I was then not capable of perceiving his greatness. I saw only a vision of Christ and of Christianity that was profoundly repulsive to me. When the lecture was over I hurried home in order to check the truth of what he had been saying. I asked my mother whether she had a book of the Gospel, because I wanted to know Continue reading “Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith”
CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY
Ένας Ορθόδοξος ιερέας από το
Exeter της Αγγλίας μας αφηγείται τη δική του μοναδική ιστορία
με την οποία γνώρισε την Ορθοδοξία
Κι ἕνας ἱερεύς ἀπό τό Exeter τῆς Ἀγγλίας: «Ἕνας ἀπ’ τούς ἱερεῖς τῆς ἐνορίας τοῦ Exeter τῆς Αγγλίας, ὁ μεγαλύτερος σέ ἡλικία, μᾶς ἀφηγήθηκε τή δική του μοναδική ἱστορία μέ τήν ὁποία γνώρισε τήν Ὀρθοδοξία:
“Ἦμουν στό Παρίσι, ἔβρεχε κι ἔπρεπε κάπου νά πάω γιά νά μείνω στεγνός. Εἶδα κοντά μου μιά πόρτα καί μπῆκα. Δέν μπορῶ νά πῶ ὅτι εἶδα τό ἐξωτερικό τῆς ἐκκλησίας διότι ἔβρεχε· ἁπλά εἶδα τήν πόρτα καί μπῆκα. Ἄν δέν ἔβρεχε, δέν θά ἔμπαινα! Ἀνοίγοντας ἀπότομα τήν ἐξωτερική πόρτα, παραπάτησα κι ἔπεσα σέ μιά ἄλλη πόρτα κι ἔτσι μπῆκα στήν ἐκκλησία. Χωρίς νά θέλω νά ἐνοχλήσω κανένα, κάθισα πίσω στή γωνία καί παρακολουθοῦσα. Μόλις ἀπέκτησα περισσότερη αὐτοπεποίθησι, προχώρησα γιατί ἤθελα νά μάθω τί συμβαίνει, ποῦ βρίσκομαι. Εἶδα τίς εἰκόνες, τούς σταυρούς καί σκέφθηκα ὅτι πρέπει νά ἦταν ἐκκλησία. Ἀναρωτιόμουν ἄν ἦταν Συναγωγή, γιατί δέν εἶχα δεῖ ποτέ νά φοροῦν τά ἄμφια μέ τέτοιο τρόπο. Τά ἄμφια, τό λιβάνι, ὁλόκληρη ἡ ὀπτική ἐντύπωσι τῆς Continue reading “Ένας Ορθόδοξος Ιερέας από το Exeter της Αγγλίας μας αφηγείται τη δική του μοναδική ιστορία με την οποία γνώρισε την Ορθοδοξία”
GREAT BRITAIN OF MY HEART
St. John The Baptist, the Orthodox Monastery,
Tolleshunt Knights, Essex, England
If you want go to the St. John the Baptist Monastery and talk with Father Zacharias.
The address is:
The Old Rectory, Rectory Road,
Tolleshunt Knights, By Maldon,
Essex CM9 8EZ, United Kingdom
Tel.: (+44) (0) 1621 816 471
to get there from LONDON
1. go to Liverpool Street Station (you can get there by UNDERGROUND)
2. get a train to WITHAM
3. get a taxi to the monastery of Saint John the Baptist (say Tolleshunt Knights if the taxi driver does not know the monastery)
FACEBOOK OF MONASTERY ST JOHN BAPTIST ESSEX