Report Archives 2011-2006
2011 Report Archive
ORTHODOX FAMILY CAMP – 5th to 8th August 2011
The Orthodox Family Camp was held slightly earlier than usual this year, at the beginning of August. Changing the date did not, however, in any way change the mostly fine weather that shone on the beautiful setting of Cefn Lea Park, near Newtown, Powys.
As in previous years, families came together from several Orthodox jurisdictions and included some who had been to previous camps and those for whom this was a first visit. Children ranged in age from 8 years down to 9 months, giving the weekend a truly pan-Orthodox, family atmosphere.
Fr Michael Harry was the Chaplain for the weekend, and, as has been the custom for several years, he began on Friday evening by involving the children in blessing the chalet which accommodated the six families. The Saturday fell on the Feast of the Transfiguration, so the Divine Liturgy was celebrated early in the morning with the blessing of grapes at the end. During the day the children helped to make prosphora for Sunday’s Divine Liturgy and koliva for a memorial service on the Saturday evening. A list was put up so parents and children could put the names of those to be remembered.
In between, the children could play with toys indoors or go outside and ride their scooters, play badminton in the Centre, and make new friends. The camp is surrounded by beautiful hills, giving opportunities for kite flying with Hugh Maxfield one day, and on the next, more hill climbing followed by a lovely craft session using an apparently inexhaustible bag of craft materials. To everyone’s delight, the weather was good enough for the now traditional Family Camp water slide, created on the grassy slopes of the camp. Only the combination of mud and shivers eventually drove the children back indoors for warm showers.
Parents joined together to prepare all the meals, planned most imaginatively by Imogen Maxfield and everyone took their turn with the washing up and cleaning. In the evenings, once all the children were in bed, there was a chance for the parents to talk together with Fr Michael, to make plans for the next year’s camp and just share time together.
On the Monday morning Fr Michael led everyone in a blessing service for journeys, and everyone went their separate ways, strengthened by having spent time together with other Orthodox families. As one of the fathers said at the end ‘This weekend was just what I needed’.
Next year’s camp has been booked at Cefn Lea Park from Friday August 24th to Monday 27th, 2012: families with young children are warmly invited to come.
Study Weekend: “Song of Songs”
2010 Report Archive
Twelve pilgrims went under the auspices of the fellowship, for a week in August (2010) to Moldova in Romania, particularly to see the painted monasteries. We enjoyed good weather, excellent food, a feast for the eyes, and came back spiritually enriched. Our tour guide was a Romanian called Ionut Nazarcu, and our chaplain was Fr Philip Hall.
Family Camp Report
This year’s camp, held over a weekend in August at Cefn Lea in Wales, was a most enjoyable event. Whilst there are several camps, and other annual events, for Orthodox young people and adults; the Orthodox Family Camp is for families with young children.
Organised by Hugh and Immogen Maxfield, the accommodation allows for communal preparation and eating of meals which creates a warm family atmosphere, and the programme provides activities for the children within the structure of daily prayers. This gives an opportunity for families to come together in an Orthodox setting to share experiences, learn, play, and worship together. In particular, it gives an unstressful opportunity for the children to participate in the services by singing, reading and serving.
The camp also has a theme that forms the basis of sharing experience, discussion and learning. The theme of this year’s camp was ‘Orthodox Families in the Fallen World’. We considered how the Orthodox can experience ridicule and hostility to their faith in today’s secular society, and how we should respond. We reminded ourselves that we are not a weak minority religious sect being persecuted by a strong secular world. Instead, we are the unworthy bearers of the Gospel/Good News on behalf of the whole of creation.
Fr Michael Harry: Chaplain to the Family Camp
2010 Triennial Summer Conference
2009 Report Archive
at All Saints Pastoral Centre, London Colney, St. Alban’s
10th – 12th July
“CREATION AND EVOLUTION – AN ORTHODOX APPROACH”
with Revd. Fr. Dr. Christopher Knight
Professor George Theokritoff
Very Revd. Archimandrite Kyril Jenner
Professor Richard Swinburne
The Summer Conference at St. Alban’s was in one respect a first for the Fellowship in that it was convened to consider Orthodoxy’s understanding of creation and evolution in the light of both science and revelation. Issues of scientific interest do not always feature prominently in such gatherings which may be attributable the widening gap between frontier scientific research and public understanding. Happily there was no such gap at the Summer Conference with our Orthodox speakers straddling both the realms of science and of faith – a geologist, astrophysicist, mathematician, philosopher and psychotherapist helping out.
Our speakers spoke with great learning and lucidity on how their own fields of work had revealed the deep harmonies of natural science and natural theology with Orthodox epistemology and revelation. In an age where anti-theists and fundamentalists alike maintain a mutual interest in the phoney “war” between these two ancient disciplines, it was refreshing and encouraging to see how such conflicts are entirely alien to the Orthodox ethos … which is not to say of course that one will not find the occasional Orthodox fundamentalist on the internet and elsewhere!
At the conclusion of the Conference and by the kind invitation of the Dean and Chapter of St. Alban’s Abbey and Cathedral, the Conference visited the tomb of the Holy Protomartyr of Britain, St. Alban for a service and veneration of a relic – returned in recent times by the French Catholic Church in Auxerre – the other relics in England being destroyed at the Reformation.
at St. Aidan’s, Manchester, 30th January to 1st February
“STUDYING THE BIBLE”
with His Eminence, Metropolitan Kallistos Ware
The Fellowship’s 2009 Study Weekend was hosted by the parish of St. Aidan, Manchester (Antiochian Orthodox Deanery). The priest and community gave a warm welcome to the Guest Lecturer, His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware and the event was well attended with over 40 participants. The theme of the weekend: “Studying the Bible” was developed through 5 talks and plenary sessions. These were very well received and as is customary with our esteemed guest speaker the material was appropriate for a diverse range of understandings and abilities. His Eminence also presided over the hierarchical services of the Weekend and the catering left no one hungry. The priest, Fr. Gregory (Hallam) had arranged for evening meals to be taken in a large local Indian restaurant which worked very well for those who chose to attend.
return to top
2008 Report Archive
Ushaw Conference 13-15 July 2008
There was 39 of us attending the conference of which four were from the youth choir. It was held at the Ushaw College, Durham where we enjoyed fantastic food and very comfortable sleeping arrangements.
The main theme of the conference was Living the Liturgy and it was split into three sections, public worship, private prayer and daily life. We had three great speakers Bishop Basil of Amphipolis, Columba Bruce Clark and Mother Sarah speaking. After each session there was a time for questions and answers. We also enjoyed together vespers, morning prayers and the divine liturgy in a wonderful church within the college.
Saturday 26th January at St. Botolph’s London – on St. Augustine
2007 Report Archive
Swanwick Triennial Conference
6th – 8th July
AT THE HAYES CONFERENCE CENTRE, SWANWICK
26-28 January 2007
“LIVING THE TRADITION: MARRIAGE AND SEXUALITY”
The Bristol Grammar School Sixth Form Centre and the Orthodox Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God, Bristol.
Speakers: The Rt. Revd. Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia, The Revd. Dr. Stephen Plumlee, The Revd. Dr. David Gill, Dr. Frank Johnson
2006 Report Archive
“WOMEN AND MEN IN THE CHURCH”
A residential weekend Conference with the theme “Women and Men in the Church.”