HE Archbishop John visited our parish last weekend, 14-15th July 2018.

Our patronal feast of the Holy Prophet Elias was especially significant this year as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the beginnings of the parish. Fifty years ago the monastery church at Willand outside of Exeter was dedicated and fifty years ago Fr Nicanor was made a deacon.

Archimandrite Barnabas had been advised to come to the South West by Metropolitan Anthony. He put Archimandrite Barnabas in touch with Father Nicanor, who helped him settle in this area.

On Saturday evening, HE Archbishop John clothed Sister Sarah in the Riassa and Kamilavka. Sarah became a nun in the late 1950’s and she has lived as a solitary for the past 30 years or so, most recently on the edge of Dartmoor. She joined the Holy Orthodox Church and comes to our church for the Divine Liturgy each Sunday. It is a special joy for me to welcome her into our monastic fellowship.

On Sunday, HE Archbishop John served the Divine Liturgy and ordained Brandon Gallaher a deacon. Fr Patrick Hodson, Fr John Behr (St Vladimir’s Seminary, New York State), Fr Nicanor Wilkins, Fr Stephan Maikovsky, Fr Timothy Curtis and Hieromonk Porphyrios concelebrated. Protodeacon Peter Scorer and Deacon Alexey Kostyanovsky served and brought Brandon forward for ordination.

At the end of the Liturgy, HE Archbishop John gave Fr Nicanor the honour of having the Liturgy served with open doors up to the Lord’s Prayer, if he is participating in its celebration. He gave a gramota to Mrs Irina Scorer in recognition of her devoted service to the church over many years, as Director of the Choir.

HE Archbishop John then joined parishioners for lunch.

Later, Hieromonk Porphyrios took His Eminence to Combe Martin to meet Fr John Marks and his wife, Dawn. It was a very cordial meeting and a highlight of the weekend. His Eminence paid tribute to Fr John’s long and devoted service as a priest and visited the house chapel. Michelle Gallaher came and was on hand to translate.

Next day, Hieromonk Porphyrios and Deacon Brandon took His Eminence Archbishop John to Exeter airport for his return flight to Paris.

There is a short history of the parish for sale. Copies are available at St Anne’s Church and from Protodeacon Peter.

Hieromonk Porphyrios, Rector