His Eminence Silouan of the British Isles and Ireland
Parish Priest Father David

Father David Harris has now retired from his position as Parish Priest and his duties have been transferred to Father Filip (pictured on the right).

Picture of Fr. Filip

Our Parish

In Dorset, the Orthodox community of St Edward, King and Martyr has been worshiping in the former Anglican church at Athelhampton for more than 20 years, during which time the little church has been lovingly tended and furnished for Orthodox worship.

Our Orthodox congregation consists of a variety of different nationalities – mainly English, but also including Welsh, Greek, Russian , Ukrainian, Romanian and   Bulgarian.  Regular members of our congregation come from a widespread area, including Yeovil, Blandford, Dorchester, Poole, Bournemouth, Fordingbridge, and Axminster.

All of our services are in English.
For the youngest members of our congregation we have a small area where they can quietly play, at the back of the church.




This may vary at Nativity (Christmas) and at Pascha (Easter), so please check at these times.

Next services will be on Sunday 14 July and Sunday 25 August 2024. 
Sunday 14 July 2024:
  10:30 Divine Liturgy 
Sunday 25  August 2024:
 10:30 Divine Liturgy

CONFESSIONS  Fr. Filip will hear confessions if needed before the Divine Liturgy. If you have questions , please, contact Fr. Filip by e-mail: frfiliplommaert@gmx.com

Why Orthodoxy

An Introduction to the Orthodox Worship Space

In this first video, you will find an introduction of the basics of of the Orthodox worship space — the altar, the iconostasis, and iconography — in order to help orient those who have never been in, or are confused by, the parts of an Orthodox Church.

A Little More About the Orthodox Worship Space

This video builds upon the first video by sharing a little more about the Orthodox worship space. Whether you’re about to visit an Orthodox Church for the first time or you have been attending for quite awhile, this video may help you understand the reason behind where things are in the worship space and why they are there.

Using Candles and Icons in Prayer: Is it Idolatrous?

When an Orthodox Christian prays, he lights a candle and stands in front of some images mounted on the wall or sitting on a shelf. These images are of Jesus, Mary, and other saints. He may bow before the images or even kiss them. Because of this, Orthodox Christians are often accused of idolatry.  This video talks a little about this accusation. Is it really idolatrous?

Exploring the Orthodox Household

How do Orthodox Christians live out their faith at home? If you explore an Orthodox household, you will find a dedicated place where the family stands to pray — in the morning when the wake up and in the evening before they go to bed (and various other times throughout the day). This place of prayer is called an icon corner. This video explains what you may find in an icon corner.

What is Orthodox Christian Church?

­­­The Orthodox Church is the Church founded by Jesus Christ and described throughout the New Testament. All other Christian Churches and sects can be traced back historically to it. The word Orthodox literally means “straight teaching” or “straight worship,” being derived from two Greek words: orthos, “straight,” and doxa, “teach­ing” or “worship.” As the encroachments of false teaching and division multiplied in early Christian times, threatening to obscure the identity and purity of the Church, the term “Orthodox” quite logically came to be applied to it. The Orthodox Church carefully guards the truth against all error and schism, both to protect its flock and to glorify Christ, whose Body the Church is.

The Orthodox Christian Church is one of the three main Christian groups (the others being Roman Catholic and Protestant). Around 200 million people follow the Orthodox tradition.

Orthodox Church is decentralised. Each Church has its own geographical (rather than a national) title that usually reflects the cultural traditions of its believers.

Unlike Catholics or Anglicans the head of Orthodox Christian Church is immediately God in a form of Holy Trinity. The history of Orthodox Church tradition is traced back to Jesus Christ and the Apostles. The Apostles appointed successors, known as Bishops, and they in turn appointed other Bishops in a process known as Apostolic succession.

The doctrine of the Christian Church was established over the centuries at Councils dating from as early as 325CE where the leaders from all the Christian communities were represented. The Orthodox Church recognizes the authority of the Councils of Nicea 325 CE, Constantinople I (381), Ephesus (431) Chalcedon (451) Constantinople II (553), Constantinople III (680) and Nicaea II (787).

Although initially the Eastern and Western Christians shared the same faith, the Roman tradition split over the conflict in the so-called Great Schism in 1054. In particular this happened over the papal claim to supreme authority and the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The break became final after the assault and seizure of Constantinople in 1204 during the bloody (Western Christian) Fourth Crusade.

Eventually, while the Orthodox Churches maintained the principle that the Church should keep to the local language of the community, Latin became the language of the Roman Church.

Until the schism the five great patriarchal sees were Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. After the break the Rome Orthodoxy became ‘Roman Catholic’.

By maintaining the purity of the inherited teachings of the Apostles, believers are made more aware of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit being present both in history and at the present day.

An astonishing number of religious groups today claim to be the successors of the early Church. A “yardstick for truth” is needed by which to compare what the Church originally believed and practiced with what these groups proclaim. Certainly we all have the God-given right to believe whatever we desire and to participate in whatever religious association we choose. But it is also just good sense to be acquainted with the options before we make our final choices.

It is our hope this material will help introduce readers to the Christianity espoused by the Apostles of Jesus Christ and instituted by them. This is the yardstick for truth by which our choices in regard to Chris­tianity need to be evaluated.

Source: Theoria

5 Misconceptions About the Orthodox Church

In the video below, Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick comments on 5 misconceptions people often have of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Misconception 1: The Orthodox Church is only for certain kinds of people (Greeks, Russians, etc.)

Misconception 2: The Orthodox Church is the same as the Roman Catholic Church.

–Some big differences include how we view church authority, salvation, what happens after death, and more. (The daily experience of being a Christian – and prayer life – is different as well).

Misconception 3: Orthodox Christians worship images & idols.

Misconception 4: Orthodox Christians believe they can earn their way to heaven (this is sometimes called “works righteousness”).

Misconception 5: The Orthodox Church is a dead religion.

Source: Theoria

Feature title

One of the Things That Surprised Me About the Orthodox Church

An Orthodox Church service can be intimidating if you’re not use to a liturgical setting. But what often surprises people as they attend more and more Orthodox services is that Orthodox worship is not stiff and stuffy. In fact, there is a great amount of flexibility.

Frederica Mathewes-Green notes that this very thing surprised her when she first started attending Orthodox worship services. She makes a striking analogy between Orthodox Divine Liturgy and a wedding banquet: both are elaborate, both are formal, both are celebratory. But neither should feel stiff, stuffy, or rule-based.

Source: Theoria

Prayer in the Orthodox Church

“He who is able to pray correctly, even if he is the poorest of all people, is essentially the richest. And he who does not have proper prayer, is the poorest of all, even if he sits on a royal throne”
– St John Chrysostom

Prayer is the elevation of the mind and the heart to God in praise, in thanksgiving, and in petition for the spiritual and material goods we need. Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to enter into our inner room and there pray to God the Father in secret. This inner room means the heart, the core of our being.

The Apostle Paul says that we must always pray in our spirit. He commands prayer for all Christians without exception and asks us to pray unceasingly.

Orthodox Christians engage in both common and personal prayer. One’s individual prayer life is balanced with participation in the liturgical services of the Church where the whole community gathers for prayer and worship.

Prayer is essential to a healthy Orthodox Christian life. It is not an option.

Why do we pray personally?

  • Christ asks us to pray. He tells us in the Gospel of Luke, How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him (Luke 11:13). We pray so that God can help us to become more like Him in our actions.
  • For renewal and the growth of our soul.
  • To give thanks to God for all he provides for us.
  • To seek forgiveness for our sinfulness as humility is a prerequisite for prayer.
  • We can also pray to seek help for others as well as ourselves. But we must not forget to pray for His help in our own spiritual growth. This is not selfish, but essential for us to better love and serve others and carry out God’s commandments.

Why do we pray commonly, attend the Divine Liturgy and other religious services of the Church?

We do so to worship God, to enter into union with Him and His People through the Eucharist and other Mysteries, or sacraments, and to receive strength as we continue on the road of salvation and “the life of the world to come.” In worship, we stand before the throne of God, loving one another “that with one mind we might confess Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Trinity one in essence and undivided.” And in our worship, especially in the Divine Liturgy, we participate in all that Christ has done for us—His incarnation, life, passion, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension—while anticipating His second and glorious coming.

Source: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland


Athelhampton Road, Opposite Athelhampton House, Puddletown, Dorchester,
Reverend Father Filip Lommaert, Parish Priest
Tel:  07988 762200
e-mail: frfiliplommaert@gmx.com