Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Eastertide Message of Hope

In these unprecedented times of global challenge, The Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum brings greetings to the churches of England through their joint-chairs.

In these unprecedented times of global challenge, The Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum brings greetings to the churches of England through their joint-chairs… 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

As representatives of the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum we write with great joy in this Easter Season, notwithstanding the distressing and painful circumstances surrounding us all, to share a message of hope and encouragement with all our members.

The Regional Forum met on 12th May by video conference and though sorry not to be together physically and separated by distance, we experienced a depth of prayer, fellowship and common purpose for which we give thanks to Almighty God. This speaks well of the patient commitment to building warm and deep ecumenical relationships over many years. As the Psalmist says, “Behold how good and pleasant it is to dwell together in unity.” (Ps 133.1)

We heard from all our Churches within the one and indivisible Body of Christ of which we are all members. We were reminded in prayer, fellowship and exchanging news from our communities, of all that binds us together across nations, Churches and continents.

Though much has changed and many of our brothers and sisters have faced hardship and challenges during the pandemic, the reality of the love of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ is our sure and certain hope which does not disappoint us. We commit to working and journeying together in witness to the love of Christ as we share in mutual love and reach out in and with that same love to those around us, especially those suffering from the Coronavirus.

We shall strive to love our neighbour, both by doing all we can to avoid spreading the infection, especially through physical distancing, and also by being intentional about using all our available platforms to maintain pastoral and spiritual contact with those among whom we are set to serve. We shall also be praying every day without ceasing, seeking solutions to the financial implications of the crisis, and encouraging the Christian community in its tending to the needs of those suffering in the wider community at this time.

Recognising the unprecedented struggles of this time, we pray wisdom upon those entrusted to lead, protection upon those entrusted to care and heal, and comfort upon those bereaved, sick, struggling financially, and those afraid, anxious or suffering in any way.

We pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 2.2)

We will continue to pray for, stay in communication with, and where possible assist, our Churches both here across Britain and around the world, as well as our sister Churches and Christian communities that continue to struggle, whether as a result of this pandemic, ongoing persecution, or a combination of both.

We place our confidence and trust in Christ our Saviour, Risen, Ascended and Glorified.

Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London
Papal Legate to the United Kingdom
The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun
Anglican Bishop of Southwark

HE Athanasius Toma Dawod
Archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox
Church in the United Kingdom
The Rt Revd Jonathan Goodall
Bishop of Ebbsfleet
HG Bishop Hovakim Manukyan
Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian
Church in the UK and Ireland
The Revd Nevsky Everett
Anglican Co-Secretary
Chaplain of Keble College, Oxford
Fr Aphram Ozan
Syriac Orthodox Church
The Revd Dr Callan Slipper
National Ecumenical Officer (Church
of England)
Rev Tekle Mariam
Ethiopian Orthodox Church

The Revd Canon Dr William Taylor
Chairman, Anglican Eastern Churches
Vicar of St John’s, Notting Hill.
Fr. Yohannes
Eritrean Orthodox Church

Eastertide 2020