Thursday 3 September 2015

Step outside....

Stoke on Trent has a population of about 250,000. The North Staffordshire region of which it is a part has a population of about 460,000.

How do we begin to reach 1% of that population in a meaningful manner? 1% of 250,000 is just 2,500 people.

There is a lot of useful census information available for the UK.

In the area of 2 miles around the Church of St Paul, where we meet, there are:

i. 1400 pensioners living on their own.
ii. 1191 lone parents with children

What does the Orthodox Gospel have to say to them?

There are 29,000 people within 2 miles of our little Coptic Orthodox community. There are 12,500 households of varying composition. Within just a mile of our Coptic Orthodox community there are about 7,500 people.

Of course we will seek to reach people with the abundant life that is in Christ in the Orthodox Church by every means and across the whole area, but to a great extent, we begin reaching this first 1% by opening the door of the place where we meet and stepping outside.

Wednesday 2 September 2015

What is mission?

I started writing something on mission, but it was becoming something much longer than I wanted to publish here just at the moment. I shall try again, reflecting only on what I mean and understand by mission.

Others may use this word and other associated words in a variety of ways. I am not suggesting that they are wrong to do so, nor am I criticising any other model. But I do want to clearly explain and describe what I mean, especially as I have been given the responsibility of caring for and developing three mission communities in the UK by His Holiness Pope Tawadros, under the oversight of His Grace Bishop Angaelos.

Monday 31 August 2015

Indian Orthodox Family Conference

I was very pleased to have been invited to participate in the annual Indian Orthodox family conference, which took place this year at Yarnfield Park Conference Centre, near Stafford. I had been given permission to attend by H.E. Metropolitan Seraphim, and then by H.G. Bishop Angaelos, and this was a wonderful opportunity to meet old friends such as Father George Joy, of the Hemel Hempstead congregation, and to receive the blessing of H.E. Mor Thimothios, the bishop of the Indian Orthodox Church in the UK with responsibility for much of Europe and Africa as well.

Thursday 27 August 2015

Status Update - A New Beginning

Today I was blessed to have a warm and fruitful meeting with His Grace Bishop Angaelos at the Coptic Centre, Stevenage. During the meeting I was able to discuss His Holiness' intention for my future service within the Coptic Orthodox Church.

I am very pleased that it has been decided that I will serve as a priest of the Patriarchal Diocese of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and that I will report to His Grace Bishop Angaelos, who will have the care and supervision of my ministry.

It has been agreed with Metropolitan Seraphim that I will continue to develop the three missions in Swindon, Windsor and Stoke, and these will now be English language mission communities within the Patriarchal Diocese.

Over the next few days I hope to begin to plan the renewed schedule of services and activities in these places, and will continue to be in regular contact with His Grace Bishop Angaelos so that he can advice and direct this missionary ministry within the Coptic Orthodox Church.

I hope to have other things to report in due course. But this is certainly a new beginning for myself, and for the mission communities I have been serving. Please continue to pray for me, for my family, and for all those entrusted to my care.

Saturday 22 August 2015

A New Life of St Mark for Youth - The Last Blessing - Part 1

This is the first chapter of a Life of St Mark which I am writing with the youth in mind. I hope to be able to describe the lives of our great saints in language which is accessible to many and which communicates the rich history of our Church in a memorable manner.

I am still waiting patiently for my service to the Church to be defined by His Holiness, and for permission to serve the spiritual children God has placed in my care, and to discover how the Church might choose to provide for the needs of my family while I commit myself to the Gospel. This time of obedient  anticipation has been a blessing since I have been able to spend much time in study and in writing, and I offer this first chapter of this Life of St Mark as the fruit of some of that effort. Please remember me in your prayers and support. Your encouragement sustains me.


I had taken my brother on an errand down to the harbour. I think we had been sent by my mother to fetch some fish for the family meal that day. It was a long time ago and I am remembering as best I can. We had run all the way down to where the fishermen landed their catches, on the furthest quays. Far enough away from the great palaces of the rich and noble that the harvest of the sea did not disturb their refined sensibilities. Far enough away from the fortress on the sea wall that the little boats were no obstruction to the passage of the galleys that would often be seen transporting troops and imperial officials.

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Spending the precious gift of time wisely?

Every day that God gives us has 24 hours in it, 1440 minutes and 86,400 seconds. How we use those precious moments should matter to us. They matter to God. There is a real sense in which he created the whole world, and entered into it himself as Jesus Christ, and suffered, died and rose again, so that you might enjoy the gift of this day.

If we were training for an elite athletics competition our coach would have determined how we were to spend each minute. There would be time for relaxation of course, because the human mind and body needs to relax to be able to operate at peak efficiency. But there would be no wasted time. An athlete training for an Olympic race has only one chance to get it right. And St Paul tells us that were are training to compete in an altogether more significant race, truly the race of our life.

Monday 17 August 2015

Overcoming Loneliness - the Video

I hope that this video recording of the Overcoming Loneliness homily I published here a little while ago will be of use to a few people.

Loneliness is one of the great interior burdens that so many are carrying in the 21st century, often unable to share their feelings with others. Our age of technological wonder has not solved the most basic and serious of our inner hurts and pains.

Perhaps these few thoughts will help someone.

A Musical Distraction

I was in the car yesterday evening taking my son to his guitar lesson. He turned the radio on and switched between channels, trying to find something he liked. We had the usual conversation about how much modern popular music is derivative and not as good as the music of 40 years ago. It generally isn't! But I had to ask him to turn the radio off. I was finding it so disturbing of my spiritual peace.

I don't mean that it was presenting horrible lyrics, indeed I can't remember what was on. But the music was affecting me at some inner level of my heart that was preventing me finding stillness in prayer. I find this often. There is a time when I listen to great popular music, but it is not usually compatible with prayer. Prayer usually requires an inner stillness. We can pray in desperate circumstances, but if we choose to place ourselves in the middle of noise then we should not be surprised that our experience of prayer suffers.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Wasting time, wasting life

From the earliest ages people have valued leisure time as a relief from work and business. Indeed the Greeks spoke of leisure time and not leisure time, promoting the importance of what could be done during leisure. For the Greeks the time of leisure was to be spent in the most important pursuit of understanding, in serious discussion and in the contemplation of beauty and the divine. It is interesting that the Greek word for leisure is scholei, which became our own word school. We might think that school is the opposite of leisure, but for the Greeks, and then for the Romans, the proper purpose of life, of effort and work, was to provide time for the pursuit of personal growth, of the experience of truth and beauty, and of seeking after God.

Until recently the little time that people had away from business and the world of work would be spent in serious pursuits. Time was too precious to be wasted. Those who valued such leisure as was available would spend much of it in reading, study, religious activities and in other forms of self improvement such as visiting museums or even venturing into the countryside.

Thursday 13 August 2015

St Timothy of Alexandria - Part II

Just as the death of Marcian had allowed the election and consecration of St Timothy, so the death of Emperor Leo in 474 AD allowed an opportunity for St Timothy to be restored to Alexandria after eighteen years of exile. Zeno, who had risen to become the commander of the army, the magister militum, succeeded to the imperial throne, and immediately the clergy and people of Alexandria sent representatives to Constantinople requesting the return of St Timothy from his exile in far off Cherson. Zeno was of Isaurian origin however, and had taken the Greek name of Zeno on his marriage to the Emperor Leo’s daughter, Ariadne. He was not popular among many of the Greek court, who especially resented the presence of Isaurian soldiers and officers in the city.

St Timothy of Alexandria - Part I

There are few of the fathers of the Oriental Orthodox communion who escape uncritical censure on the part of the Eastern Orthodox. Uncritical, because based on a few polemical comments deriving from the period of the Christological controversies and failing entirely to take into account any of the writings and historical records deriving from the Oriental Orthodox communities in which they were active.

St. Timothy falls into this category of unreasonably maligned figures. Condemned as both a murderer and Eutychian, he has passed into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox histories as a figure entirely without any redeeming features.

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Orthodoxy and Culture

The relationship between Orthodoxy and Culture is a significant and interesting subject which has been much on my mind for some time. It is important for the present experience of our Coptic Orthodox Church because it has relevance to the integrity of our spiritual tradition, to the pastoral needs and ministries of the Church, and for the expression and commitment to missionary activity in accordance with the Lord's command.

Tuesday 11 August 2015

The Fast of the Virgin Mary - II

It is significant that the Virgin Mary is present and active at the first miracle which our Lord Jesus Christ performed. We may remember the account of the Wedding at Cana. Jesus and his disciples were guests, and at some point in the event it was discovered that the host was running out of wine. What a disaster at a time and place when generous hospitality was everything!

We should make a careful note of the words which his mother, the Virgin Mary spoke. They are not accidentally recorded for us by St John. On the contrary they were filled with spiritual meaning which became clear as the ministry of the Lord unfolded. St John writes...

And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. John 2:3-5

Saturday 8 August 2015

Orthodox Videos by Father Peter Farrington

This is an up to date collection of videos I have produced for Coptic Youth Channel, and on my own Youtube Channel. I hope to be able to add the programmes I produced with Aghapy TV and CTV when links to stream them are available.

I hope to produce many more of these videos as God wills. If you find these videos helpful and useful then please consider that I'm without financial support at the moment, except from a few dear friends, while I am waiting for the Church to determine how I can best be of service. My household bills have not, unfortunately, gone away. Indeed they are mounting up and cannot be paid at present. So I am waiting, trusting in the Lord for his provision by your prayers. Please continue to pray for me and with me. I always need your prayers in every situation. There is a link to provide support at the bottom of this page.

Coptic Youth Channel

Friday 7 August 2015

Overcoming Habitual Sin

This is a first draft of a lengthy piece of writing about overcoming habitual sin. I hope that those who find it useful will help me to improve it by asking questions or raising issues that I have neglected or treated in a confusing manner. My email address is I look forward to suggestions about how it can be made a more useful text.
I am always happy to receive correspondence from people around the world. Almost every day I receive messages on Facebook or by email, and much of my time is taken up in responding to the spiritual needs of those who have taken the time to contact me. Very often those who want to talk with me are facing the challenge of overcoming habitual sin. 

If you find this writing helpful and useful then please consider that I'm without financial support at the moment, except from a few dear friends, while I am waiting for the Church to determine how I can best be of service. My household bills have not, unfortunately, gone away. Indeed they are mounting up and cannot be paid at present. So I am waiting, trusting in the Lord for his provision by your prayers. Please continue to pray for me and with me. I always need your prayers in every situation.

If you are able, and moved, to provide some support at this rather testing time, then your financial support is most gratefully received as if from God himself.

The Fast of the Virgin Mary - I

Each of the seasons of fasting in the Church has a purpose. We are invited to reflect and to act for our salvation as we consider and imitate those who have experienced the life in Christ before us. Most recently we kept the fast and the feast of the Apostles, seeking to prepare ourselves by spiritual effort for our own share in the mission of the Church to the world. Today, as we begin the fast of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, we seek to benefit from an extended period of prayerful concentration on her life and experience.

Monday 3 August 2015

All things work together for good

The Pauline Epistle for the Liturgy today is very short. Just a single verse. But it is a verse that we should all have kept safe in our heart, ready to bring to mind when we suffer difficulties of various kinds. It says...

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Friday 31 July 2015

Status Report

My dear friends,

I am grateful for the unfailing prayers and support of so many people around the world. These prayers are entirely necessary to my service, and if I have ever written, or said, or recorded anything of any small value it is because of the grace of God which your prayers have asked for me.

As I have posted about a month ago, I have transferred from the jurisdiction of the British Orthodox diocese of the Coptic Orthodox Church, to the direct jurisdiction of His Holiness Pope Tawadros. This has been due to no personal preference, and even a few months ago I expected to continue as I had done for 21 years since I became Orthodox. But it has been due to a strong sense of the will of God made clear through various circumstances that could not be ignored.

My fervent hope and expectation is that I will be able to continue to engage in missionary work in the UK but in union with, and as a priest of, the Coptic Orthodox Church using the Coptic Orthodox rite in English.

At the moment I am waiting patiently to see what will be determined for me by the Church. Please pray that the will of God will be made known and that I can serve again as Our Lord wishes. There are others also, those I have been caring for, and some I have led into our Orthodox Faith over the last months and years, who are also waiting patiently with me for the will of God to be revealed.

I'm without financial support at the moment, except from a few dear friends. My household bills have not, unfortunately, gone away. Indeed they are mounting up and cannot be paid at present. So I am waiting, trusting in the Lord for his provision by your prayers. Please continue to pray for me and with me. I always need your prayers in every situation.

If you are able, and moved, to provide some support at this rather testing time, then your financial support is most gratefully received as if from God himself.

Thursday 25 June 2015

Overcoming Loneliness

We live in an age when each one of us is surrounded by hundreds and thousands of people each day. At school, at work, and in the streets, we are crowded around with others. Even if we spend our time at the computer screen we are unable to keep up with the ceaseless traffic of messages and images and status updates that overwhelm our attention. It can seem that everyone is busy and engaged in warm and meaningful relations. It can seem that everyone has life sorted out. It can seem that we are unique in experiencing a crushing sense of loneliness in the midst of the crowd.

Wednesday 3 June 2015

The Spiritual Character of the Preacher

A short homily preached before the bishops and priests gathered at the European Coptic Clergy Conference in Venice, May 2015

My holy fathers, I am not worthy to address this congregation on any subject, but I do so in obedience to the instruction that I speak for a few minutes about the spirituality of the one who preaches.

The spirituality of preaching is not concerned with the techniques we might use to communicate an idea, but it is to do with the spiritual quality and character of those who preach, and the spiritual quality and character of those things which are spoken.

In the Gospel for the Liturgy which was provided in the Katamarous for yesterday, I read the words from John 7:18...

"He that speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he that seeks the glory of his that sent him is true and there is no unrighteousness in him".

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Where did the Apostles go? - St James

In this second short post for the Fast of the Apostles, I'd like us to consider the Apostle James, or James the Greater, to distinguish him from James the Lesser, and also from the James, the relative of the Lord Jesus who became the leader of the Church in Jerusalem. This James is the son of Zebedee, and the brother of the Apostle John. Our Lord Jesus called them the sons of thunder, or Boanerges. The distinction between them indicates that one was older or perhaps taller than the other.

He was one of the first to follow Jesus, and was called away from his fishing nets and his father when our Lord Jesus spoke to him and his brother as he walked along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He was also one of the three disciples who witnessed the Transfiguration of our Lord on the mountain.

Monday 1 June 2015

Where did the Apostles go? - St Thomas

During the season of the Fast of the Apostles I want to produce some short posts about the traditions associated with the various Apostles. After the resurrection we know that they were dispersed to engage in ministry in different places, and to a great extent our keeping this fast is a means of our own preparation for service of the Gospel.

I want to begin this series by considering St Thomas. I have described in some detail the account we find of him in the Gospels. But on this occasion I want to simply consider some of the tradition of the Church concerning him. A tradition which seems to me to be rooted in a real history.

Sunday 31 May 2015

The Feast of Pentecost - The Spirit of Truth

Today is the joyful feast of Pentecost. It is the day in the year when we especially commemorate with thanksgiving the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Christ who had remained faithful, and continued to gather together both through the despair of the cross, the joy of the resurrection and the hope of the ascension. Of course it is also a time for us to give thanks for the continuing outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church, and even upon each one of us, unworthy though we know ourselves to be.

The Holy Spirit has many aspects. He is the Creator spirit, who brooded over the face of the waters and brought forth order and life in the Universe. St Jacob of Serug uses this image and describes the Holy Spirit brooding over the congregation as it gathers together at the eucharist, and there is a real sense in which a creative work is performed in our lives at each liturgy and each time we receive communion.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

A Spiritual Journey into Orthodoxy

I was born into a Protestant family. My parents were committed and devout evangelical Christians, and they brought me up to be active in my faith, and in the Christian community to which we belonged. I was part of a congregation of the Plymouth Brethren. We were part of the Open Brethren, not the Exclusive Brethren. Over the years the little congregation became just an ordinary Evangelical Church. When I was a small child it was simply called Salisbury Hall, after the name of the road where it was found. Then it became known as an Evangelical Church on the notice board, and presently, years after I had ceased to be a member, it is called a Family Church. I’ve come on a similarly transforming journey as the congregation I grew up among, though I have followed a different path.

Orthodoxy and the Holy Spirit

I would like to speak briefly about Orthodoxy and the Holy Spirit. I grew up in an evangelical community as I have described a little in my talk this morning. And during the late 70s and early 80s, in my late teens and early adulthood, the effects of the charismatic renewal reached even into our Brethren community. Some left us and joined explicitly Pentecostal groups in town. Others stayed and helped to introduce new forms of worship, different song books, and teachings about spiritual practice that created some tensions within the congregation. Plenty of us attended meetings in other places and heard some of the important speakers of the time. There was some excess in some of these meetings, undoubtedly. And it disturbed me as an evangelical seeking a deeper life with God. But much that seemed to be the expression of a desire to life the Christian life in a way that transformed those who claimed to have new life in Christ.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

The Orthodox Creed - Part 1 - Arabic

كاهن أرثوذكسى :
أنا كاهن أرثوذكسى وبالتحديد كاهن من الكنيسة البريطانية الأرثوذكسية تحت رعاية بطريركية الأقباط الأرثوذكس .
نشأت بكل إلتزام ونشاط كمسيحى إنجيلى وعلى ما يبدو عمل الله قارنى بعد فترة طويلة للأرثوذكسية ، ولكن طالما حدث لى فبالتأكيد يمكن أن يحدث مع أى شخص آخر.
الأب/ بيتــر فرنجتـــون
                                                                  الإثنين  20/4/2015

Monday 18 May 2015

Do not let your hearts be troubled

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. John 14:1

The Gospel reading for today struck me with a certain sense of familiarity. Of course many Bible passages are well known, and this is no exception. But I remembered that I had preached a brief homily on this passage at the funeral of my youngest brother in January of 2010. I won’t read the whole homily here. It is not very long but it was specific to that situation. But I will turn to some of the thoughts I shared on that day with the congregation of family and friends.

Our Lord had just been talking about whether or not the disciples would have the courage to lay down their lives for his sake. And in the context of thinking of giving all for the sake of serving Christ he teaches them that there is a bright future prepared for them all.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

He must increase, I must decrease

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

This morning I would like us to consider one sentence from our Gospel reading today. It is that phrase spoken by St John the Baptist, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’.

With many of the great saints there is often one phrase which describes their heroic virtue and which makes them a model for all Christians. And it seems to me that in the case of St John the Baptist we understand him best when we recall these words, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’.

It is so with the Blessed Virgin Mary as well. In her case we recall the words, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be unto me according to your word’, and those other words which she spoke at the Wedding in Cana, ‘Whatever he says to you, do it’. She was the complete expression of these words, and becomes for us a model of how we should strive to live the Christian life.

Monday 20 April 2015

Orthodox Catechesis - Session 1

Where is the best place to begin a description of the Orthodox Christian life and faith? There are several possibilities. Some have taken a theological perspective and have set out to detail all of the different Orthodox doctrines or teachings of the Church. Others have taken a more historical perspective and have described the teachings of the Church as they became important in various controversies through the early centuries. But this particular study and exploration of the Orthodox Christian faith will root itself in the Bible, and will consider the various teachings and practices of the Church through a brief overview of the Scriptures themselves.

In the Orthodox Church all theological reflection (and theology means the study of God) is based on the Bible. Many of the arguments which arose in the Church about theology were actually to do with whether or not a particular teaching was considered to do justice to the words of the Scriptures. There has always been a tendency in Christian thinking for some to go beyond the words of the Bible and insist on their own rational and intellectual authority as being of greater weight than a prayerful reflection on the words of the Bible. But the Church has often reminded her members that we must begin and end our thinking about the Orthodox Christian faith with those things which God has revealed to us, and not with those things we reason out for ourselves.

Of course this does not mean that the Orthodox Christian faith and life is not reasonable, and is not based on real evidence that convinces those who respond to God with Faith. But God is not bound by our opinions, nor is he completely described by human words. He is always beyond everything we can say and reason about him. Therefore the proper approach to studying and exploring the Orthodox Christian faith is one of humility and prayerfulness, rather than one of intellectual curiosity. The Christian life is a relationship with God, and not an educational syllabus which must be completed.

When we ask what someone is like we do not normally want an answer that says, ‘He is 190 cm tall, weighs 65 kg, and has brown hair’. Such an answer would not tell us very much about the person at all. We usually mean, ‘what is he really like?’, meaning the person inside rather than the outward appearance. And so it should be with the study of the Orthodox Christian faith and life. Even an atheist could study the outward appearance of Orthodoxy, but they would not gain that inner experience which is what the Orthodox Christian Faith is really about. Nor would they have a grasp of the nature of the personal relationship with God which Orthodoxy teaches and offers to all who embrace the Christian life.

Therefore this exploration of the Orthodox Christian faith and life will contain practical exercises and opportunities for reflection. It is not enough to know things about God and about the Christian life, it must be experienced, and experienced by you, the person exploring our Orthodox life, otherwise the reality of our faith will not be known at all.

In the Gospel of St Luke our Lord Jesus Christ says,

Luke 11:9-10  So I say to you: Keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who keeps asking will receive, and the person who keeps searching will find, and the person who keeps knocking will have the door opened.

We believe, as Orthodox Christians, that this is our own experience. As we have asked for a knowledge of God we have received. As we have made every effort to find God he has revealed himself to us, and as we have knocked on the door with perseverance so God has opened the door of our heart and mind and has welcomed us into his presence.

Perhaps this all seems unlikely, or at least something that you do not expect to experience for yourself. Nevertheless, begin this journey into Orthodox with all the faith that you have, even if it is very small indeed, and let us see where God leads us. We have all of us to begin somewhere, so be encouraged to begin where you are. Indeed each of us, no matter how many years we have been Christians, must begin the journey again each day. The Christian life is a marathon rather than a sprint. It is more like a sponsored walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats than a gentle stroll on a Sunday afternoon. Those of us who have already begun this journey have not yet completed it, indeed we often struggle to keep moving forward. So we will be travelling together and your own questions, doubts, experiences and hopes will not be dissimilar to those of an Orthodox Christian who has been on the spiritual way for many years.

With faith and hope, the little faith and hope you have, begin the journey today as you must begin every day.

In the prayers for the making of a catechumen, (a person seeking instruction in the Orthodox faith), there is the prayer.

Almighty and everlasting God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, mercifully look upon your servant whom you have chosen to call to the beginnings of the faith, and upon whom we have set your sign as a token of your good will and gracious purpose towards him. Deliver him, we beseech you, from all unholy and vain desires; remove from him all blindness of heart; instruct him in your holy mysteries; enable him to understand and embrace your truth; and speedily make him ready for the grace of your holy Baptism, and receive him unto the same: through the good will and grace of your Only-begotten Son, with whom, and with your all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, you are blessed for ever.

This prayer expresses clearly the sense that we do not begin the journey having all the answers, or indeed being ready immediately to be received as a member of the Church. We believe that we are called by God to make a beginning, and the sign of the cross is made on the person who becomes a catechumen as a sign that they are starting out in the Christian life. This period of the catechumenate is provided so that there is time and space to come to a fuller understanding of the Christian life, and to choose it wholeheartedly for yourself. The Church continues to pray that all those who have entered the state of the catechumenate will be able to make the most of this time of exploration. It is a spiritual journey which is begun by the catechumen and not an intellectual or educational one, though of course there are many things to learn and understand.

There will be one part of this study issued each week, and each one will contain about the same amount of reflection on the Orthodox faith, and then a short exercise. This week I would like you to commit yourself to praying two prayers each day. You can of course pray them more frequently, and you may already pray one of them each day. But whether this is your practice or not I would like you to make every effort to pray these two prayers once each day.

The first prayer is the Lord’s Prayer. Our Lord Jesus taught his disciples this prayer himself and therefore it is one of the most important for all Orthodox Christians to know and pray regularly.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

And the second is a prayer from the book of prayers of the British Orthodox Church in the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate. It has been chosen so that already you are able to unite your prayers with Orthodox Christians, but also because it expresses so well the attitude of the Orthodox Christian as he approaches God in prayer.

Have mercy on us, O God, and have mercy on us, who, at all times and in every hour, in heaven and on earth, is worshipped and glorified, Christ our God, the good, the long suffering, the abundant in mercy, and the great in compassion, who loves the righteous and has mercy on sinners of whom I am the chief; who does not wish the death of the sinner but rather that he repents and lives, who calls all to salvation for the promise of the blessings to come.

Lord receive from us our prayers in this hour and in every hour. Ease our life and guide us to fulfill Your commandments. Sanctify our spirits. Cleanse our bodies. Conduct our thoughts. Purify our intentions. Heal our diseases. Forgive our sins. Deliver us from every evil grief and distress of heart. Surround us by Your holy angels, that, by their camp, we may be guarded and guided, and attain the unity of faith, and the knowledge of Your imperceptible and infinite glory. For You are blessed forever. Amen.

Please make these prayers your own over this coming week. Turn your heart with faith and hope towards God, and reflect on what it is that you desire from this journey of exploration. The one who asks, seeks and knocks with perseverance will not be turned away.

May God bless our spiritual journey, however long we have been on the road, and bring us safely to his presence in the end.

To the glory of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Monday 23 March 2015

Orthodox TV Programmes

I was very grateful for the opportunity to be able to record some programmes with CYC, TV and Aghapy TV in Cairo in January, thanks to the organisation of Father Daoud Lamie and the excellent Marina Wagdi. Some of these programmes have started to be broadcast, and a few have been uploaded to YouTube. Those that are available are listed here...

Coptic Orthodox - Part 1

Coptic Orthodox - Part 2

An Interview with Father Peter Farrington by Father Daoud Lamie