Ένας άθεος συναντάει τον ίδιο το Θεό μέσα στην Ορθόδοξη Θεία Λειτουργία ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* π. Anthony Bloom του Sourozh, Επίσκοπος Μ. Βρεταννίας & Ιρλανδίας (+2003)



Ένας άθεος συναντάει τον ίδιο το Θεό

μέσα στην Ορθόδοξη Θεία Λειτουργία


π. Anthony Bloom του Sourozh,

Επίσκοπος Μ. Βρεταννίας & Ιρλανδίας (+2003)

Ο π. Anthony Bloom του Sourozh, Επίσκοπος Μ. Βρεταννίας & Ιρλανδίας μας αναφέρει:

«Θυμᾶμαι ὅτι μᾶς εἶχε ἐπισκεφθῆ κάποτε ἐδῶ ἕνας σαραντάρης, στρατευμένος ἄθεος. Ἦλθε σ᾽ αὐτή τήν ἐκκλησία ἐπειδή, ὅπως εἶπε, εἶχε φέρει ἕνα δέμα γιά κάποιον ἐνορίτη μας. Πῆγε καί κάθισε πίσω-πίσω, ἀλλά ἔνιωθε ὅτι μία παρουσία γέμιζε τό χῶρο. Ξαναήλθε σέ ὥρα πού δέν εἴχαμε Λειτουργία, και ἀνακάλυψε ὅτι ἡ παρουσία ἦταν ἀκόμη ἐκεῖ —ἀληθινή, ἀντικειμενική, δέν τή δημιουργοῦσε ἡ ψαλμωδία, τά κεριά, οἱ εἰκόνες, ἡ προσευχή τῶν ἀνθρώπων: ἦταν ἡ παρουσία τοῦ ἴδιου τοῦ Θεοῦ. Αὐτόν ἔτσι τόν ἄγγιξε…».





Finding the Faith of St Joseph of Arimathea: An Interview with Fr. Jonathan Hemmings, England ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* The tradition of faith in Great Britain goes back to the Apostolic era!





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Finding the Faith of St Joseph of Arimathea:

An Interview with Fr. Jonathan Hemmings, England


The tradition of faith in Great Britain goes back to the Apostolic era!

by Tudor Petcu





A Romanian writer, Tudor is a graduate of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest, Romania. He has published a number of articles related to philosophy and theology in different cultural and academic journals. His work focuses on the evolution of Orthodox spirituality in Western societies as well and he is going to publish a book of interviews with Westerners converted to Orthodoxy. In this article, he interviews Fr. Jonathan Hemmings, Orthodox theologian, who is the priest of the Holy Life-Giving Cross Orthodox Church in Lancaster, UK, talks about faith and love in Christ.


1.) Before discussing your conversion to Orthodoxy, I would appreciate it a lot if you could talk about your main spiritual experiences and journies untill you have discovered the Orthodox Church.

First of all, we need to be sure of what we mean when we use the term convert or “conversion.” We all need to be converted – both those who come from different traditions and confessions and those from traditionally Orthodox countries who are referred to as “cradle Orthodox”. Christianity is not a Philosophy, it is a relationship with the All Holy Trinity. We are converted to Christ and we are received into the (Orthodox) Church through Baptism and/or Chrismation. Sometimes this happens in the other order of events. Those who are Baptised Orthodox as babies need to employ the gift of the Holy Continue reading “Finding the Faith of St Joseph of Arimathea: An Interview with Fr. Jonathan Hemmings, England ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* The tradition of faith in Great Britain goes back to the Apostolic era!”

A Journey Of Faith In New Zealand – Alexandra Wood, England




A Journey Of Faith In New Zealand

by Alexandra Wood




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.

Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith



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”

Ένας Ορθόδοξος Ιερέας από το Exeter της Αγγλίας μας αφηγείται τη δική του μοναδική ιστορία με την οποία γνώρισε την Ορθοδοξία



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”

James Evans, England: His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy



James Evans, England:

His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy






Interview with James Evans, an Orthodox Briton

Priest George Maximov, James Evans

We continue to publish the materials of Spas TV program “My Path To God”, where Priest George Maximov interviews people who converted to Orthodoxy. The guest of today’s program is James Evans, an Orthodox Englishman. He will tell us why he prefers to live in Russia rather than in England, what he gets from singing in the Orthodox church and how his journey to Orthodoxy began.

* * *

Priest George Maximov: Hello. You’re watching My Path To God. Today we have a guest from England. James, please tell us about yourself.

James Evans: I was born in a Catholic family in London. Later we moved to Salisbury, 3 hours away from London. I went to an Anglican school, because education there was better than in Catholic schools. The Anglican service doesn’t differ much from the Catholic service. It was quite beautiful and I sang in the school choir during the services. However, I went to a Catholic church for communion.

All my grandparents are from Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and so I am of a Celtic origin.

I grew up in Salisbury and went to Oxford after graduation. When I was still in school in Salisbury, I passed the Latin exam one year earlier and was offered to select an additional subject. I chose Informatics, but they assigned me to a Russian language course instead. I was upset, but started reluctantly studying it. A few months later, I was told that this year they were organizing a student exchange program and I had a chance of going to Russia. I travelled to Russia for my summer vacation in 1989, when I was 16. This changed everything for me and set the course for my future life. When I got back to England, I understood that I couldn’t live without Russia. I talked the principal into giving me an opportunity to study Russian language and literature individually. He made an exception and assigned personal tutors to me. In the University of Oxford, I continued my Russian studies. Not because I wanted to become a linguist, but because I felt that Russia was calling me. I don’t know why, but I had a feeling that there would be no life for me without Russia. That was how it all started.

Father George: So, thanks to the Russian language studies, you learned about the Russian culture. You also visited Russia when it was still a part of the Soviet Union and saw its everyday life and people. Were you particularly impressed by anything?

I wasn’t impressed by the Russian culture as much as I was impressed by a totally different view on life.

James Evans: My first encounter with the Russian culture started with Continue reading “James Evans, England: His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy”

Three Truths from Childhood – Fr. Andrew Philips, England




Three Truths from Childhood

by Fr. Andrew Philips






Most say that our earliest years are our most formative years, when all else is decided, and that much depends on the happiness or unhappiness of childhood, which determines all that follows. For my part, over six childhood years, between the ages of six and twelve I learned three truths, all the essential realities, that have shaped the rest of my life. You may argue with how I have interpreted those truths, interpretations patterned also by other events and meetings, but I do not think that the truths themselves can be denied, however attached to the world, its Establishment and its delusions people may be.

Western Civilization Has Destroyed Itself

The first truth came to me in a realization when I was still an innocent six years old. I had been brought up on the phrases ‘before the war’, referring to the Second World War, and ‘nothing has ever been the same again’, referring to the First World War. Brought up surrounded by a grandfather who had fought in Baghdad, Jerusalem and Thessaloniki in the First World War, not to mention a host of nineteenth-century great-uncles and neighbours, who had been similarly involved elsewhere from France to Russia, and maiden aunts, maiden because there had been not enough men to marry after the War, I knew all about the tragic results of the Great War.

Born a few years after the end of the Second World War and listening to the stories of my father who had fought in Egypt, Italy and Austria, not to mention to a host of uncles and neighbours, who had been similarly involved elsewhere from France to Burma, and maiden aunts, maiden because there had been not enough men to marry after the War, and living in a tiny town sandwiched between two former wartime US airfields, I knew about that War too. And my father assured me that, even though Nazidom in Europe had Continue reading “Three Truths from Childhood – Fr. Andrew Philips, England”