Saturday, 22 March 2014

Press Release: A Papal Delegation from the Coptic Orthodox Church met with delegates of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow on 21 March 2014

Press Release
For immediate use
22 March 2014

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office

A Papal Delegation from the Coptic Orthodox Church met with delegates of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow on 21 March 2014.

A delegation representing the Coptic Orthodox Church, comprising Their Graces: Bishop Kyrillos of Milan, Papal Exarch in Europe, Bishop Raphael, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church and Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, met with His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations in Moscow on Friday 21 March 2014.
During the warm and fraternal meeting with His Eminence and staff of the department for external church relations, there was exploration of: the deepening and continuing relationships between the Churches through shared theological understanding and pastoral experience, the establishment of a Coptic Orthodox parish for the ministry and pastoral care of Coptic Orthodox expatriates in the Russian Federation, and preparation for the upcoming visit of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
Commenting on the meeting, His Grace Bishop Angaelos said:
“Our Churches, both deeply rooted in Orthodox belief and practice, have had a strong and long-standing relationship, both ecumenically and fraternally, and these meetings, along with the upcoming visit of His Holiness Pope Tawadros, stand to further and deepen that relationship. We have had many shared experiences throughout our histories which have led us to safeguarding our Faith in our respective nations despite substantial struggles faced; this commonality and shared experience allows us to have a greater common witness today, and even more powerfully going forward.”
During their visit, the bishops celebrated a Eucharistic Liturgy with members of the Coptic Orthodox community in Moscow.
The delegation was hosted by His Excellency Dr Mahmoud El-Badry, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Russian Federation.
*Ends*

Friday, 21 March 2014

Press Release: Departure of Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka Iwas I of Antioch, 122nd patriarch of Antioch and All the East on the Apostolic Throne of St Peter.

Press Release
For immediate use
21 March 2014

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office

His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom offers condolences and prayers to the Syrian Orthodox Church on behalf of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom upon the departure of Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka Iwas I of Antioch, 122nd patriarch of Antioch and All the East on the Apostolic Throne of St Peter.


Expressing his condolences, Bishop Angaelos said:

“Upon hearing of the departure of His Holiness, the late Mor Ignatius Zakka, I spoke to Archbishop Athanasius to assure him and our sister Orthodox Church of our prayers. The historic and fraternal relationship between our two Churches means that we have also lost a beloved father.  

I fondly remember the visit of His Holiness to The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre here in the United Kingdom, and the numerous occasions in which I, along with members of the Coptic Clergy and community received His Holiness both in Cairo and London.

We pray repose for the soul of His Holiness and that God reward him for his many years of faithful ministry to his children who have undergone and continue to undergo huge struggles and pressures in Iraq, Syria and throughout the Middle East.”

Mor Ignatius Zakka departed on 21 March 2014 after a long and courageous battle against illness.

**Ends**



Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Press Release: HG Bishop Angaelos delivers address at the Houses of Parliament regarding the current situation in Egypt since the 2011 uprising

Press Release
For immediate use
19 March 2014

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office 

On 17 March 2014 His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom delivered an address at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, arranged by the Conservative Party’s Middle East and North Africa Group (MENA) regarding the current situation in Egypt since the 2011 uprising.

Addressing an audience comprised of specialists, analysts and enthusiasts with an interest in Egypt and the wider Middle East, Bishop Angaelos highlighted the resilient nature of Egypt’s citizens, and the challenges faced in light of the recent uprisings.

Speaking of proactive steps towards reconciliation and rebuilding Egypt, he said:

 “Reconciliation must happen through pragmatic and intentional leadership; bringing people together. These efforts will then instil a sense of unity, cohesion and national identity so that people no longer focus on one’s religion, but see the Egyptian in the other...It is only then that we can begin to advocate for one another.”

Addressing the misconception that issues in Egypt arise primarily due to a Muslim Christian divide, he said:

“This is about advocating for all; about unity, individual identity, and the importance of that individual as a member of a nation state.”

Raising awareness to the impact of the recent uprisings on Christian and minority communities in Egypt, as well as the state of polarisation affecting the nation, Bishop Angaelos highlighted the increasing levels of poverty and illiteracy, the decline in foreign investment and tourism, the increasing levels of harassment against women, and increasing unemployment.

He went on to provide his optimistic outlook for Egypt and the way ahead however, saying:

“On the 30 June when people took to the streets, they were Christian and Muslim, secular and religious, man and woman, young and old; the whole of society…There is only one way ahead and that is reconciliation, there is no other way. People must live side by side and there must be healing.”

During the course of his address Bishop Angaelos also said:

“We are all held in the hands of a God Who is much more mighty than anyone who tries to create harm….We are confident, through His graciousness, love and vigilance over His whole creation, that God has a solution for Egypt.” 

Among those in attendance were the Chairman and Officers of the MENA Group, Parliamentary Member Mark Field and other representatives of the Conservative Party.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Press Release: Egypt the focus of Women's World Day of Prayer 2014

For immediate use
5 March 2014
Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office 

Women from 170 countries and regions across the world, including the United Kingdom, will pray for Egypt on Women’s World Day of Prayer (WWDP) on 7 March 2014.

A number of women from the Coptic Orthodox Community in the United Kingdom will be speaking at a variety of church and community services across the country on the role of women in Egypt and their contribution to their societies. They will also comment on the challenges faced by women in light of the recent uprisings.

Congregants from various denominations will gather across the world to show solidarity in prayer for women in Egypt and the Christian presence in the region, increasing awareness of the ongoing plight of these significant members of society.

Commenting on the WWDP 2014, His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom said:

"It is humbling that tens of thousands of people will gather across the world to pray for Egypt and it’s women who have played a significant, powerful, and responsible role throughout the vast history of Egypt and most significantly now over the past three years. As Christians we consider prayer to be one of our greatest supports, and this support at this particular time is very much appreciated as Egypt continues through this formative stage."

This initiative comes after millions of women took to the streets as part of the ongoing demonstrations and rallies that have taken place over the past three years in Egypt.

*Ends*

Resources:

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Press Release: Misreporting of the recent visit of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II to Saudi Ambassador in Cairo

For immediate use
22 February 2014

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office

Misreporting of the recent visit of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II to Saudi Ambassador in Cairo.

News coverage emerging from various media sources incorrectly states that His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, and Saudi Ambassador Ahmed Kattan, met regarding the establishment of the first church in Saudi Arabia. This was however a strictly cordial visit by His Holiness Pope Tawadros to the Saudi ambassador to express his thanks for the assistance provided in facilitating the pastoral visit of a Coptic Orthodox bishop to Coptic Christians in Saudi Arabia. 

*Ends*

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Praying for safety in Egypt

A message from His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom

As early reports emerge of a bombing and shootings in Egypt as Egyptians prepare to vote on the constitutional referendum, the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom is dedicating three days of prayer (14-16 January) for peace and safety.

With Egyptians venturing out to proactively live this new spirit of ownership and citizenship, we pray they are safe in doing so and that they see Egypt move to the next stage of this constitutional and democratic process.
In light of all the happenings of the past three years, what has been most prevalent is that Egyptians desire a new start and a nation void of discrimination and inequality, pursuing God-given rights of dignity and freedom at every level. We pray for protection for them all as they pursue these honourable ends, confident in God’s protection over this ancient and blessed land and her people. 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Nativity Message from His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom

Nativity Message
7 January 2014

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office

Nativity Message from His Grace Bishop Angaelos,
General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom
Reconciliation in the Incarnation
Reconciliation is nothing new in Christianity, and its importance has become more evident both in the lives of individuals and, on a larger scale, in that of communities. The very concept of reconciliation was made manifest most powerfully through the Incarnation, and ultimately in the Cross of our Lord. Through the Incarnation, we, as the most precious of all creation, once again became reconciled to God, our Creator and loving Father, “…that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the Cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” (Ephesians 2:16)
The heart of God has always been one of reconciliation, to restore what was lost and to repair broken bonds; and we can see this both in the New and Old Testaments.  Not only is it the intention of our Father to be reconciled with all humanity, but through the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have been given an example and are called to follow in His footsteps; this is evident in 2 Corinthians 5:18, “Now all things are of God, Who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation”.
We are encouraged when we remember, especially during this Holy Feast of the blessed Nativity, that our Lord did not make Himself manifest to humanity in a glorified state, but rather took flesh and willingly bore the pains of poverty. Our Lord lived in adversity and endured hostility with all humility in order that we may attain strength through Him, and in that knowledge, to overcome any challenges we may encounter.
Our true strength as Christians lies in the determined and continued efforts to faithfully abide in our Lord, living and serving as He did. As has been the case for centuries, the powerful witness of Christians in Egypt and throughout the Middle East, and the spirit of non-retaliation and love for those who consider themselves enemies, comes naturally by the grace of God and continues to testify to the presence of our Lord as He instructs us saying, “…But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:44-45)
The world has truly witnessed the manifest love of Christ in the spirit of forgiveness demonstrated by members of our community in Egypt as they have suffered repeated assaults and endured hostility, incitement and hatred. In bearing the very personal attacks on individuals, communities, churches, homes and businesses, the super-human power of restraint and forgiveness, which can only come from our Lord, has overcome all that has sought to threaten our very existence in Egypt. Despite repeated attempts to provoke Christians to anger and retaliation, there has been nothing but resilience, perseverance, humility, restraint and love demonstrated towards all those who seek to cause harm.
Whether one lives in the Middle East, in the United Kingdom, or anywhere in the world, there will always be an opportunity to be a reconciling agent at some level, and it is at this time that we follow in our Saviour’s footsteps and become “peacemakers” so that we are “children of our heavenly Father”.
As we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity, we must remember that through this witness, as with the humble reconciling Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to be those who continually testify to the love of God for all humanity. In doing so we can “overcome evil with good”, providing, in the midst of such apparent darkness, a guiding light and the opportunity for all to be reconciled to Christ.  
We pray blessings, joy and protection upon all those celebrating this New Year and the commemoration of the Birth of our Saviour, while holding in our prayers those living in areas of conflict in the Middle East, Africa and throughout the world, that we may sing with the angels “Glory be to God in the Highest, peace on earth and goodwill towards men.”

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Press Release: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visits The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre UK accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan.

Press Release
For immediate use
17 December 2013

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre in the United Kingdom on 17 December 2013 after expressing concern about the current challenges facing Christians in some Middle-Eastern nations, and to meet members of those communities resident in the United Kingdom. His Royal Highness was accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan.
During this historic visit, HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH Prince Ghazi were received at The Centre by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, with numerous official, government, ecumenical, and interreligious guests, along with members of the Coptic Orthodox clergy and community.
The visit began with a traditional prayer service, followed by a showcase of the vast number of ministries and strands of services operating under the umbrella of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom including, among others, benevolent work, relief and development, advocacy, youth ministry and inter-religious and ecumenical relations.
Following this, Bishop Angaelos presented two Coptic icons to Their Royal Highnesses, with an icon of Saint George gifted to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and His Royal Highness Prince George.
During the course of the visit there was a private meeting held to discuss the current situation in Egypt and the Middle East and contributions that could be made to offer viable solutions for those affected in the region. This was followed by afternoon tea in Shephalbury Manor during which the Prince of Wales unveiled a commemorative plaque marking the visit, and signed the official guestbook.
Commenting on the visit, Bishop Angaelos said:
"I am thankful for the visit of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to our Coptic Orthodox community here today, as it celebrates its presence in, and contribution to the United Kingdom, and sheds light on the increasing struggles facing Christians in the Middle East, the birthplace of Christianity. I am also appreciative of Prince Ghazi’s visit.
As we approach the Feast of the Nativity, we are also reminded that this is a time in which many in the Middle East are affected by war and conflict, but as His Royal Highness highlighted today, Christians in the region remain resilient and faithful despite the challenges faced.
With respect to Egypt, despite numerous attacks on their loyalty, Christians continue to be an integral and stabilising component of their society and have responded graciously to continued and escalating attacks, proving their commitment to a legitimate process of change.
Believing that there is always hope, we pray for this spirit of collaboration and cooperation to be a springboard to greater advocacy for, and representation of, those who do not have opportunities for their own voices to be heard, but rather rely on us to amplify those voices."
Addressing the Coptic community, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales said:
"Today I just wanted to join you to express my deepest concern and deepest sympathies and solidarity with all of you because I know you will have relations in Egypt and all I can tell you is that we pray with all our heart for their safety and for their continuation in a country where Coptic Christians have played such a vital part for hundreds and hundreds of years.
They often build bridges between different groups and religions, and if I may say so I have been so full of admiration and respect for the way in which the Coptic Christians have been so full of forbearance and longsuffering that is quite remarkable, and the lack of retaliation even more remarkable. And for that, I think we owe all of you a remarkable debt, not only gratitude, but respect for living out your Christian Faith in the way that you do."
Overall, the visit highlighted Coptic Orthodox presence in the United Kingdom, and the challenges facing Christians in the Middle East, showcasing their immense contribution to their communities as active citizens of their respective countries.
The service was attended by The Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, The Countess of Verulam, The Lord Bishop of London, The Right Reverent and Right Honourable Richard Chartres, The Bishop of St Albans, members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, heads and representatives of numerous Christian Churches and denominations, as well as inter-religious guests, and representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations.
Following the visit is a reception at Clarence House where Their Royal Highnesses will be joined by guests representing Christians from Egypt, including Bishop Angaelos, as well as from Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Palestine and Israel.

*Ends*

For more information about The Prince of Wales please visit www.princeofwales.gov.uk

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Press Release: His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom testified at a Congressional Hearing on ‘Human Rights Abuses in Egypt’ in Washington DC on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2013.

PRESS RELEASE
For immediate use
10 December 2013

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office

His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom testified at a Congressional Hearing on ‘Human Rights Abuses in Egypt’ in Washington DC on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2013. 
    
Addressing the congressional panel with four other witnesses, during a Joint Subcommittee Hearing comprised of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organisations, and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, Bishop Angaelos underlined the nature and unprecedented level of violence and attacks against minority groups in Egypt pre and post 2011 uprising.

Highlighting a number of incidents occurring in recent months and years, he spoke of the increased incitement that led to the burning, demolition, and attacks on scores of churches, the kidnapping of Christian girls, restrictions on the choice or expression of faith, and the increasing violent attacks resulting in loss of life, and the displacement and destruction of property over decades.

Speaking on behalf of all minorities Bishop Angaelos said:

“I do not only speak as a Christian, because that would be very un-Christian of me. We speak as Christians for everyone, and our view of human rights is for a human rights perspective that covers every person.”

Saying the following regarding the political situation in Egypt:

“What we need to address at the moment are issues of illiteracy and poverty that make constituents vulnerable when they vote and are manipulated, either financially, or in terms of ideology, and of course religion becomes a part of that. What we also need is foreign investment and tourism to bolster the economy and enable people to sustain their families and communities.”

In conclusion, Bishop Angaelos spoke of Christians in Egypt as those who remain loyal to, and take pride in, their indigenous homeland despite the various challenges faced, saying:

“We speak as Christians with hope, and we have faced persecution far greater than this. We are still there as the largest Christian denomination in the Middle East and as the last actual bastion of Christian presence in the region.”

Shortly after the hearing, and in commenting further on the state of minorities in Egypt, Bishop Angaelos said:

“While we do not seek to place blame on the current leadership, it is evident that over the past decades there has been little done to ensure that these violent acts do not reoccur. Since the uprising, and due to a decrease in law and order resulting from the turbulent period under the rule of Mr Mohammed Morsi, there have been increasing challenges facing Christian and minority groups in Egypt. Having said that, and in looking to the future, we continue to support the current process of rebuilding Egypt with a new constitution and ethos, and support the whole community as it calls for change.
We pray, that with the good intention of all to move past these challenging times in Egypt’s history, the implementation of equality before the law will ensure that Egypt becomes a better place for all citizens on the basis that they are Egyptian before anything else, whether they are the numeric majority or minority, man or woman, young or old, secular or religious, Bahá’i, Christian or Muslim.”

Testifying alongside Bishop Angaelos, Mr Samuel Tadros, Research Fellow at Hudson Institute’s Centre for Religious Freedom said:

In order to prevent recurring attacks there must be a process put in place to identify the most vulnerable villages in Egypt that are likely to experience attacks. The Egyptian government should be urged to implement this and the United States may be able to provide resources to help with that process. The Egyptian police also need a security protocol to deal with mob violence and should establish a crisis office within the Egyptian presidency to deal specifically with that issue, as well as the development of a rapid response unit. We also need reform in the legal system, and localised reward and punishment system.”

Other witnesses included:
Zuhdi Jasser, M.D. Vice Chair, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
Morad Abou-Sabe, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University         
Mr. Tad Stahnke,
Director of Policy and Programs, Human Rights First

*Ends*

Resources:

·         Watch the Hearing here: http://1.usa.gov/18P78qK
·         Transcript and Copy of Testimony submitted to Congress available upon request.

·         Statement by Bishop Angaelos, highlighting the increasing incitement and violence threatening and claiming the lives of Christians in Egypt. http://bit.ly/1cn7eBf

Monday, 9 December 2013

Press Release: HG Bishop Angaelos will testify at a Congressional Hearing on 'Human Rights Abuses in Egypt' on 10 December 2013

PRESS RELEASE
For immediate use
9 December 2013

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office

On 10 December 2013, His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom will testify at a Congressional Hearing in Washington DC on ‘Human Rights Abuses in Egypt’ during a Joint Subcommittee Hearing comprised of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa.

At 9am EST on 10 December, also deemed Human Rights Day, Bishop Angaelos and four other witnesses, will highlight the severity and frequency of human rights abuses facing Christians and minority groups in Egypt both pre and post 2011 uprising.

Bishop Angaelos will also identify the increased persecution of religious minorities over the past decades as made manifest in process and policy, which has translated into dealings with citizens on unequal grounds, inevitably resulting in greater division and marginalisation.
Alongside Bishop Angaelos, witnesses include:

Zuhdi Jasser, M.D. Vice Chair, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
Mr. Samuel Tadros, Research Fellow, Centre for Religious Freedom, Hudson Institute
Morad Abou-Sabe, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University         
Mr. Tad Stahnke,
Director of Policy and Programs, Human Rights First

*Ends*

Resources:
Live Feed from Congress available here: http://1.usa.gov/1bRPvqK

House Committee on Foreign Affairs: http://1.usa.gov/18P78qK

Friday, 29 November 2013

Royal Mail unveils their 2013 Christmas stamp collection featuring a Coptic Nativity icon by Hertfordshire-based iconographer Fadi Mikhail.

Press Release
For immediate use
29 November 2013

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office

Royal Mail unveils their 2013 Christmas stamp collection featuring a Coptic Nativity icon by Hertfordshire-based iconographer Fadi Mikhail.

The stamp, entitled ‘Theotokos, Mother of God’ depicts the Virgin Saint Mary embracing the Infant Christ. It is an example of the beauty and deeply rooted Faith and culture of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the largest Christian denomination in the Middle East which traces its roots back to the Apostle Mark in the first Century.

Since its establishment in the United Kingdom in the 1960s the Coptic Orthodox community has been increasing in size, and more recently in activity. The Coptic faithful in the United Kingdom are active members of society who contribute to their wider community through a variety of spiritual and social networks and programmes.

His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, said:

“This is an opportunity to not only portray the beautiful iconographic heritage of the Coptic Orthodox Church within British culture, but also its theology and teaching with respect to the message of hope and salvation in the Nativity, a Feast that is often transformed into a purely commercial occasion. It also lives as a testimony to the resilience of the Copts, who continue to live their Faith in the birthplace of Christianity and across the world despite the many challenges they have faced in recent months and years.”

Fadi Mikhail, an active youth member of The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre said:

“Coptic iconography was redeveloped in the 1960s and has enjoyed increased international interest since that time. I'm happy that this stamp is helping to elevate that status. Whether it is through art, music, language, or the reconstruction of churches, there is a movement both within and outside Egypt in which Copts are rebuilding themselves for the future, and I see Coptic iconography as a key factor in heralding this movement forward.”

Along with this historic stamp, an icon from the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral of St George depicting St Mary and the Child Jesus, also written by Fadi Mikhail, has been chosen by Christians Aware as part of their Christmas card collection for 2013.


*Ends*

Resources:
Coptic Iconography in the United Kingdom: www.UKCopticIcons.com
Royal Mail Christmas collection 2013 here


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Press Release: UK Coptic community sends aid to the Philippines

Press Release
For immediate use
28 November 2013

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office

The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre in the United Kingdom, in conjunction with the Chain of Hope Charity and humanitarian organisations, sent emergency supplies to the Philippines.

Following a Liturgical service in the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral of St George on Sunday 24 November 2013, members of the congregation gathered to package emergency supplies to send to the Philippines. The supplies were sent in aid of those suffering the devastating aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan which claimed the lives of over 5,200 people with 1,600 still believed to be missing, 1.9 million left homeless, and over 600,000 displaced with little to no resources.
The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre initiated this appeal and worked in conjunction with the Chain of Hope Charity and humanitarian organisations both in the United Kingdom and the Philippines, to provide aid consisting of medical equipment and dry food supplies, to some of the most severely affected communities in the region.


This came after His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, spoke in his Sunday sermon of the responsibility for all to bring hope to those who need reassurance of the presence of God in the world, especially during difficult times, further saying:

“We are called, as ambassadors and stewards of God, to excel in whatever God has entrusted us with for the benefit of others. This small gesture to send supplies to those in the Philippines is an act of worship that can witness and testify to the love of God for all His children who are suffering in the world today.”

Lisa Yacoub, Programme Manager for the UK-based charity, Chain of Hope said:

“Supplies of medical donations from St Thomas Hospital Haemophilia Reference Centre which had been donated to the Chain of Hope were packaged at The Coptic Centre for donation to the typhoon-struck regions of the Philippines. The generosity and good will of the congregation was very inspiring to see. These boxes of medical supplies composed of blood giving sets, butterfly needles, syringes, alcohol wipes, bandages, and boxes of non-perishable foods will be sent out to the Philippines by Aviation without Borders this month for distribution to the affected areas.”

This is one of a number of initiatives undertaken by the Coptic Orthodox community in the United Kingdom in response to social and humanitarian needs, both within Britain and internationally.

*Ends*


Resources:

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Press Release: HH Pope Tawadros II consecrates bishops at The Grand Cathedral of St Mark, Cairo


Press Release
For immediate use
17 November 2013

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office 

The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church headed by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark, consecrated bishops to new responsibilities at the Grand Cathedral of St Mark on the weekend of 16 -17 November 2013.

At a Vespers service on the evening of Saturday 16 November, His Grace Bishop David was enthroned over the new diocese of New York and New England in the United States of America, and His Grace Bishop Selwanis was appointed abbot over the historic monastery of St Pakhomious near Luxor. At the Liturgical service on Sunday 17 November, Father Seraphim Al-Moharaqy was also consecrated as General Bishop for the diocese of Al Mahalah.

His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom and a member of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, who took part in the consecration prayers at the ceremony in Cairo said:

“I celebrate with, and congratulate, my brothers on the occasion of their ordination. The consecration of a bishop to oversee Al Mahalah at the same time as the establishment of the new diocese of New York and New England signifies the breadth of the ministry of the Coptic Orthodox Church and its care for its children both in Egypt and around the world. At the same time, the appointment of His Grace Bishop Selwanis illustrates the continuing importance of the monastic life at the heart of the Church.

The spirit of the faithful as they received the bishops in the Grand Cathedral today was one of jubilation and love; a testament to their resilience and strength of character as they continue to be strong in their Faith despite the challenges faced in past months. I pray for my brothers the bishops and those entrusted to their care, that God may continue to bless their shared ministry from this time on.”


*Ends*

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Press Release: His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan was received by His Grace Bishop Angaelos during a historic visit and interfaith gathering at The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre on 13 November 2013.


Press Release
For immediate use

14 November 2013


Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office
 
 Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office
 
 
 His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan was received by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, during a historic visit and interfaith gathering at The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre on 13 November 2013.

This visit facilitated a gathering of guests from a variety of faith backgrounds who met in the Cathedral of St George to listen and respond to addresses by Bishop Angaelos and Prince Hassan on the subject of interreligious dialogue and cooperation at an interreligious level.

In welcoming Prince Hassan, Bishop Angaelos, a Scholar-Consultant on the Christian Muslim Forum of England and Moderator of the Churches' Inter Religious Network, said:

“Having recently celebrated Armistice Day, as the end of war and celebration of all those who gave their lives, the words ‘Lest we forget’ should also be applied to heroes of faith and inclusion. We are a reality in each other’s lives and reconciliation is our only way ahead, both in the Middle East and around the world.

I believe that faith and advocacy are inseparable; a faith that does not advocate is not a Godly faith. This is why we are here with the Cathedral of St George as our backdrop. The altar is the place of our greatest worship and what we are doing here is part of that worship, to be able to integrate our belief with our daily witness in our lives.”

His Royal Highness, who is President of the Foundation for Inter-religious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue, spoke in his address of the need for a strategy to stabilise the Middle East, further indicating the need for a process leading to free and responsible Arab citizenship. Following the address, His Royal Highness answered a variety of questions relating to the rapid decline in the number of Christians in the Middle East and the course of action required to address the increasing challenges facing various faith communities in the region.

During a presentation ceremony following the address, Bishop Angaelos presented His Royal Highness with the gift of a traditional Coptic Orthodox icon of Saint George, after which guests were able to further their conversations during an informal reception.

Resulting from the day’s events was a shared desire to engage more at an interreligious level with the furthered prospect of addressing the state of Christians in the Middle East and the challenges they face.

Among the guests were the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Chief Inspector Richard Harbon, The Rt Hon Stephen McPartland MP, as well as representatives of Churches Together in England, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, the Awareness Foundation, and the Muslim Christian Forum. Also in attendance were members of clergy and community of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and representatives from the broad spectrum of the Christian Church and the Muslim and Baha’i communities in the United Kingdom.