What We Believe

A few words of explanation and  little bit of history…

Orthodox Christianity makes a bold claim:  it is there in the word ‘Orthodox’. The word means “right or true belief” and it was used of the Christian Church from the early centuries to demonstrate that it maintained the wholeness of the Christian faith against those who chose their own separate interpretation. Why did it matter and why does it still?  Because for a Christian the Church is where we not only encounter Jesus Christ, and all that means, but is where we and he become one. To be a Christian is to be one in and with Jesus Christ as God, as Church, in one body.  If that faith is compromised, so is our only hope.  Hence the tenacity with which Orthodox Christianity has held to its belief against all threats.

Over the centuries the Christian Church in the East and the West, differing  in language and custom, drifted further apart until by our time the two are no longer able to share in communion and Christianity is multiply fractured in the West following the Reformation..  This is a great tragedy and one that we pray profoundly to be healed.  In the meanwhile we can meet in respect and friendship but sadly not yet in the communion of the Eucharist.  To this end, our church and worship are open to all and all are welcome, whether of faith or of none.  We greet you all: come in and be welcome.

So, Orthodox Christianity can seem mysterious and foreign in a Western context and it has been referred to as ‘Christianity’s best kept secret’. Instead of attempting to explain our rich faith in a few words, we have collected links to enable you to find out as much (or as little) as you would like. After all, we don’t need to explain our individual parish’s beliefs as they are shared with Eastern Orthodox churches as a whole and maintained throughout 2,000 years of Christianity.

Articles

Introduction to Orthodoxy – resources, GOA

The Orthodox Faith – comprehensive online resources

Orthodox Christian Information Centre – wealth of resources

Questions and Answers about Orthodoxy – Extensive questions, OCA

Videos

Y²AM – Be the Bee, The Trench and Live the Word Series

Theoria

Orthodoxy Is… Orthodox Christian Fellowship

Orthodox View of Salvation

LEARNING ABOUT ORTHODOXY

Adult Classes: Henry (Cuthbert) McGrath runs a group, teaching about aspects of our Church and its faith. If you would like to join in with this just ask him in church on a Sunday or email him (secretary@bristol-orthodox-church.org.uk). This group is open to anyone from 12 years upwards and it runs spontaneously after Divine Liturgy.

Check the Resources and Links tab: Learning About Our Faith for our Teaching Programme

Children’s Classes: We run a Sunday Children’s class after the Divine Liturgy.  For those wishing to enrol their child for the first time and those who are re-enrolling for the new year, a £5 minimum donation is suggested. This funds stationary and supplies for the rest of the year. Money should be handed to Lydia. For first time enrollment, please e-mail  (vice-president@bristol-orthodox-church.co.uk) with their names and ages.