Topical News

hearing confessions, visiting parishioners, going for a meal, celebrating Thurdsday evening and Friday evening Vespers and having a chat with candidates for the Catechumenate, and celebrating two Divine Liturgies… one on Friday 31st July with a special occasion built into the liturgical proceedings: C B 9 Congratulations to Constantine on his Baptism in the Glenoe river. Glory to God! After the Liturgy we headed out to St Olcan’s church in Cranfield near Randalstown where Fr Paul served two molebens, entreating St Olcan and all the saints of Ireland to intercede for us. He streamed the first of these services to his parish and everyone enjoyed the experience. St O. And on Saturday 1 August the Divine Liturgy contained a special service for receiving two new Catechumens in our parish, glory to God. IMG_4106 Please keep Angela and Darren in your holy prayers. We are truly grateful for Fr Paul’s untiring service and support for our parish, Glory to God!
We are presently formulating the programme for the week, which will include a Divine Liturgy at the end of the week and daily morning and evening prayers as well as trips to visit local holy sites, and will be heavily subsidised to facilitate those of meager income. Please contact Johanna ( if you are interested in coming to join us in this venture and also if you have some skills to offer which may benefit the holiday.
A Northern contingent from our parish made their way to Stradbally Co Laois on the occasion of Vladyka Irenei’s first visit to our sister parish there… IMG_3892 See also the write-up and photos of the event in the Diocesan Website by clicking here.

Infant Baptism

On 8 February 2020 toward the end of the Divine Liturgy the youngest member of our parish was baptized… Glory to God and every blessing to the newly baptized and her family!

St John of Shanghai Belfast Street Collection

St John of Shanghai Belfast's photo.
All welcome to help!
2 dates · 13 Oct & 20 Oct both dates from 11:00 to 17:00 hours
If you can help, please bring your passport or other photo id and meet us in the pedestrian zone outside Castlecourt shopping centre to be given your official collector’s badge 🙂 Thank you!!
The proceeds will be for the “building fund” of the charity, used to build/obtain/improve/maintain a suitable church/hall/centre for the Orthodox Faith as expressed through ROCOR in Northern Ireland.

The cross-jurisdictional young adult Orthodox group in Belfast

had an enjoyable outing to Downpatrick, praying an Akathist to St Patrick at his graveside on Sat 22nd September.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, outdoor and close-up

Vladyka Irenei is appointed Ruling Bishop and Hierarch.

At their Sobor on Thursday 20th September, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia appointed Bishop Irenei as Ruling Hierarch of our Diocese. He is now officially Bishop of Richmond and Western Europe. Glory to God for such wonderful news! 42297483_314167005831539_8192463831503470592_n

Dates for your Diary!!


Welcome to Lydia (Lily)

Glory to God Who provided a lovely day for Lydia’s (Lily’s) reception into the Orthodox faith. God grant you many years! Grateful thanks also to our dear Fr Paul for his untiring and loving service to our little parish.

Diocesan Pilgrimage 2018

Maximos, Matthew, Nikos, Lucy and Johanna represented the Belfast parish of St John of Shanghai at the Diocesan Pilgrimage in Binsey near Oxford in England on Saturday 14th July ’18. It was a most blessed occasion with our humble, loving and peaceful immeasurable-gift-of-a-Bishop Irenei – who re-confirmed his intention of visiting Belfast ( 🙂 !!!) – celebrating the Divine Liturgy together with numerous clergy and altar servers inside a full church followed by a Moleben to Sts Frideswide & Margaret at the well outside the church on a scorching hot summer’s day. Some sat in the shade of the church grounds for a picnic afterwards, while others went to “The Perch” Restaurant/Pub after, where Diocesan matters were on the agenda in the shade under some trees… Treasuring the memories and thanking God for the opportunity of being united in one holy location with representatives of the whole Diocese… a gift to all to be sure. Taking photos was Lucy’s afterthought – once (nearly – spot the feet in the altar area?) everyone had left – thank you Lucy!

Some photos of the wonderful Feastday…

30 June – Feastday of St John!!! = Parish Feastday!!

8:30 Panikhida (service for the departed) 10:00 Hours /Confession, Divine Liturgy served by Fr Paul followed by gardenparty! All most welcome.

~ 13 JUNE: Nikos and Johanna travelled to Oxford to venerate the relics of St Seraphim of Sarov. (some photos on facebook) ~ The second update (from 12/June) is that the other party has viewed as well and since then also made their interest official. Now there is an involved process of further assessments and recommendations and competition between us up ahead, and there is no telling which way it will go, except to say that from a worldly perspective the other interested party may look more attractive to the decision makers as they are older and better established and thereby have a longer track record. May the Lord’s will be done – if it is meant for us, may we get it, and if it is not meant for us, may we not get it. We are hopeful, that either way, the Lord will provide something for His own glory. Thank you for continuing to keep it /us in your holy prayers!

8 – June 2018: Update for your prayers:

We have met with a representative of DTNI today, and discussed further details regarding our own status as an organization in relation to asset transfer requirements. The outcome of this assessment will become important if the other interested party confirms their interest after viewing the property, which they have not yet done. May God bless you for your continued prayer support!

Prayer request

After visiting the below building – located five miles outside Omagh, Co Tyrone, in the centre of Ulster, we have been encouraged to proceed further with the next steps needed for finding out if this building could come our way and possibly become a small monastic settlement with great potential for groups and pilgrimages …  Fr Paul Elliott explains: “We sang the Lord’s Prayer in what could be the church. The acoustics are just beautiful. I am not a monk and obviously not a nun, but this is an amazing opportunity to possibly start a monastic parish right in the centre of Northern Ireland. It could be a pilgrim centre for those who wish to visit and venerate the Irish saints. It is an hour and a half from Belfast … It has potential for youth camps and church groups. Let us wait on God’s will…all help and all prayers welcome for this brave little parish!”

Visit of two monks

Hiermonk Fr Isihiy from the ROCOR mission on the Mount of Olives together with his travel companion Fr monk Iliyah from Bulgaria were visiting and praying at St Patrick’s, St Brigid’s and St Columba’s grave in Downpatrick on 29 May 18 in glorious weather, before heading to Struel Wells. A blessed time was had by all.


We were mightily blessed by a wonderful Pentecostal Reader’s Service especially also by the singing of some trained Choir members of ROCOR visiting from the US – the Pentecostal unity was felt right across the nations with faithful from Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Germany, Ireland / UK, and the US all celebrating together.

Pentecost 2018

Thank you to Nikos!

A big thank you to Nikos for donating beautiful icons, edifying books and many other useful objects from charcoal and incense and stationary to garden furniture to the parish of St John. This is very much appreciated! May St John of Shanghai pray for him!!

Diocesan Pilgrimage !

Planned for Saturday 14 July 2018 – for details please view below link, thank you! There are now two places available in Johanna’s car (travelling with Johanna and Lucy) and in the four berth cabins in the ferry to and from Liverpool. Departure from St John’s church at 20:30 on Friday 13 July to catch the night ferry – cabin booked – and then drive to location on Sat 14 morning. Return on the same day back to Liverpool by about 20:30 please God, to catch the night ferry back to Belfast in good time for the readers Service on Sunday 15th morning. If you would like to go, please contact Johanna by email: Many thanks! Decree-01E-Diocesan-Pilgrimage  Christ is Risen!Archimandrite-Irenei-ROCOR 13/04/2018: Glory to God, His Grace Bishop Irenei has expressed his intention to visit Belfast. It is not yet known when this visit might take place, but you will find it announced here as soon as we have more details. He has also blessed us to endeavour to find more suitable (bigger) premises for our parish for the future. Please do keep this in your holy prayers. TUESDAYS – NEW: in response to the above news,  there will be an Akathist to St John the Forerunner every TUESDAY evening at 19:30 until further notice. All welcome
The Paschal Epistle of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion
of Eastern America and New York, and of Great Britain and Ireland,
First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad
To Archpastors, Pastors, Monastics and God-loved Flock

(Scroll down for Russian version of this epistle.)


I express my heartfelt greetings to you my brother archpastors, dear in the Lord fathers, brothers and sisters, on this holy, brightest and all-joyous day of the Resurrection of Christ, and in the name of the Three-day Risen God, the Lover of Mankind, extend to you the embrace of Paschal rejoicing and fraternal love! Bowing down to Christ, the Giver of Life, together with the entire Church, I fervently pray for His mercy, that He grant us the unearthly, desired peace that He gave His disciples, and blesses our prayerful and fraternal communion in His name.

Christ is Risen! These were the first words with which the Most-Blessed Mother of God, the Apostles, the Women Myrrh-Bearers and other followers of Christ greeted each other, when, after the heavy torments, crucifixion, death and the burial of the Savior, they first learned of His Resurrection. Some brought forth this joy, saying “Christ is Risen,” and others responded: “The Lord is risen indeed” (Luke 24:34). And now, as then before the Early Church, the Resurrected Christ Himself stands before us. We, “having beheld the resurrection of Christ,” gaze upon His glory with our mind’s eye, hearing, as did the Myrrh-bearers, His sweet words, “Rejoice.”

How much hope is offered to us by this call of the Savior, how much light it showers upon our souls, wiping away our tears of sorrow, temptation and tribulation! It is the Paschal joy with which martyrs bolstered themselves as they toiled in prisons and labor camps, the Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church whose lives we continue to prayerfully commemorate and praise in this hundredth anniversary of the tragic events of the murder of Hieromartyr Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kiev and Archbishop Andronik of Perm, the Royal Passion-Bearers and Holy Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Nun Barbara. Carefully examining and lovingly kissing their lives, works, sufferings and deaths, even while rejoicing in the depth of our souls for the Resurrected Christ, let us try to emulate our beloved martyrs in their staunch faith, spiritually enriching ourselves through the veneration of their memory, patiently and humbly bearing our own life’s cross. As Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky wrote, “where there is the cross, there is also resurrection.” He was even during his lifetime revered as a defender of Orthodox Christianity by the brethren of St Alexander Nevsky Lavra, where he is buried.

Lifting up prayers of gratitude to God for His abundant mercies, blessings and guidance, which we were fortunate enough to hear during Great Lent, and which we continue to receive from the All-Merciful Hand of the Almighty as He shines forth from His Tomb, we piously beseech our Holy New Martyrs and Confessors to help us preserve our temple. This temple, unmade by hands, is comprised of the souls of our flock in the Fatherland and the souls of the children of the wanderers who had lost everything, scattered throughout the world, and the other flock of our Mother Church, living in purity, chastity and sanctity, even as we live in Christ, in prayer and in the Mysteries of the Church, without which it is impossible for us to attain salvation.

And so, heeding the call of the Resurrected Savior, let us all rejoice, let no one remain in sorrow, for “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Amen.

With Paschal joy in the Resurrected Christ,

+ Hilarion Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, and of Great Britain and Ireland, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Pascha of Christ 2018.

архипастырям, пастырям, монашествующим и всей боголюбивой пастве


Сердечно приветствую вас, собратья-архипастыри, дорогие о Господе отцы, братья и сестры, с этим святым, пресветлым и всерадостным днем Христова Воскресения и, во имя тридневно Восставшего Человеколюбца-Бога, простираю ко всем вам целование Пасхального ликования и братской любви! Покланяясь вместе со всей Церковью Христу-Жизнодавцу, горячо молю Его благость, да дарует Он нам тот неземной и вожделенный мир, который Он оставил ученикам Своим, и благословит наше молитвенное и братское общение о имени Его.

Христос Воскресе! Это были первые слова, которыми радостно приветствовали друг друга Преблагословенная Богородица, апостолы, жены-мироносицы и другие последователи Христовы, когда, после тяжких страданий, распятия, смерти и погребения Спасителя, получили первую весть о Его Воскресении. Одни приносили эту радость, говоря «Христос Воскресе», а другие отвечали: «яко воистину воста Господь» (Лк. XXIV, 34), воистину Воскресе Христос! И ныне, как и тогда перед всей Первенствующей Церковью, стоит перед нами Сам Воскресший Христос. Мы, как «воскресение Христово видевшие», созерцаем славу Его своим мысленным взором, слышим, как и мироносицы, Его сладчайшие слова «радуйтесь» (Мф. XXVIII, 9).

Сколько надежд подает нам этот призыв Спасителя, сколько света он проливает в наши души, отирая слезы переживающих скорби, искушения и испытания! Именно Пасхальной радостью неослабно укреплялись страдальцы, томившиеся по тюрьмам и горьким работам узники, мученики и исповедники Церкви Русской, чью память мы продолжаем молитвенно отмечать и прославлять в нынешнем году столетия трагических событий убиения священномучеников Владимира, митрополита Киевского, и архиепископа Пермского Андроника, Царственных Страстотерпцев и преподобномучениц великой княгини Елизаветы и инокини Варвары. Внимательно изучая и с любовью лобызая их жизнь, труды, страдания и смерть и, в глубине души своей радуясь о Христе Воскресшем, будем стараться подражать нашим родным мученикам в их крепкой вере, духовно обогащаться почитанием их памяти, терпеливо и смиренно нести свой жизненный крест, ибо «где крест, там и воскресение», пишет Феодор Михайлович Достоевский, еще при жизни почитавшийся защитником Православия братией Александро-Невской Лавры, где и погребен.

Вознося ныне благодарную молитву к Богу за щедрые милости, благословения и назидания, которых мы удостоились за время Великого поста и продолжаем получать от Всещедрой Десницы Вышнего, воссиявшего ныне из гроба, мы благоговейно просим наших святых новомучеников и исповедников, чтобы они помогли сохранить нерукотворный храм душ отечественной паствы, душ потомков потерявших все дорогое скитальцев, рассеянных по всему свету, и всех чад нашей дорогой Матери-Церкви в чистоте, благочестии и святости, в пребывании со Христом, в молитвах и церковных таинствах, без чего невозможно нам получить спасения.

Итак, помня призыв Воскресшего Спасителя, все радуйтесь, никто не оставайся печален, ибо «сей день, его-же сотвори Господь, возрадуемся и возвеселимся в онь». Аминь.

С Пасхальной радостью о Христе Воскресшем,

+ ИЛАРИОН, Митрополит Восточно-Американский и Нью-Йоркский, и  Великобританий и Ирландий

Первоиерарх Русской Зарубежной Церкви.

Пасха Христова 2018 г.

The Paschal Epistle of His Grace Bishop Irenei of Sacramento, Administrator of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland, 2018
To the Venerable Clergy, God-Loving Monastics and Venerable Faithful of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland
(Please scroll down the page for the Russian version of this epistle.) Dear in Christ, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters! Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen! With heartfelt joy I greet you with the radiant Feast of the Lord’s Resurrection. As the sons and daughters of the Risen God, we stand today before our Lord in the fulness of His glory. We behold life, more powerful than death; love, more powerful than enmity; peace, more powerful than hatred; and joy, more powerful than the sorrows of the world. Today we say ‘Christ is risen,’ and we experience the world change. In this simple proclamation, all of history becomes something new. It had seemed the case that death was the final word — for us, and for all mankind — but we say ‘Christ is risen’, and we see death trampled down. We say ‘Christ is risen’, and it is no longer possible to believe in the triumph of evil, however difficult the circumstances of this world may become. The whole Orthodox world, taken up in the joy of this redemption, cries out ‘Christ is risen!’, and the world echoes back the truth that has changed it, and must change us, forever: ‘Truly, He is risen!’ My beloved Fathers, brothers and sisters: your prayers and your love for one another bring me additional joy on this day of the Feast of Feasts. We must never forget, as St Mary of Egypt once said, that the Son of God ‘became man for a purpose’, and this purpose is the binding up of our wounds, the tending of our broken hearts, the eradication of our sins, and the lifting of us up into the life of unity in love with Himself and with one another. His glorious Resurrection, which now we celebrate with all our hearts, is fulfilled in us when we allow our own hearts, weighed down by the cares and trials of this world, to be raised up by Him. This resurrection, which can and must take place in our hearts in this life, is our foretaste of the resurrection that one day, by God’s mercy, will take place in our flesh, and we shall be called forth from the grave to stand face-to-face with the living God. Until that moment, as we live by faith and strive after all the good things of God’s Kingdom, may today’s glorious proclamation be our constant source of strength and joy. We are the children of God Who has crushed death, defeated the devil, and brought joy into all the earth. May your hearts be filled with it also, and may your love abound in His holy Resurrection.

+ Irenei, Administrator of the Diocese of Great Britain & Ireland, Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Pascha of Christ 2018.

Досточтимому священству, боголюбивому монашеству и почтенным верующим Епархии Великобритании и Ирландии
Дорогие во Христе отцы, братья и сестры!Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе! С сердечной радостью я поздравляю вас со светлым праздником Воскресения Господа. Как сыновья и дочери Воскресшего Бога мы предстаем сегодня перед нашим Господом, находящимся во всей полноте Его славы. Мы видим жизнь, более могущественную, чем смерть; любовь, более могущественную, чем вражда; мир, более могущественный, чем ненависть; радость, более могущественную, чем печали этого мира. Сегодня мы говорим «Христос Воскресе!», и видим, как изменяется мир. В этом простом восклицании обновляется вся история. Нам казалось, что за смертью останется последнее слово — для нас и всего человечества, — но мы говорим: «Христос Воскресе!», и видим, что попрана смерть. Мы говорим «Христос Воскресе!», — и уже невозможно верить в торжество зла, в какие бы трудные обстоятельства ни поставил нас мир. Весь православный мир, охваченный радостью этого искупления, восклицает «Христос Воскресе!», и мир, как эхом, отзывается истиной, изменившей его, и должной навсегда изменить нас: «Воистину Воскресе!» Мои возлюбленные отцы, братья и сестры: ваши молитвы и ваша любовь друг ко другу приносит мне дополнительную радость в этот день Праздника всех Праздников. Мы не должны никогда забывать, как сказала однажды преп. Мария Египетская, что Сын Божий «стал человеком для цели», и целью этой является перевязывание наших ран, утешение наших сердец, истребление наших грехов и возвышение нас в жизнь единения в любви с Ним и друг с другом. Его славное Воскресение, которое мы отмечаем сегодня всем сердцем, исполнится и в нас, когда мы позволим, чтобы Он возвысил наши сердца, отягощенные заботами и испытаниями этого мира. Это воскресение, которое может и должно произойти в наших сердцах в этой жизни, является предвкушением того воскресения, которое однажды, по милости Божией, произойдет с нашей плотью, и нас призовут восстать из могил, чтобы лицом к лицу встретить Бога Живого. До этого момента, по мере того, как мы живем в вере и стремимся ко всему доброму, что есть в Царстве Божием, сегодняшнее славное воззвание пусть будет для нас постоянным источником силы и радости. Мы дети Бога, который сокрушил смерть, который победил диавола и принес радость на всю землю. Пусть же и ваши сердца наполняются ею, и пусть в Его Святом Воскресении изобилует ваша любовь.

+ ИРИНЕЙ, Администратор Великобританской и Ирландской Епархии, Русской Зарубежной Церкви.

Пасха Христова 2018 г.

A lovely Easter Greeting and Blessing to the Flock in Belfast from our dear Bishop Irenei

He is Risen Indeed!! St John of Shanghai Belfast's photo.

St John of Shanghai Feastday:

Liturgy & Parish Garden Party

Details: 30 June 2018 at 10:00–15:30
Hours/Confession/Divine Liturgy followed by Garden Party in honour of St John of Shanghai All most heartily welcome!
Child friendly

Charitable status!

We have today (17/01/2018) received the news that our application to the Charity Commission of Northern Ireland to be given Charitable status has been granted, Glory to God and thanks to all who donated their time and expertise to  reach this milestone! Our charity registration details are:

The Orthodox Church of St John of Shanghai

Northern Ireland Charity number: NIC106905

Parish Meeting

There will be a parish meeting on Saturday 13 January following the Divine Liturgy. All welcome. Please consider preparing for this by attending both the celebration of Vespers on Friday 12 @19:30 and Confession and Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning 13th.

Message from Bishop Irenei


The Iconostasis is finished – Glory to God

New Location

4 November 2017: With the blessing of Bishop Irenei, St John of Shanghai parish has now moved to its very IMG_1751own wooden church in the back garden of 4 Ashfield Drive, beside the chapel of St John the Baptist. Fr Paul Elliott blessed the new church in the morningIMG_1758 …and celebrated the Divine Liturgy there, after hearing confessions in the neighbouring chapel of St John the Forerunner and Baptist in the same garden and before having teas and coffees and a little soup and then heading to Lisburn for a houseblessing. A new iconostasis is to be made by the beginning of December in time for the next Divine Liturgy.


On September 30 after the Divine Liturgy, we were blessed to be able to host the Baptism of our youngest parishioner in the presence of a relic of St John of Shanghai, which Fr Paul Elliott had brought with him.

Divine Liturgy

Fr Paul Elliott is flying over to Belfast and arriving in the afternoon on Friday to have time to meet with some parishioners on Friday before celebrating Divine Liturgy on SATURDAY 5 August. Confession and Hours at 10:00 am followed by Divine Liturgy at around 10:30am. Refreshments afterwards> All very welcome.

St John’s Feast Day!

stjohnjoyofallThis Saturday 1 July 2017: Hours and Confession from 10:15 followed by Divine Liturgy from about 10:45 followed by Service for the Departed followed by Food provided by the McCarthy family Celebrant: Fr David Lonergan Everyone Welcome!! Fr-PaulDIVINE LITURGY We are grateful and happy to be able to let you know that Metropolitan Hilarion has given his blessing for Fr Paul Elliott to serve Divine Liturgy for us and also for Fr David Lonergan to help out as and when he can. We are also very grateful that Fr Paul and Fr David have kindly offered their support for our parish. Fr David vested We would now like to invite you to our next Divine Liturgy on Saturday 1 July 2017. This is the feast day of our patron saint St John of Shanghai and Metropolitan Hilarion has blessed Fr David Lonergan to be the celebrant. There will also be a service for the departed after the Liturgy, followed by tea and coffee with light refreshments. All so very welcome! FAREWELL TO FR JOHN Fr John Diulaj is preparing to leave Belfast on Sunday morning 28 May 17. He is initially moving back to Lithuania. We wish him well for the future and a safe journey. He also expressed his best wishes for all of us remaining here. VISIT BY NUNS’ CHOIR We were very blessed today by a beautiful performance of the Choir of St Elisabeth Convent, Minsk, to a sizeable and captive audience of people of all ages. Many thanks to the choir and the organisers of their trip and to God for their coming to us to sing both Liturgical and other songs, including some poems set to music of our Archpriest friend and poet Fr Andrei Logvinov. Hope to upload some videos at a later date. If you are on facebook, there are some there from the direct streaming we attempted for the first time. You may be able to see them here. SATURDAY 13th MAY 2017 at 12 noon: The Belarussian nuns are coming to our parish to sing both liturgical and folk music pieces for us from 12 noon onwards. They will bring with them some of the goods they usually sell at the Christmas market from St Elisabeth Convent, Minsk. Also there will be light refreshments afterwards. Everyone welcome!! Here is a link for you to sample what the sound like: ……/xor-se…/video/poyut-sestry-v-belgii image-0-02-04-b776f677dcab09c8987ea5b815964b15d5fa49305223f93dd24ee7ebef79da2d-V SUNDAY OF THE MYRRH-BEARING WOMEN A wonderful Divine Liturgy of the Sunday of Myrrh-bearing Women was had by all, rosethanks be to God and to our dear Fr John, followed by a nice time of community together with teas and coffees afterwards. UPDATE Glory to God our dear Fr John seems to be getting better by and by and we are looking forward to our Sunday Divine Liturgy as planned this Sunday. Let us all make a big effort to be there to support him and each other by our presence as well as continued prayers. Thank you!! PRAYER REQUEST Please all pray for the speedy and full recovery of our dear Fr John. Remember especially the call to pray at 8pm wherever we might be at that time, when we would like to all be united in prayer both for Fr John and for our dear parish of St John of Shanghai. May St John also pray for us all! CHRIST IS RISEN!! HE IS RISEN INDEED!! See some of the photos taken at our Easter Celebrations here.
Sat 13 MAY @12:00 NOON: CONCERT OF ST ELISABETH CONVENT CHOIR FROM MINSK, BELARUS image-0-02-04-b776f677dcab09c8987ea5b815964b15d5fa49305223f93dd24ee7ebef79da2d-VThe Choir of The Orthodox St Elisabeth Convent in Minsk in Belarus is coming to St John of Shanghai parish in Belfast for a musical and spiritual feast. Due to the need for our Parish priest to have to be in London on the same date, arrangements have been amended as follows: At 12 noon there will be a Concert of Folk and Liturgical Music. followed by a light lunch, and (until three o’clock) there will be an opportunity to buy CDs and other items from the Minsk Monastery. Admission is free, but a donation toward the choir’s travel costs and monastery would be much appreciated. All very welcome.
For a sample of their singing click here. HOLY RELIC OF ST PATRICK THE ENLIGHTENER OF IRELAND VISITS ST JOHN’S PARISH IMG_0856 IMG_0858Welcomed by a group of faithful, the rare relic of St Patrick was venerated with an Akathist in honour of St Patrick. (17/3/2017) THE WONDERWORKING KURSK ROOT ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD OF THE SIGN VISITS BELFAST IMG_0824 The Wonderworking icon was in St John’s church for a Moleben and Akathist Service on Wednesday 15 March and on Thursday 16th for private veneration before being returned to London by Fr John. It was a wonderful experience with a good turn out, including a photographer from a local newspaper. We are greatly encouraged in our faith and are very  thankful and humbled to have been hosting this ancient icon. IMG_0834IMG_0835 RELIC OF ST PATRICK, ENLIGHTENER OF IRELAND patrick1.jpgFor the short Akathist Service (without priest, as Fr John will be attending the Diocesan Assembly in London) on Friday 17th March at 10:30 we will have a relic of St Patrick the Enlightener of Ireland for veneration on loan to our parish from the private collection of Dr Terence MacCarthy. All welcome. TIMETABLE OF THE WONDERWORKING KURSK ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD OF THE SIGN IN BELFAST Kursk_Root_Icon_of_the_Theotokos WEDNESDAY 15 MARCH 2017: With the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion, Fr John is flying over to London Heathrow early in the morning, to meet with Fr Paul Elliott and receive charge of the icon. Fr John and the icon are then scheduled to fly from Heathrow to Belfast to arrive in Belfast at 16:30. To allow for delays and travel time from the airport, we will have a Moleben and Akathist service from 18.30.  The icon will also be there for veneration after the service until 21.00 hours. THURSDAY 16 MARCH 2017 The church will be open for private veneration of the icon from 9 am to 10:45 and will then travel directly from St John’s church to the airport with Fr John, who is scheduled to fly back to London Heathrow at 13.05 to meet with Fr Paul Elliott or another escort there. For a website with extensive information on this icon click here. And for a touching short video of the icon’s reception in Kursk in Russia have a look at this video. Thank you! VISIT OF THE WONDERWORKING KURSK ROOT ICON We are delighted to announce that our Metropolitan Hilarion has given his blessing for the famous and holy wonderworking Kursk Root Icon to visit our parish in Belfast. Glory to God. With the help of God the icon will be in Belfast in time for an evening service on Wednesday  15 March 2017 and is scheduled to leave again just before lunchtime of Thursday 16th March 2017. Exact times of services will be published nearer the time, but make a note in your diaries and spread the wonderful news! PS: This is the very same icon in front of which St John of Shanghai reposed in Seattle in 1966. Glory to God! FORGIVENESS SUNDAY This coming Sunday, 26 February 2017, we will have an additional Service to the Divine Liturgy – the Rite of Forgiveness Vespers. Immediately after the Divine Liturgy this coming Sunday, which makes Saturday the last day for eating cheese and other dairy products up to Easter. THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LORD IN THE TEMPLE You are invited to join us for the feats of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple on Wednesday morning, 15th February 2017.  10:00 for Hours and Confession and 10:30 (ish) for Divine Liturgy. (Teas and Coffees afterwards if there are takers 🙂 ) All welcome! CALL TO DAILY PRAYER (issued 12- Feb – 17) We had a wonderful Divine Liturgy this morning, where Fr John suggested that all of us, in our various locations, could take ten or so minutes for prayer at or as near as possible to 8pm every day. This would be prayers that we favour such as the “Our Father” the Trisagion prayers, Psalm 50 and/or 90 and/or other prayers of our choice. The idea is, that the concerted effort to pray for each other and for the parish at the same time will strengthen our unity and love and will help to build the parish with the grace and mercy of God, who answers prayers. … So, the call is out there to commit to about ten minutes per day at – or as near as possible to – 8pm to prayer for each other and for the parish. Let us be (-come) committed to this especially during the approaching Lent! Thank you!! ALLELUIA Glory and praise to our God! Yesterday  our new and wonderful parish priest, Fr John Diulaj celebrated his first Divine Liturgy with us, with Confessions beforehand and with the blessing of the waters afterwards. We had tasty rice and vegetable curry kindly prepared by Conor MacCarthy as well as teas and coffee afterwards.
We are delighted and feel very blessed to have been given such a holy parish priest, who is deeply interested in the welfare of his parishioners and his parish. He is very open to having conversation with all and already mentioned the possibility of organising both instructive classes to help us to get more deeply acquainted with Russian and in particular with ROCOR saints and spirituality as well as planning pilgrimages for the future. Furthermore we have heard yesterday, that there will be a visit of Bishop Irenaeus to GB in May this year, and that he is to bring a relic of St John of Shanghai with him for our parish, to be then delivered to us by Fr Paul Elliott when he comes to visit us. All of this is very encouraging and humbling and wonderful news of confirming our parish. Alleluia. Glory to God.
fr-johnWELCOME! We are delighted to welcome our new parish priest to the parish. He arrived safely after travelling for two days and nights. Glory to God. We are looking forward to regular Sunday Liturgies now. All welcome. See the Services section for more details. UPDATE ! Fr John apologizes sincerely for a small delay in his arrival to our parish. He will arrive on 22 January and the first Divine Liturgy with him will be celebrated on Sunday 29 January. From then on, we will have Divine Liturgies every Sunday. Glory to God. PARISH NEWS Glory to God and thanks to St John and to your prayers, we are expecting our new Parish Priest Fr John Diulaj from Lithuania to arrive in the middle of January. He has the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion to be our new priest. We are expecting to see him for the joint Liturgy together with Fr Paul Elliott on Saturday 14 January (remember to bring some food/drink if you can) and are looking forward to a regular Liturgical life being re- installed in St John’s parish. Alleluia. Let us keep Fr John in our prayers, welcome him warmly and help to make his transition to Belfast as easy as possible.
DIOCESAN NEWS The Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR):250px-hilarion_kapral There has been a Russian Church in London for about 300 years, After the Russian Revolution the Imperial Embassy Chapel was closed and a new home was sought for the parish. It became a diocese in 1929 when Archmandrite Nicholas Karpov was consecrated as Bishop of London and took up residence in the UK.In 1932 he reposed in the Lord whilst visiting the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (Karlovtsi Synod) in the then Kingdom of Serbia. The next bishop to reside in London and have oversight of the parishes in the United Kingdom was the ever-memorable Archbishop Nikodem (Nagaieff), who was bishop in London from 1954 until his death in 1976, at the age of 93. Initially, Bishop Nikodem was a suffragan bishop under the ompohor of Archbishop John (glorified in 1994 as Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco) who, from 1953 to 1962, was Archbishop of Brussels and Western Europe. The next bishop to reside in London was Bishop Constantine (Jessensky) of blessed memory who retired in 1986. In the same year, Archbishop Mark was appointed as ruling hierarch for London and Great Britain. The Cathedral parish moved to its present location in Chiswick, West London, in 1990, having previously been at Emperor’s Gate, London SW7. For a more detailed history see “Embassy, Emigrants, and Englishmen” by Fr Christopher Birchall, published by Holy Trinity Press, Jordanville in 2014. Archbishop Mark retired as Ruling Bishop of the British Diocese on the 8th December 2016 at the Synod meeting in New York. The First Hierarch of the Russian Church outside Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion, (photo) is now the current Ruling Bishop. PARISH MEAL You are warmly invited to a parish meal together with Fr Paul Elliott on Friday 2 December  at the little church hall at 7:30 pm in the evening. Divine Liturgy then on Saturday 3rd December. The more the merrier. Especially if you are an enquirer into Orthodoxy this may be a good weekend to get acquainted with the parish. INVITATION The Russian Orthodox Community of St Finnian of Clonard in Belfast has issued an invitation for us  on the occasion of the visit of  their Archbishop (of Sourozh) 1/10, and the Liturgical service at St. George’s at 10am:   “…I am writing to let you know that our Archbishop Elisey is visiting us on Saturday 1/10 and he will conduct a service that day at St. George’s and you can receive Holy Communion from him you wish. You are all  invited to join us. There will be some tea and sandwiches after the service. Please let your parishioners know and tell them they are very welcome to join us. …” You can find the location of the church they worship in (St George’s) on their website by clicking on above link and looking for the “locate us” tab, or here. DIOCESAN NEWSvladika

Statement from Chancellor of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland dated 31/08/16

” His Eminence Archbishop Mark will shortly be retiring as ruling Hierarch of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland. Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church outside of Russia (ROCOR) will take over administration of the diocese until new arrangements can be confirmed. The exact timing of this change will be announced shortly.”

NEW PREMISES We have now moved into the middle floor chapel in the church halls building. (On the photo below you can see the big window overlooking the Antrim Rd. It is behind out altar area.) All welcome to all Services . Hall 0 We celebrated the feast of Transfiguration today, 20/8/16 in our new church. Glory to God. Here a few photos… 14087279_10154537397278120_1232659528_o 14075045_10154537397023120_1832849451_o 14037522_10154537397153120_2000724347_o 14074944_10154537397148120_2005106131_ocropped MOVING PREMISES This weekend we will have a Reader’s service at 10:30 on Sunday and tea and coffee in the hall afterwards. We will then move into the middle floor of the hall building and have our services there in future. The next Divine Liturgy is planned there for Saturday 20 August. Please spread the word and come to support our little mission with your prayers and physical presence. Each person is an encouragement for all. God bless you all and St John of Shanghai pray for us all. Amen. NB: We need extra help for moving into the new premises after teas and coffees on Sunday. All help gratefully appreciated. Hope to see you there. RE-LOCATING We are currently engaged in conversation with the Anglican owners of the church building we are using, about moving to the room on the middle floor in the church hall building, to reduce our outlays. We will announce our moving date as soon as this has become definite. Please keep the process in your prayers. Thank you. PARISH FEAST-DAY CELEBRATIONS The parish feast day is the usually feast day of St John of Shanghai. It is usually celebrated on the Saturday nearest to the 2nd of July. This year we are celebrating the parish feastday on Saturday 7 July together with Fr Paul Elliott and Matushka Jane. We will have some hot food in the hall afterwards and everyone is very welcome! OVERSIGHT OF THE PARISH Fr Paul Elliott from Liverpool has been blessed by Archbishop Mark to have oversight over our parish at least until we have a new parish priest appointed. (see Clergy) He is also intending to come over to celebrate Divine Liturgies with us on Saturdays once a month. Glory to God. For dates and times see the Services section. FR MLADEN’S LAST LITURGY Fr Mladen is planning to move to Dublin on Sunday 29th of May and so will celebrate his last Divine Liturgy with us on SATURDAY 28th of May at the usual time: 10:00 Hours and Confession followed by DIVINE LITURGY, followed by and teas and coffees in the church hall. All welcome. We will update you as soon as there is news about a successor of Fr Mladen. Service schedules for the next months are found under the services tab. BAPTISM On Easter Saturday we had the wonderful occasion of the baptism of Gabriel at Lough Money in County Down. Glory to God! Congratulations and a warm welcome to the Church! READERS’ SERVICE 17 MARCH There was a Readers’ Service on 17 March at 11:00 am, as Fr Mladen was tied up with his secular work and therefore was not able to celebrate the Liturgy. Thank you to all who were there. DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE Archbishop Mark has given his blessing for a diocesan pilgrimage in Spring 2017! For more information see the diocesan website: DIOCESAN MEETING Archbishop Mark is planning to be in London at the Cathedral there on Saturday 16 April 2016 and to hold a Diocesan meeting there, to which an invitation has been extended not only to Fr Mladen, but also to at least one, and if possible more than one parish representative to also attend. If you are interested, let us know! NEW BABY Glory to God! And congratulations to the Gardovic family on the arrival of their baby son Vasilije! ~ ANNUAL GENERAL PARISH MEETING Our first AGM was held on Sunday 31 January. Thank you to those who attended. ~ EXCELLENT WEBSITE Our sister parish in Birkenhead, Liverpool has an absolutely excellent website worth browsing for hours on end.  Check it out …. ~ ICONS FOR SALE We will continue to have icons for sale. If you are interested and do not see them out on display in the church hall after Divine Liturgy on a Sunday, do not be shy, ask someone about them.  Someone will be able to help with bringing the two boxes to the hall, so you can have a look at them, and chose an icon or two if you want to. These icons are provided by and sold for the Belarusian nuns of St Elisabeth Convent. All proceeds go to them. ~ Kursk_Root_Icon_of_the_TheotokosVISIT TO IRELAND OF WONDERWORKING ICON: The Wonderworking Kursk Icon of the Mother of God (which is mentioned in Ikos 8 of the Akathist to St John, as he reposed in front of it) traveled to Ireland. It visited St Peter’s and St Paul’s parish in Dublin (24/06/2015), and also St Colman’s church in Stradbally (25/06/2015). There were many people present in Stradbally and the little church could hardly hold them all. It was wonderful to see such a great turnout, and also to see the many children present. Lucy and Johanna also went to Stradbally to venerate the icon and to ask the Theotokos to pray for our parish here in Belfast. The icon has now left Ireland again. Research more information about this icon by means of this link: