The Moscow Patriarchate parish in Oxford acquires a former Anglican church

The Russian parish of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Oxford purchases former Anglican church situated close to the city center and named after the same saint, parishioners told Interfax-Religion.

Since its foundation, the parish has been worshipping in a variety of rented accommodation, but most often services are celebrated in Anglican Church of St. Egidio.

The parish has grown quickly, today there are about ninety people, many children and youth. To conduct services believers were in need of a new permanent place of worship and today ideal church building has become available.

The parish of St. Nicholas is a parish of the Moscow Patriarchate Diocese of Sourozh. It was founded with the blessing of Archbishop Innokenty of Korsun, administrator of the diocese, in the summer of 2006. The parish maintains a full cycle of Divine Services, and an educational program, which includes Sunday school, youth meetings and women's fellowship meetings. Parishioners produce a monthly parish newsletter, The Wayfarer, maintain a website, and keep in touch with parish members and friends through regular email updates. The community also organizes the annual St. Seraphim's summer children's camp.

Pastoral care and fellowship are central to the community. Believers meet every Sunday after the Divine Liturgy for coffee and share a monthly parish meal with visitors. The parish priest Fr. Stephen Platt is Orthodox chaplain to both Oxford universities and several local prisons, and parishioners actively support local charities that assist asylum seekers and the homeless.

The parish has both the holy patron and the patroness. On October 19, Fr. Stephen and his parishioners visit to the Anglican Cathedral of Oxford to keep the feast of St. Frideswide, Christian saint of the 8th century and patroness of the city. St. Frideswide founded a monastery here, becoming its first abbess. Fr. Stephen serves a public prayer at the shrine of St. Frideswide, beneath which it is believed the relics of the saint still lie. Then parishioners make their way to Binsey, where the saint lived in decline of her years and founded the Chapel of St. Margaret. This ancient church has survived to our day. Fr. Stephen serves the blessing of waters at the holy well nearby.

Although the parish is recently established, the tradition of Russian Orthodoxy has been maintained Oxford for over fifty years as the first Russian Orthodox church in the city was founded in 1941.

Source: Interfax religion