Among Orthodox migrants to England from countries of Eastern Europe, many will have been surprised to discover that there is an English Orthodox jurisdiction under the Patriarchate of Antioch in England.

Although there are some churches where they may find services in their own languages, these tend to be limited to major population centres, and we have, over the years, welcomed to St Edward’s people from a variety of nations but I think that few will have realised that, historically for nearly a thousand years, Britain was an Orthodox nation.

The historical origins of the Orthodox Christian faith in Britain are unknown, but there are a number of legends.  The Glastonbury Legend, for instance, tells us that St Joseph of Arimathaea, the rich man in whose tomb the crucified Lord lay for three days, was a rich merchant who imported tin from Britain.  On a number of occasions he had visited this country and, on one visit, the legend tells us, he brought a teen-age Jesus to Britain with him.  There is another legend that St Paul visited Britain after the narrative of the Acts of the Apostles, and that he  preached on Ludgate Hill in what is now the City of London and, for many centuries, the site of St Paul’s Cathedral  It is certainly the only cathedral in Britain dedicated in the honour of St Paul.  Does this point to some truth behind the legend?

Roman Britain, it seems, was more or less Christian by the time of Restitutus, but a century later, the Roman forces withdrew to defend other parts of the Empire.  This opened the way for invasions by heathen tribes from Europe (Anglo-Saxons), later known as English, who in the course of time, pushed Christian Britons further to the west, although there remained Christian enclaves, for instance, in London………….

to be continued.

Tatiana Edmunds                                                                                                                                                                       Tatiana has been singing with Lesley for our services for quite a time now, but I think that she probably never envisioned the possibility of singing on her own.  However,  that is just what she has been doing over the past few weeks.  I am sure that we are all most grateful for Tatiana being willing, since Lesley’s operation, to sing, particularly the more difficult services for Ascension and Pentecost.  Thank you Tatiana.

Presbytera Anne (Lesley)                                                                                                                                                         Lesley and I would like to thank all those, who, by their loving prayers and messages, have enabled her to come through her operation, and already experience a considerable improvement in the condition.  My problem is to attempt to stop her becoming active too soon and so spoiling the good work that has been done by the medics.  Our thanks to all.

A generous bequest                                                                                                                                                               Some readers of this Newsletter may remember an Anglican priest who used to visit our church from time to time.  Elderly, and physically  rather stooped, he used to drive an ancient Morris Minor.  When he had, eventually to give up driving he was no longer able to get to Athelhampton except for a few times when he would let us pick him up.                                               However, it came as a great surprise when we received a cheque as an interim payment from his estate.  Recently we received a further cheque which was also an interim payment so possibly there may even be a little more.  Fr Charles was very fond of St Edwards and he would tell of times in the war when he had contact with the Orthodox Church in Cairo.          With his kind bequest in mind, and added to a fund that has been collecting for a number of years it has been suggested that we should look into the provision of a permanent W.C. in place of the hired ‘Portaloo’  There will need to be much discussion  about this idea with all the parties involved.

Another request is that the damaged cross on the roof at the east end of the church should be repaired, or, if necessary, replaced.  The Trustees will be discussing these items in the near future.  Do you have any comments.  Please let me know  Thank you