Finding the Lord - First Conference 2015

On the weekend of the 18th of December we had our first Coptic hymns conference with Mr George Kyrillos as the main speaker. Needless to say that I was looking forward to it as it would be a great opportunity to learn about the hymns of the church, our Coptic hymns.

On Friday we had a crash course on musical notation and Copticalphabet to bring us up to scratch to be able to learn the hymns. By Friday evening I now know the difference between a minim and a quaver, but although my Coptic vastly improved I have yet to master the letters with multiple sounds  ().  With the basics done we started our first of seven hymns Osperin.

Before any hymns we had workshops to dissect the five aspects of each hymn, or their dimensions.  The dimensions covered the doctrine, historical, ritual, spiritual and musical facet of each hymn. This gave us a greater understanding to fully appreciate each hymn, especially why it was sung in that specific tune, and when it was said during the Divine Liturgy.

Saturday was our full day for hymns and by the end we had covered a further four. The conference carried on after the Divine Liturgy on Sunday at the centre, so we had another surge of people joining us for the remaining three Hymns. Over the two days we had covered Epshios Efnoti, Owniyato, Onof Emoo Maria, Amin Ton Thanaton, and finally Eparthenos. In between, there was a sketch to entertain us and a treasure hunt culminating with lunch in the hall. A worthy prize for our toils. 

Finally on Monday the beautiful weekend conference was rounded to a close with a concert preforming the greatest hits from the weekend by our very own youth. It was a lovely concert that showcased the excellent talent and hard work of our performers. It left the multitude who attended amazed to the wonderful treasure we have in our Coptic church, yearning for more.  

We pray that is the start of a long running series at our church leaning about our Coptic hymns.  We thank Mr George Kyrillos and his wife Dr Maha Fawzy for a great conference and we are eagerly looking forward to another one. 

The recordings of the talks, hymns, concert and sketch will be made available along with the photos in the coming weeks on the diocese website.

"The Great Salvation" Winter Youth Conference 2015

It was great to have H.G. Bishop Paul back again with us for another conference. This year we had the conference on the weekend of the 4th of December. The theme of the conference was salvation and “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation” Hebrews 2:3.

Upon arriving we were given the welcome pack by the organised registration team. The first of Bishop Paul’s talks started on Friday and of course we can't forget the gifts he came with from Kenya giving them out to any and all answers. The first talk set the mood for the weekend and it was on how great is our salvation and how it is an expensive unconditional gift, given to us all for free.

Nice and early on Saturday we had a Divine Litrugy to celebrate the feast of St Philopateer Mercurius (Abu Sefein). Through the day we had a few talks from His Grace and an entertaining 5 minute sketch, group discussion and hymns with prayers to complement the talks. The talks covered many topics; including how through the deception of the devil and through temptation of false joys and sins, we are enslaved and made lame losing our salvation. But that the Grace of God is greater than our weakness and through God we can be victorious like Joshua. That I can do all through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13) if I take the helmet of salvation and sword of the spirit (Ephesians 6:17) and trust the Lord. The group work allowed us to sit together and discuss the themes of the day and whether we are in God’s plan or have strayed like Samson. Coming up with interesting points, plans and ideas that we could use in the future.

Sunday concluded the conference with a morning mass, quite time and the final talk from Bishop Paul in which he stressed on the importance of trusting the Lord fully for everything in our lives and our plans and not to look for joy elsewhere.

I would highly recommend to watch / listen to the talks available on the website as they are great. We thank H.G.Bishop Paul for a great conference and we eagerly look forward for another one.

 

 

Ordinations in Birmingham 22nd November 2015

With great joy, the Diocese announces three ordinations by the laying of hands by His Grace Bishop Missael which took place on Sunday 22nd November 2015 at the Coptic Centre.

Fr. John was ordained as a hegumen by His Grace Bishop Missael; Fr. John has served the Church of St. Mary & St. Abaskhyroun in North wales since his ordination in 2008. 

Dr. Mokhlis Mina was elevated to the rank of Archdeacon, being ordained on the Church of St. Mary & Archangel Michael in Solihull by His Grace.

His Grace also elevated Chanter Keith Bailey to the rank of Reader on the Church of St. Mary & St. Abu-Sefein in the Coptic Centre.

We thank His Grace Bishop Missael and ask the Lord to keep him in widening the diocese and the appointment of new servants. We pray that the Lord may bless the service of each one for many years to come.

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Why Orthodoxy? Conference 2015

Written by Sarah Matar.

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On the weekend of the 2nd-4th October 2015, we gathered together in the Coptic Centre to discuss our Orthodox faith and common questions we are faced with regarding it. Many youth delivered talks based on H.H. Pope Shenouda's Comparative Theology, which were followed by Question & Answer sessions.

The talks were very enlightening and a number of topics were addressed such as baptism, the eucharist, fasting, our view on St Mary, the intercession of the saints and rituals. I learnt a lot from the talks and they confirmed my belief in the depth and richness of Orthodoxy, which has been preserved from the Early Church Fathers and from the Word of God. I'm grateful that God, by His grace, gave us these mysteries within our Church to  reach a greater intimacy with Him. I'm sure we all left understanding why we do what we do, that these practices within Orthodoxy that we addressed are not an end to themselves but are a means to live life with Him, in Him and through Him so we can journey to live heaven on earth. 

We hope that you join us next time :-)

The talks are all available for you to watch and listen to

Shroud of Turin Trip 2015

Written by Kirollos Sourour.

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Our diocese held a trip to Italy from the 19th to the 21st of June 2015. On the first day we were so blessed to have the opportunity to visit the Shroud of the Lord in Turin, before visiting our Coptic monastery in Milan with HG Bishop Kyrillos.

We spent the next day in Venice, where we enjoyed praying a beautiful Liturgy underneath the tomb of the founder of the Coptic Orthodox Church, our father St Mark. Later that day we visited the church of St Athanasius the Apostolic and St Marina the nun, and then the rest of the evening at the charming lake Como.

The last day was a beautiful tour in Milan City centre and some of us also went to the Milan Expo, which was our last stop before returning to the UK.

The trip was lovely and everybody had a nice time. We hope you all could be with us next time!!

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