On Saturday 9th May 2009, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa conducted the Service of Consecration of the Holy Church of St Basil and St Dimitrios, in the newly built Missionary Centre in Lusaka. From early in the morning many people and many Ambassadors of Orthodox countries and others, had filled the forecourt of the church waiting for the arrival of the Patriarch. When he arrived the African Orthodox broke out into songs and dance, welcoming their guest. The government was represented at the consecration and inauguration ceremonies by the Minister of Education Mr Godfrey Lungwangwa. During the service His Beatitude explained in detail whatever was being done to the impressed congregation who were witnessing this for the first time. Following the Divine Liturgy His Beatitude gave the new church a silver decorated cross for blessing, and congratulated His Grace Bishop Ioakeim of Zambia for the enormous work he has done in a few years, saying that the entire missionary centre is one of the very best of the Patriarchate in Africa. He then distributed antidoron and commemorative gifts to all present and gave pectoral crosses and other gifts to all the African Orthodox Christians.
On the morning of 5th May 2009, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, officiated at the Services of Orthros and the Divine Liturgy at the chapel in the Episcopate of Zambia. He was then interviewed by the local newspapers and among other things expressed his joy for the progress and development of the country, as he had noticed a great difference between the Zambia of today and that of 15 years ago, when he had visited as a member of the entourage of the late Patriarch Parthenios. Answering questions of a social nature, he stressed that only through education and the application of the Gospel, the Word of God, can the social problems of the country be solved.
A thriving Orthodox Christian congregation in South London has expressed strong interest in taking over the long empty Guards Chapel at Chelsea Barracks. The chapel, which developers are seeking to demolish to make way for a large complex of luxury flats and affordable homes, has been recommended for listing by English Heritage. After fierce local opposition, the proposals, drawn up by the practice of Lord Rogers, have been slightly reduced in scale by the developers Candy and Candy who are working for the Emir of Qatar, who acquired the site for £959 million. They plan to replace the demolished 1960s barracks with sleek rows of identical apartment blocks enlivened by the glazed external lifts and stairs which are the signature of many Rogers buildings.
The Bulgarian Government has given BGN 35 M for restoration of orthodox churches and monasteries around Bulgaria in the last three and a half years. That was announced Saturday by PM Sergey Stanishev during his visit to the "St. Kozma and Damyan" monastery by the village of Gigintsi near the Bulgarian-Serbian border. The Council of Ministers granted BGN 300 000 for a new bell.
The Orthodox on the way to Lyon
‘Called to One Hope in Christ'
1. Upon the invitation of His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and under the moderatorship of His Eminence Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima (Ecumenical Patriarchate), 27 hierarchs, priests, deacons, university professors and lay persons (male and female), representing nearly all of the Orthodox Churches members of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), gathered in Ierapetra, Crete, Greece, from 27 to 30 April 2009, within the framework of preparations for the 13th General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches, which will be held in Lyon, France, from 15 to 21 July 2009, under the theme, "Called to One Hope in Christ". The Consultation was honored by the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Irineos of Crete at the official opening prayer at Saint George Cathedral in Ierapetra and the inaugural session, as well as by His Eminence Metropolitan Damaskinos of Kydonia and Apokoronas (Chania).
The Board of Trustees of the Russian church of the Great Martyr Saint Catherine in Rome has lauded the progress of the final preparations for the festivities on the consecration of the church scheduled for May 24. "We are approaching the festivities. Tasks are being carried out. The mechanism of decision-making is clear to all," Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said at a meeting of the board in St. Daniel's Monastery.