Why be Orthodox?
Most people in the UK know little about the Orthodox Church. Some see it as a foreign version of Christianity. They are wrong.
We here in the City of London are keen to show them why.
True, a number of Orthodox churches in this country are made up mostly of immigrants and use foreign languages. But the scene is changing rapidly. More and more British people are joining the Orthodox Church. More and more children and grandchildren of people from Greece, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe grow up in the UK and want services in English. It is no longer strange to have churches like ours, where all the services are in English.
Some good reasons to be Orthodox:
1 The Orthodox Church is 'orthodox' in more ways than one. It has kept the faith of the Apostles, often in the face of severe persecution, from the first days of Christianity until now. It affirms the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, the Cross, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and the Second Coming of Christ - all the traditional beliefs of Christianity.
2 Its worship has remained remarkably the same over the centuries. The central service, the Divine Liturgy or Eucharist, dates back to the 4th century. All the services are full of references to the Old and New Testaments.
3 Orthodoxy has a good balance between affirming the highest Christian standards of human behaviour and the mercy and forgiveness offered by Christ and proclaimed by the Church. The Orthodox Church has not wandered from the ethical standards of Christ and his Apostles.
4 The Orthodox Church flourishes in many environments, including where the English language is spoken. This is particularly true of North America, where the Orthodox Church is one of the fastest growing churches.
So why not come and see for yourself!
Who are we?
We are the oldest part of the oldest Church in the world. The Orthodox Church is a family of families, and the oldest part of that worldwide family is the Antiochian Orthodox Church.
The records of the Acts of the Apostles tell us a lot about our Church. It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called “Christians” – recorded in Acts 11:26. Antioch was then the third largest city in the world after Rome and Alexandria. Our first Bishop was St Peter, before he went to Rome and his martyrdom. Other famous Antiochians of that period were St Barnabas and St Luke, the author of the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles.
Well-known Antiochians of the later period include St Ignatius of Antioch, St John Chrysostom, and St John of Damascus.
Our Church is strong in both Lebanon and Syria. It now has a well-established University in Balamand, Lebanon. But the Church has also spread throughout the world, and we have churches in North America, South America, and across Europe, including the United Kingdom and Ireland. More recently, we have spread to the Philippines.
The Orthodox Wiki
is a great online resource
for more information about Orthodox Christiantity.