Have you received an OFSJB calendar for 2021?

We have sent out copies of the 2021 Calendar and Lectionary to everyone on the repeat order list. Unfortunately we have discovered that some copies have a printing error with some pages appearing blank.

It would be really helpful if you could check your calendar and notify us if it has been affected. Also let us know if you would like it replaced. Please email us at OFSJBCalendar@gmail.com.

The Calendar and Lectionary uses the Revised Julian (New Style) Calendar, and sets out feasts, saints, readings, fasting rules and the music tone of the week. It’s useful in your Church building, but also in your home. If you would be interested in purchasing a copy, use our contact form on our dedicated web page or email OFSJBCalendar@gmail.com.

Our winter series is coming…

Just two weeks until our winter series of Virtual Visits to Saints and Holy Places: don’t forget to sign up for Zoom details!

In our sessions, we will be meeting:

  • The saint with 17 Orthodox Churches and communities dedicated to him in the British Isles
  • The saint whose shoes keep wearing out
  • The saint who crossed many time zones and the international date line to be a missionary
  • The place of Christ’s birth
  • The humble village in the UK dedicated to the Mother of God
  • The saint who literally shone with the Holy Spirit

Please join us!

New series of virtual visits!

The Fellowship is delighted to announce that we will be holding another series of Virtual Visits this winter, this time to Saints and Holy Places. We hope that the current restrictions will feel a bit lighter when you can attend these talks, find out about inspiring saints and places of pilgrimage, and ask questions of our great speakers!

  • 30 November: St Nicholas and Bari, Italy – Fr Stephen Platt
  • 7 December: St Spyridon and Corfu, Greece – Fr Themistoklis Mourtzanos
  • 14 December: St Herman of Alaska and Spruce Island, USA – Dr S. A. Mousalimas
  • 21 December: the Nativity of Christ and Bethlehem, Holy Land – Dan Koski
  • 28 December: the Mother of God and Walsingham, UK – Mother Melangell
  • 4 January: St Seraphim of Sarov and Diveyevo, Russia – Alevtina Tanu

As before, we ask you to register for details of the events using our dedicated page. See you there!

The monasteries we visited

Thank you! To everyone who attended our summer series of virtual visits to monasteries; to our wonderful speakers who shared their experiences so freely; to those who generously donated; and to those who have watched the recordings of the sessions they could not attend (available here). With a top-up donation from the Fellowship, each monastery we featured will receive £425 towards their life and work.

And thank you to everyone who completed our feedback questionnaire. There was a clear wish to have some more sessions that people could join. We are currently working on the precise programme, but here is advance notice that we will be holding a winter series of virtual visits to saints and holy places. Look out for more details and registration on the website!

As we face changing restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic, please remember we have some resources collected together for you. If have something you would like us to add to the list, let us know in the comments!

Visit monasteries virtually with us!

Last week the Fellowship’s summer series of virtual visits to monasteries began with a session on Holy Dormition St Nicholas-St Basil Monastery in Nikolskoe, Donetsk Region in Ukraine.

This week on Thursday 6 August, join professional storyteller Anna Conomos for a visit to Annunciation Monastery, Ormylia, Greece. Discover for yourself why this place is so special by attending: register for Zoom details on our dedicated page.

If you cannot join us on the day, we hope to post a recording shortly after the session. Come and see!

Fellowship news: resources for you

Fellowship activities have been affected like everyone else in this time of uncertainty. We have compiled a list of resources for your use: live streamed services, talks and sermons, other information and even events. Please take a look and we hope this will be helpful. It is not an exhaustive list so you can make suggestions for additions by emailing us.

We have limited stock remaining of our 2020 Calendar and Lectionary, now reduced to £4 per copy including postage. While you are at home, this might be a useful resource to keep up with daily readings, if you do not have other means. You can ask for a copy via the contact form on our calendar page.

We are also thinking about future Fellowship events. There will be no summer conference this year, and how we hold events over the next months and years may need to be different. For example, our popular annual Youth Festival was due to be the usual residential event at Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex, the place where St Cedd built a monastery. The youth committee was able to change the format to an online conference, with more people able to participate than ever: UK, France, Germany, Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Australia, USA, Georgia, Romania, Russia and more. It may be that the Festival and other events continue to incorporate an online element, even when we can meet in person again.

God bless you and keep you in these testing times.

God permits tribulations and adversities to befall people – even the saintly – so that they may persist in humility. But if we harden our hearts against adversities and tribulations, he also hardens these tribulations against us. On the other hand, if we accept them in humility and with a contrite heart, God will mingle tribulation with mercy.

St Isaac the Syrian
Fresco of St John the Baptist, Optina Monastery, Russia

Can you help the Fellowship?

Could you give your time to help us?For over 40 years the Fellowship has been organising conferences and publishing calendars, directories and its journal. More recently we have added the youth festival to our events. We send information to members and manage our funds in accordance with charity law. We respond to current issues in the Church and try to keep our website and social media up to date! All of these things require time, some require some skill – and we would love to have more of both on the team!

This Lent, please consider whether you could give some time to the Fellowship to help build up our strength. The more people we have, the less you might have to do! There are many opportunities. You could join the committee and help the direction of the Fellowship, or you could just take in a specific task. All help welcome!

Please contact us if you are interested in helping, either through the comments below or email OFSJBDirectory@gmail.com.

God bless you and give you strength this Lent!

Conference places available!

Ruby-40th-Anniversary-Party-Invitation-2.jpg

There are still places available at our 40th anniversary conference, 19-21 July at The Hayes conference centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire:

40 things you didn’t know about Orthodoxy

Come along and hear our fantastic speakers on the founding and first 40 years of the Fellowship; the next 40 years for Orthodoxy in this country; 40 days with the Bible; living under the patronage of St John the Baptist; and finding God in the wilderness.

Places are still available, but contact us soon – link to the application form below.

OFSJB 2019 summer conference application form

£210 for non-member, £200 for members, £180 for unwaged or students. Let us know if a bursary would help you attend if you cannot afford the full amount.

Hope to see you there!

Forty Years of Fellowship!

1979 was the year that

  • Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister.
  • McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal
  • Sony launched the Walkman
  • Philips demonstrated their new “Compact Disk” or CD
  • Elton John was the first westerner to perform in the USSR
  • Mother Theresa won the Nobel Peace Prize
  • The Dukes of Hazard were topping the TV shows and
  • Dustin Hoffman & Meryl Streep starred in Kramer vs Kramer

It was also the year that the Fellowship of Saint John the Baptist was founded to bring together English speaking Orthodox in the UK.

Next year, 2019, the Fellowship Celebrates Forty Years!

As well as holding a fun, fortieth, family festival in the Summer- we’d also like to produce a special 40 years anniversary edition of Forerunner.

So if you have photos, memories or anecdotes of the Fellowship in the last 40, 30 or even 10 years, please share them with us!

Also, for those of us who weren’t even born 40 years ago – what is your vision for the next 40 years?

Drop us a line at ofsjb.web@gmail.com

Have you booked for our Summer Festival?

Book now!

Download Poster and Booking Form  for details

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