PARISH NEWS for week beginning 17/2/19


This newsletter is published weekly on the website as well as on our Facebook page. Search for ‘Orthodox Church of The Nativity of the Mother of God, Bristol’ (please view and ‘like’ us).

DID YOU KNOW that the parish also has a YouTube channel? Search on YouTube for ‘Orthodox Church of The Nativity of the Mother of God, Bristol’. You will find sermons and service clips from our church.


Lillian and Robin

Further to the recent visit by Archimandrite Kyril and Reader Botolph to bless the headstone on the grave of Lillian (Delevoryas) and Robin (George) Amis in Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey, here is a photo of the headstone:


On Sunday, at the end of the Divine Liturgy, our priest, Archimandrite Kyril, recalled that he has served in our parish for twenty years. In that time the change has been huge: through God’s grace and our efforts the community has grown substantially, we have thriving children’s and adults’ groups and we have made many improvements to our church building. None of us, however, is as young as we were and we need to be considering how we shall ensure that he has a successor. So he urges us each and all to pray confidently to God to send us perhaps first a deacon, then a second priest to assist Fr Kyril and to allow him in, say, five years to hand on the responsibility for our care. So, we must all pray!

We are a growing parish and there is easily work for a priest and a deacon. There are various ways this can happen. Among our menfolk might we find any who would consider that the role of Deacon or Priest is something they might be able to take on? Think and pray about it! Additionally, or alternatively, someone from elsewhere might be found. Either (or both!) ways we need to begin praying and considering this NOW. Do not hesitate to talk to Fr Kyril.


We are blessed with having a good choir in our parish who work hard to sing the services well and we are very pleased to have new singers joining us. But we could do with some more support in the bass, tenor and alto departments in particular. Again, we need to be looking to the future.


The need for contributions to the Foodbank is as great as ever. Please continue giving.


Last Sunday we heard the Gospel Reading of Zacchaeus. Fr Kyril reminded us that Zacchaeus was a small man and a sinner, a corrupt tax-collector. He did not want to be seen, but desired to see Christ. So he climbed up a tree and hid among the branches. But Christ saw him, knew him, and called him down. Not just that, he announced he was going to eat with him in his house. Zacchaeus’ response was immediate: he repented. He undertook a change of life, a ‘metanoia’ and at once would repay fourfold (as the Law required of a thief) all that he had illegally taken. Zacchaeus is each of us, the small people, not grand or lofty, but apparently insignificant. If we but turn to Christ, though, he sees us, knows us, comes to us, eats with us and we with him.

This Gospel reading is placed immediately before that of next week, the parable of the Tax Collector and the Pharisee, when again a tax-collector realizes his sinfulness. This coming Sunday marks the beginning of the use of the Triodion, the book of the services of the penitential season of the Great Fast, or Lent. Zacchaeus sets the scene, provides our model: the heartfelt desire for reconciliation and forgiveness. If you can, get a copy of Great Lent by Fr Alexander Schmemann: it is a treasure trove of reading for this season.


Sunday, February 17th.
10.30 a.m. Divine Liturgy Tone 5. Sunday of the Tax Collector and the Pharisee (Beginning of the Triodion) St Mariamni, sister of the Apostle Philip
Saturday, February 23rd.
5.00 p.m. Choir Practice 6.30 p.m Vespers
Sunday, February 24th. Normal fast (Wed & Fri) 10.30 a.m. Divine Liturgy Tone 6. Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Saturday, March 2nd.
Pilgrimage to St David’s Church, Llanthony 11.00 a.m. Divine Liturgy) Memorial Saturday (Commemoration of the Departed
Sunday, March 3rd.
After today we eat no flesh meat or meat products till Pascha. But there is no other fasting all this week- fish, eggs and dairy, wine and oil are allowed every day.
10.30 a.m. Divine Liturgy Tone 7. Sunday of the Last Judgement (Meatfare)
Sunday, March 10th.
Last day for eating fish, eggs and dairy. After today we keep a strict fast till Pascha.
10.30 a.m. Divine Liturgy
12 noon Vespers of Forgiveness: the first service of the Great Fast (Lent)
Tone 8. Sunday of Forgiveness (Cheesefare)

SOME SAINTS’ DAYS this week:
Sunday: St Mariamni

Monday: St Leo the Great, Pope of Rome (461)

Tuesday: Apostles of the Seventy Archippos and Philemon

Wednesday: St Leo, Bishop of Catania in Sicily (780). St Dionysios, Pope of Rome (268)

Thursday: St Timothy of Symbola in Bithynia (Asia Minor). St Eustathios, bishop of Antioch (337)

Friday: Martyrs at the Eugenios Gate in Constantinople

Saturday: Martyr Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna (167)

“The Church in The British Isles will only begin to grow when she begins to venerate her own saints again”     (Saint Arsenios of Paros †1877)
So, this week we celebrate:
Sunday: St Finan, Bishop of Lindisfarne (Northumbria) (661)






Saturday: St Boisil (Boswell), abbot of Melrose (Scotland) (664). St Milburga, abbess of Wenlock (Shropshire) (715)


The Eastern Orthodox Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God, University Rd, Bristol BS8 1SP, registered Charity No. 290747, is a member Parish of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

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