Sunday, 8 May 2011


Today I celebrated and preached at St. Barnabas, Woodford Green. The music was, as usual, of a very high standard. The setting of the Mass was Darke in E and the Anthem “O for a closer walk with God” arranged by Sir Charles Stanford. At the close of the Mass the voluntary was Sortie (Messe Basse op 30) by Louis Verne.

I preached on the Gospel which retold what happened on the Road to Emmaus, pointing out that the disciples knew it was Jesus by the Breaking of the Bread. Every time we come to Mass we meet Jesus in the same way. When the realised that they had been accompanied on their journey by Jesus and that he was raised from the dead they didn’t hesitate but went straight back to Jerusalem t o pass on the good news. It is our task to follow their example and take the good news out into the world.


Yesterday, I went with a group of students from the Chelmsford Course of Christian Studies to the Russian Orthodox Monastery at Tolleshunt Knights, where we were made very welcome. Ann has been undertaking this course of study for nearly two years and finishes in a few weeks time. For the final part of the course she decided to spend time studying Icons and this trip was arranged to explain a little about icons and their use in Orthodox worship. I was able to spend a bit of time with Philip, one of the Lay Brothers, whose family comes from Cyprus, a place Ann and I really enjoy visiting.



They grow most of their own vegetables at Tolleshunt and we were able to see the work they undertake on the farm they own. Anything they grow which is over and above their needs is given away. The monks and nuns lead a very frugal life with mainly vegetarian diet (meat being permitted at Easter if some one donates meat to them.)



We attended Saturday Vespers, a service which was mainly in English, before leaving after a most enjoyable and informative afternoon.




1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to the monastery; it is a holy place which has brought blessings to these islands and to the world.

    I would only quibble over your usage of the phrase "Russian Orthodox". While it was founded under the omophorion of Metropolitan ANTHONY of Sourozh, it has since 1965 been under the omophorion and personal jurisdiction of the Oecumenical Patriarch - so a more accurate appelation would be "Greek Orthodox".

    However, since the founder, Elder Sophrony, sought to establish a monastic community in England where the divisions between Russian, Greek and other traditions were reduced to a minimum, it would perhaps be better simply to refer to it as the "Orthodox Monastery of St John the Baptist".