2022 Youth Festival

The Youth Festival is back with an in-person event 3-5 June 2022, with the theme Life as Communion. Held at the beautiful Othona Community at Bradwell-on-Sea and worshipping in the chapel built by St Cedd, Apostle of Essex, the festival is a great opportunity for young people 18-35 to get together and share their faith.

Speakers include: His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain; Archpriest Stephen Platt from the Parish of St Nicholas, Oxford; Father Alexander Tefft from the Parish of St Botolph, London; and Marina Robb, Theologian and RE Teacher.

Visit the youth website to find out more and apply for a place.

Great Lent and new beginnings

Great Lent: a time of repentance, of turning away from sin and towards God. You may like to say prayers for peace at home; this link is to our friends at the Orthodox Peace Fellowship. https://incommunion.org/2022/02/14/moleben-for-peace/

Mosaic Choir has received a blessing to chant the Salutations to the Mother of God in English on each Friday of this Great Lent, 19:30 at the Chapel of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, 5 Craven Hill, W2 3EN. We believe this to be the only service of Salutations solely in English in our capital city. All are welcome.

Photo by Alexios Gennaris

Good strength for Lent!

Summer Series – it’s back!

Following successful virtual visits last summer and winter, the Fellowship is delighted to announce:

Summer Series: Through the Prayers of Our Holy Fathers and Mothers

Come and listen to talks about these wonderful saints and witnesses who can teach us so much in living the faith in the modern world. Come and see!

Taking place every Monday, 19 July-23 August, 19:00-20:30 BST (London, UK) on Zoom.

  • 19 July: Dr Razvan Porumb, speaking on Fr Nicolae Steinhardt – recording
  • 26 July: Sister Magdalen, speaking on St Silouan and St Sophrony – this session was not recorded
  • 2 August: Subdeacon Ian Randall, speaking on St Maria of Paris – recording
  • 9 August: Dr Elena Sadovnikova, speaking on Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh – recording coming soon
  • 16 August: Dr Alexei Tsvelik, speaking on Fr Alexander Men – recording
  • 23 August: Dr Evi Voulgaraki-Pissina: St Porphyrios and Mother Gavrilia – recording

Sign up here whether you want to attend one or all of the series. See you there!

You can download the poster below to further advertise with your parish and community. Right mouse click on the jpeg image and ‘save image as’ or download the pdf file.

New YouTube channel!

The Orthodox Fellowship of St John the Baptist now has a YouTube channel! Subscribe, share with your friends and watch our videos as a way to learn more about the Orthodox faith, but also feel free to watch videos again! As we move into the Great Fast, we hope making these videos even more accessible will provide spiritual nourishment.

Our own videos have been uploaded from recent events including

  • 2021 Study Weekend on the Psalms, hosted by the Romanian Orthodox Parish of St John the Evangelist in Cambridge
  • 2020-21 Winter Series of Virtual Visits to Saints and Holy Places
  • 2020 Summer Series of Virtual Visits to Monasteries around the World

These videos have also been put together as playlists for your convenience so the videos are brought together thematically as well as being able to watch them individually. We have also been able to create a other playlists thanks to the historic material still available elsewhere on YouTube with our friends.

  • 2015 Study Weekend on the Mother of God in the Bible, hosted by the Romanian Orthodox Parish of St John the Baptist and St Alban the Protomartyr in Luton
  • A collection of other videos from the Youth Festival and Women’s Ministries Initiative

More videos will be added when we can: subscribe, watch, like, comment, share, encourage people to join the Fellowship!

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