University Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1SP

 CONTACTS:

To message Archimandrite Kyril or to arrange a baptism or wedding please email the Parish Priest@bristol-orthodox-church.co.uk  (Tel. 01179706302 or 07944 860 955).

  For more see:  CONTACTS

UpComingREV | UU Taos

Every Saturday: 5.30 p.m. Vespers

Every Sunday: 10.30 a.m. Divine Liturgy

 

WEEKLY SERVICES & INFORMATION (Note: our Parish follows the “New” (Revised Julian) Calendar.)

 

Friday, 21st June. Leave-taking of the Ascension. (Wine and oil)

 

Saturday, 22nd June. Saturday of Souls. St Alban, First Martyr of Britain (c209).

5.30 p.m.  Vespers.

Readings:  Numbers 11:16, 17, 24-29    Joel 2:23-32    Ezekiel 36: 24-28

 

Sunday 23rd June.  8th Sunday of Pascha.  HOLY PENTECOST

10.30 a.m.  Divine Liturgy (Tone 7)

Followed by:   Vespers for the Day of the Holy Spirit (” Kneeling” Vespers).  (This is the first time we kneel to pray in church since Pascha).

Readings: Acts 2: 1-11      John 7: 37-52; 8:12

NOTE: This coming week is Fast-free.

 

Monday, 24th June.  DAY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. 

THE NATIVITY OF THE HOLY PROPHET, FORERUNNER AND BAPTIST JOHN.

 

Tuesday 25th June.  THIRD DAY OF THE TRINITY.

 

Saturday, 29th June.  Holy Glorious and All-praised Apostles Peter and Paul

5.30 p.m.  Vespers. (Readings: 1 Peter 3-9;  1 Peter 1:13-19;  1 Peter 2: 11-24)

 

Sunday 30th June.  First Sunday after Pentecost.   FEAST OF ALL SAINTS. (End of the period of the Pentecostarion)

Readings:  Hebrews 11:33-12:2a           Matthew 10: 32-33; 37-38; 19: 27-30

10.30 a.m.  Divine Liturgy

NOTE: Normal fasting rules from this week onwards.

 

 

FOOD BANK:

Amidst our God-given sufficiency,  DON’T  FORGET THE NEEDS OF OTHERS. Bring contributions please. 

 

 PARISH NEWS

Building update:

The roofers have now finished the work. This will cost us in the area of a further £4000… PLEASE BE GENEROUS!

THANK YOU for your generous donations. Without this, we would not have a space to worship in. We are extremely blessed to have our own space that does not need to be shared with other users. If we look after it, the building will be sure to last a few more hundred years and serve our community for many generations to come. 

GIFT AID

Are you a taxpayer? Do you put money into the donations box or Sunday collections?
As a charity, the Government will pay back to the Church the amount of tax you have paid on your donations. But for us not to miss out on the full amount, it is really helpful if you:

1) Complete a simple Gift Aid mandate form (available on the table at the back of the church – or just ask) and give it to our treasurer Neil;
2) and then put your donations into one of the little brown envelopes on the candle desk and then write your name on it.
3) The same applies if you are making donations online (see below) – we need your mandate form! That way our treasurer can account for it all to the tax man and get the full amount back.



Some selected saints (AND FEASTS)  of the coming days).

    • THURSDAY 20TH – Martyr Methodius, Bishop of Patara (312).  St Nicolas Cabasilas, Theologian (c 1391).
    • FRIDAY 21ST – Martyr Terence, Bishop at Iconium (1 c).  Martyr Julian of Tarsus (3-4 c). St Mewan (Meven, Méen), abbot in Cornwall and Brittany (6 c). Martyrs Archil II and Luarsab II , kings of Georgia (784 & 1622).
    • SATURDAY 22ND – ST ALBAN, PROTOMARTYR OF BRITAIN (c209).  St Paulinus (Pontius Meropius Anicius Paulinus), Bishop of Nola in Campania  (Italy 431). St Nicetas Bishop of Remesiana (now Bela-Polanka, Serbia), the first to use the phrase “the Communion of Saints” (Dacia Mediterranea, c 414).
    • SUNDAY 23RD –  Martyr Agrippina at Rome (253/260). St Æþelðryþe (Etheldreda, Audrey), Queen of Northumbria, consecrated virgin, founder abbess of Ely Abbey  (679). St Mark of Ephesus, Theologian, Hymnographer (1445).
    • MONDAY 24TH – NATIVITY OF THE HOLY PROPHET, FORERUNNER AND BAPTIST JOHN.
    • MONDAY 24TH – St John the Baptist
    • TUESDAY 25TH – Virgin-martyr Febronia of Nisibis (c304).  St Prosper of Aquitaine (4c).
    • WEDNESDAY 26TH – St David of Thessalonika (c540).  St John, Bishop of the Goths in Crimea (8c).
    • THURSDAY 27TH – St Joanna the myrrh-bearer.  St Samson the Hospitable of Constantinople. (c530).  St Austol (Austell), solitary (Cornwall and Brittany , 6c).
    • FRIDAY 28TH – Translation of the relics of Ss Cyrus and John, Wonderworking Unmercenary Healers (412). Ss Sergius and German(us), Wonderworkers of Valaam (c 1353).

 

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For those who wish to donate to our Parish online, our Facebook fundraiser can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/453504039824339/?fundraiser_source=external_url

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Sermon for the Sunday of the Man Born Blind

Archimandrite Kyril Jenner

John 9:1-38

Christ is risen!

When we read of our Lord’s acts of healing and of other signs and wonders, there are two questions that we should ask.   The first is “What happened?”;  the second is “What can we learn from this?”

The answer to the first question, “What happened?” is very often “We do not know.”   We have the description given in the Gospel text.   But this description is often lacking in detail, and generally only deals with the external aspects of what went on.   It describes some of what was seen, just enough for us to visualise it, but tells us little about what was unseen. 

Today’s text does give us a little background information to help us to understand what was going on.   Our Lord had been teaching in the Temple.   In the course of his teaching he had got into an argument with some of those who heard him.   They threatened to kill him and so he left the Temple with his disciples.   On his path away from the Temple they met the man born blind.   This provoked the disciples to ask the question as to why the man was born blind.   They assumed that physical illness was a consequence of sin, and so the question to be answered was “Who had sinned?”  

Our Lord responds that this is not the relevant question.   The man born blind had sinned, his parents had sinned, but those sins were not the reason for his blindness.   He was born blind so “that the works of God might be made manifest in him.”  (John 9:3)  Saint John Chrysostom emphasises this:  “without this man’s punishment, it was not possible that the glory of God should be shown.”   But he goes on to say that in this case we should not regard his blindness as a punishment, but rather as an opportunity.   While lacking outward physical sight he had “recovered the sight of the eyes within.”   (Homily 56 on the Gospel of John)

This inner sight enabled him to see what was really going on.   His recovery of physical sight was not merely the result of human action with clay and washing, but was an act of God, an act showing that Christ was truly both human and divine.   This is what he asserted when questioned about his healing.   The essential work had been done by God, and so discussion about human working on the Sabbath was of no relevance.

Inner sight, spiritual sight, is what should matter to us.   Without such inner sight we stumble spiritually.   Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk tells us:  “Whatever physical darkness is for the eyes, so is sin for the human soul.   The spiritual darkness so darkens and blinds the eyes of the soul, that the sinner walks like the blind:  he does not know where the path leads him;  he does not see before him the torment of an eternal death in which he might fall;  he does not distinguish vice from virtue, evil from good, truth from lies, true good fortune from evil fortune, and, thus, seeing he does not see and acts by touching like the blind.”  (Quoted by S V Bulgakov:  Notes for Church Servers, 1900) 

Sin, then, leads, not to physical illness in most cases, but rather to spiritual sickness, and in particular to spiritual blindness.  We need to be able to see the work of God and to respond with love to his command.   The Psalmist tells us:  “The heavens declare the glory of God”  (Psalm 18:1)  Do we recognise God’s work in all that is around us?   Or are we blind, and fail to respond?

God is proclaimed in his holy word.   When we hear that holy word, how to we respond?   Do we let it pass over us, so that we continue to be self-centred, resistant to the love of God, and show no real love for our neighbour?   Or do we hear the word of God and respond humbly with love?  

In today’s Gospel reading we see the difference between the reaction of the Pharisees and that of the man born blind.   The Pharisees think that they already know everything needful about God, and so have no need to listen to the blind man, one who was uneducated and lacked their scholarly knowledge.   But his knowledge of God was based on his direct experience.   With that simple and direct knowledge he cut through the elaborate arguments of the Pharisees.

Saint Theophan the Recluse expands on this:  “Simplicity of faith argues with crafty unbelief.   Faith, coming to the blind man who received sight, enlightened the eyes of his mind, and he clearly saw the truth.   See how everything was logical for him.   They ask him: “What do you say of him who gave you sight?”   He answered:  “He is a prophet,” that is, the messenger of God, clothed in wonder-working power.   An indisputably true conclusion!   But learned erudition does not want to see this trueness and seeks to evade its consequences.”  (Reflection for the Sunday of the Man Born Blind)

Let us pray that we may follow the example of the man born blind.   Let us recognise what God has done for us in showing his love for us and forgiving our sins.   Let us see God’s power at work in his Son, and let us bow down and worship Christ who alone is both truly God and truly human.    

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Like all small communities we rely on the generosity of friends and well-wishers.   If you would like to contribute to the continuation of our parish and the upkeep of our historic church building, you can make a  donation here:

https://www.facebook.com/donate/679204386685133/?fundraiser_source=external_url

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