Topical News

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!!



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!



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.



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




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.




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!!


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!


See some of the photos taken at our Easter Celebrations here.



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.



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 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.



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.




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.


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!


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!


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.


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!!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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…






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.


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.


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!


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 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.


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!


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.


Archbishop Mark has given his blessing for a diocesan pilgrimage in Spring 2017! For more information see the diocesan website:


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!


Glory to God! And congratulations to the Gardovic family on the arrival of their baby son Vasilije!



Our first AGM was held on Sunday 31 January. Thank you to those who attended.



Our sister parish in Birkenhead, Liverpool has an absolutely excellent website worth browsing for hours on end.  Check it out ….



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.


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: