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CLERGY PROFILES

Our Clergy

 

PP = Parish Priest; PC = Priest-in-Charge; AP = Assistant Priest; PD = Parish Deacon;

CH = Full-time Chaplain.

 

For Contact details and Archdiocesan roles, please consult the Clergy Directory page.

Archimandrite Philip Hall (PP)

Parish Priest of All Saints Lincolnshire, Lincoln

I grew up in Kenya, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia but was largely educated in England. I have worked in Zambia, in Birmingham and in North Lincolnshire as a teacher for 22 years. I also worked briefly in the Caribbean and Guatemala before settling in England. For ten years I was a prison chaplain and the advisor to the Ministry of Justice on Orthodox matters in jail. I have qualifications in Ecology (mainly parasitology), Education and Theology. My family is Roman Catholic though, by accident, I became an Anglican priest in Kenton, Harrow, and then became the Bishop of Exeter's Chaplain and Director of Ordinands in my twenties. I was also an Archbishops' Examiner from the age of 22. The Anglican Church showed me great kindness, hospitality, and generosity during my ten years with them. I was ordained by Metropolitan GABRIEL of thrice blessed memory aged 36 and served in Louth and then in Lincoln and Worcester and was for four years in charge of the monastery in Gatten. I also serve as chairman of the Axios Committee and on the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees. I was ordained as an archimandrite by His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X in 2015.

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Archpriest Samir Gholam (PP)

Cathedral of St George, London

Profile to follow.

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Archpriest Gregory Hallam (PP)

Parish Priest of St Aidan of Lindisfarne, Levenshulme, Manchester

I was formerly an Anglican priest but was always strongly drawn to Orthodox Christianity. In 1993 it became clear both to me and my wife that our future lay in Orthodoxy, so by 1994 we had both left the Church of England and were already being prepared to become Orthodox. In 1995 I was received then ordained both as deacon then priest in order to pastor a small community of like-minded people who also were being prepared for reception into the Church. In this way the mission, then the parish of St Aidan in Manchester was formed. Since ordination, and with the blessings of three bishops, I have served on the Missions and Evangelism Committee, the Axios Committee for potential ordinands, as Secretary for the Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge and then after the repose of Archpriest Michael Harper in 2010, as Archpriest and Dean. From 2008 and with collaborators (primarily my assistant priest, Fr Emmanuel Kahn), I have designed, written and launched our Archdiocesan Course in Faith and Life (E-Quip) and also our children and young people's educational program, "Followers." I have also pioneered the Thanksgiving Project approach to Christian Giving for our parishes.

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Fr Jonathan Hemmings (PP)

Holy and Life-Giving Cross, Morecambe (formerly Lancaster)

I was part of the Pilgrimage to Orthodoxy and chrismated by Fr Alexey Young ( later Hieroshemamonk Ambrose) spiritual son of Fr Seraphim Rose. Ordained priest by Bishop Gabriel Saliby on 17th June 1995, I co-founded and serve the Parish of the Exaltation of the Precious and Life Giving Cross, Lancaster. I was for 25 years Chaplain and Head of Divinity of Lancaster Royal Grammar School. I have published as author books translated into Romanian and Greek. I also represent our Patriarch, His Beatitude John Xth on the International Commission for Anglican Orthodox Theological Dialogue and I also represent the Orthodox Church in Churches Together in Lancashire.

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Fr Chrysostom MacDonnell (PP)

St Dunstan of Canterbury, Poole

I was born in 1954 in Bristol and was ordained an Orthodox priest in 1995, having previously served sixteen years in the Anglican ministry. Always a keen student of Orthodox Theology, I knew that with the ordination of women in 1992, it was time to seek entry into what I had come to believe was the One Church of Jesus Christ. With the help of the late Archpriest Michael Keiser (Antiochian Orthodox in North America) and the late Fr David Sennitt, I organised a meeting of like-minded clergy in 1993 which was to become a movement of clergy and congregations into the Orthodox Church. The rest, as they say, is history. My wife, presbytera Olympias and I both retired early from teaching in 2015, and I am now able to devote my time fully to the parish St Dunstan's parish in Poole. Outside my liturgical and pastoral duties, I pass my time in study, mostly Theology and History, and enjoy writing, especially in producing articles for our parish newsletter, the Narthex (to be found on our website) and in contributing matters of liturgical interest for The Fellowship of St Benedict and St John Chrysostom on Facebook. As and when we have the opportunity, my wife and I visit France, usually several times a year, where we have a small property on the Loire-Normandy border.

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Fr Samuel Carter (PP)

Holy Resurrection, Dresden and St Michael, Audley

As children our mother said prayers with us every night before bed. We were regular at church/Sunday school every Sunday. Daily Bible reading was encouraged. We were in an evangelical Anglican church, so got a good grounding in the Bible. Studying Theology at Durham university, I moved into the Anglo-Catholic church tradition. Serving as a priest in the Church of England for 23 years gave me a good training in pastoral situations of all sorts. I am so grateful to my family, the Church of England and so many parishioners for leading me into the Holy Orthodox Church. I enjoy the depth of worship and the great richness of Tradition. Being able to bring others into our great Faith through an awareness of the love of God is a blessing beyond measure.

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Fr Alexander Haig [Snr] (PP)

St Martin and St Helen, Colchester

My family and I were received into the Orthodox Church in 1995 by Father Samir at St George's Cathedral. By then I had been an Anglican priest (known as Alistair or sometimes Alex) for 30 years, but I and my wife Hilary and the children were already very familiar with the Orthodox faith and practice. I was among the dozen or so Anglican clergy who went to Paris to meet His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV in the autumn of 1994 and were given his warm welcome and embrace: he spread out his arms to the group of potential converts, rather bewildered and confused as they were, and said, Welcome home! He immediately founded the Deanery for Britain and Ireland, under the Antiochian Bishop in Europe, His Grace Bishop Gabriel, later Metropolitan, who in 1996 ordained me Deacon and Priest, establishing this parish.

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Fr Aethelwine Richards (PP)

St Constantine the Great, York

Profile to follow.

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Fr George Evans (PP)

St Columba and St Kentigern, Doncaster

My journey to Orthodoxy goes back a long way. When at college I wrote a thesis on St. Catherine's Monastery in Sinai, having always had an interest in the Eastern Church. Later having attended High Mass at our local Church of England Anglo-Catholic parish once a month I would either have a lift or get a bus or train to attend the Divine Liturgy served by Archimandrite Fr. Kyril Jenner in Sheffield. This situation went on for over twenty years until one day Fr. Kyril asked why I didn't become Orthodox. Taken by surprise I agreed and was received into the Orthodox Church one cold Saturday morning in November. Shortly after I became involved with a group of Anglicans seeking to become Orthodox led by Fr. David Sennitt of eternal memory. The Parish of St. Columba and St. Kentigern was founded eventually and I was ordained Deacon. When Fr. David retired I was privileged to be ordained priest in our church by Archbishop John, now our Patriarch, being appointed parish priest in January 2002 and have served in that capacity ever since. In those days I painted icons for the church but now I don't have time.

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Fr David Harris (retired)

formerly parish priest at St Edward, King and Martyr, Athelhampton

I was ordained priest in 2005 to serve in the small parish at Athelhampton, which I had been attending since 1998. I had been a Priest in the Church of England, serving Parishes in London and Kent but in 1994 resigned my living as I could no longer serve in a Church which I felt was moving away from my beliefs. I had been reading about the Orthodox way for many years and realised that its teaching and worship was calling me. I was eventually Chrismated in the Holy Orthodox Church in 1995 and attending the Holy Liturgy and other Services I knew I had found my spiritual home. My wife and I moved in 1998 and I discovered St Edward's. It was enough for me to be able to attend the Church. I continued to read extensively about the history and traditions of the Orthodox Church. Eventually the Priest, Fr John Nield encouraged me to become a Reader, then I was ordained Deacon. Fr John's health declined and he reposed. Fr Chrysostom took over and he had the opportunity to start a Church elsewhere, so after more study and passing a degree, I was ordained to serve as priest at St Edward's. I have always been interested in many aspects of history [apart from the Church], both family and national. I enjoy living in the country, walking my dog and surviving visits from our grandchildren.

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Fr Daniel Codreanu (AP)

St Aidan of Lindisfarne, Manchester

My wife Florentina and are a Romanian Orthodox Christian family with dual citizenship living in Greater Manchester area for over 20 years. My background is in mechanical engineering and at the moment I further my studies in Orthodox theology with the E-QUIP course - a distance learning course in Orthodox Christian Faith and Life run by Father Gregory Hallam from Saint Aidan's parish. Together with my wife we discovered Saint Aidan's oasis of Orthodoxy in the south of Manchester about 10 years ago and we are its members since. In July 2023 I was ordained priest by His Eminence Silouan of the British Isles and Ireland. We are honoured and humbled to be able to serve and help in our small capacity Christ's Church.

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Fr Patrick Ramsey (PP)

St George, Eccles (Norfolk)

I am a priest-monk from New Zealand, who has lived in the UK since 2007. I was ordained a deacon in Greece in 2009 and a presbyter in New Zealand in 2010 before coming to the UK to complete a PhD in Orthodox Ecclesiology. I was trained as a deacon and then as a priest in a monastery on Mt Athos. I have had experience serving in the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia before transferring to Antioch. I am presently an online tutor for the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge and I presently live in Suffolk near Sudbury.

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Fr Stephen Weston (PP)

St Fursey, Sutton with Stalham

I encountered Orthodoxy for the first time in 1967 when training for being a Reader in the Church of England. Fr Andrew Bond's Old Calendar magazine and his St George Orthodox Information Service helped me a lot. I had also.been inspired by Archbishop Michael Ramsey's vision of a reunited Catholic Christendom consisting of the Roman Church, the Orthodox Church and Anglicanism.I hoped to play a very small part in making this a reality.I had been taught that the Church of England had maintained the essence of Catholicity through the Reformation period and Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher had said that the Church of England had no doctrine of is own but only that of the early undivided Church. Experience taught me that these statements were not true and at the same time my knowledge and experience of the Orthodox Church increased. By the 1990's it was clear that it was better to belong to the Church founded by Our Lord when he was on earth (inspite of its many manmade problems) rather than something started by Henry VIII and established by Act of Parliament. Being able to belong to the Patriarchate of Antioch is an amazing privilege.

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Fr John Hickey (PP) Sick Leave

Three Patrons of Ireland, Dublin and St Ignatius of Antioch, Belfast

Profile to follow.

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Fr Michael Alexander (PC)

St Constantine the Great, York

My family and I became Orthodox Christians almost 40 years ago while we were living in the South of England. In 1992 we relocated to York because of my secular job. After few years we became regular worshippers at St. Constantine the Great Antiochian Orthodox church where I assisted as altar server; subsequently being ordained to the diaconate in 2008 and to the priesthood in 2014. I continue to serve at St. Constantine's, performing a range of liturgical, pastoral and administrative roles. I have a particular interest in liturgics and patristics.

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Fr Emmanuel Kahn (AP)

St Aidan of Lindisfarne, Manchester

I became Orthodox thirty years ago, after a journey from Judaism through various Christian denominations. I have been a priest for ten years. I have worked as a non-profit housing administrator and later as a medical writer studying pandemics. I have earned a BSc in science from the Open University, Diplomas in Religious Studies from Cambridge University and Cardiff University, a MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and have an Interdisciplinary PhD in Education, History and Philosophy. I am interested in how faith in the LORD and understanding of science support each other in understanding and living in God's creation. I find Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture's translation into English of the teaching and preaching of the Church Fathers in Greek and Latin helpful, both for preaching and for growing as an Orthodox Christian. My wife of 58 years, Kh. Sylvia, fell asleep in the LORD peacefully at home on Pentecost Sunday 2021 after 15 years with Mixed Dementia (Alzheimer's and Vascular Dementia). I have five children, all of whom are committed Christians, one of whom is Orthodox, and 14 grandchildren. The family is spread between my native USA and the UK.

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Fr Jakob Brighton-Cross (PP)

All Saints, Basildon

I, Father Jakob, am the presbyter of All Saints, North Benfleet. I have travelled widely and lived and worked abroad. Exposed to Holy Orthodoxy from childhood, I am an adult convert from a (very lapsed) Anglo-Catholic background. I am one of the 'younger' priests of the Archdiocese (a mere 56 years-of-age in 2023) and one of the few who is not a former Anglican vicar. I was ordained to the holy priesthood on 10th May 2015. I am married, with one grown-up daughter and many godchildren. My interests include the interface between western culture and holy Orthodoxy, in particular language/poetry and the post-modern condition. Devoted to Holy Tradition, I enjoy meeting people diverse in background and nationality and age; and share the innate mistrust of many diasporic Christians for aspects of 'Englishness' and the 'Protestant inheritance' within British culture. I am especially indebted to those Orthodox Christians who have come to live in the UK, and in particular to the monks of the Monastery of Saint John in Essex. I publish a weekly notices (which include not just parish news but scriptural exegesis and patristic wisdom.

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Fr Paulinus Heggs (CH)

Prison Chaplain (Norwich) and Orthodox Adviser to H.M. Prison Service

I was ordained to the diaconate in 2012 and the priesthood in 2016. I currently serve as the Head of Chaplaincy in a large and busy prison where he provides sacramental care to a small but continuously changing group of Orthodox prisoners, as well as managing a team of chaplains who provide pastoral and spiritual care to prisoners of all faiths and none. In addition to this, I serve as the advisor to His Majesty's Prison and Probation Service on Orthodox Christian matters, and I am therefore responsible for ensuring the proper spiritual care of all Orthodox prisoners in England and Wales. In my limited free time, I am a moderately accomplished organist and enjoy baking cakes, although not at the same time!

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Fr Alban Campbell (PP)

St Aidan of Lindisfarne and St Maria of Paris, Grimsby

My name is Father Alban Campbell, and I am the priest serving the Antiochian Orthodox Christian mission parishes of Saint Hybald’s in Scunthorpe, and Saint Aidan and Saint Maria’s in Grimsby. I am originally from Scotland, but have lived in England for most of my adult life. Since 2002, I have lived in N.E. Lincolnshire, and it was here that I met my wife, now Khouria Mary Magdalen. Both of us are ‘converts’ to Orthodox Christianity, and were received into the Church in 2012 by Father Paul Elliot and his welcoming congregation at Saint Elisabeth the New Martyr ROCOR parish in Wallasey. My own journey of ‘coming home’ to Orthodox Christianity was a long and winding one, and brought with it many challenges, an abundance of rich rewards, and, thankfully, not a few laughs too! The love and kindness shown to me by my non-Orthodox and non-Christian friends and family members prior to my being received into the Orthodox Church inspired me to take the name ‘Alban’ at my baptism. Saint Alban, the Protomartyr of Britain, was a young pagan man who gave his life to save the life of a Christian priest. In my priestly ministry, I remain mindful of and thankful for all those whose selfless sacrifices enabled me to respond to the call to serve them and others in Christ. I have served as a non-stipendiary priest mainly in Louth and Grimsby since my ordination in 2016, and currently work part-time as a psychological therapist to support my priestly ministry.

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Fr Filip Lommaert (AP)

St Dunstan of Canterbury, Poole and St Edward, Athelhampton

I was born on 10/10/1961 in Menen, Belgium, and was brought up as a Roman Catholic. I served in the Belgian Armed Forces, and became a Staff Sergeant. I married Annemieke in 1986, and moved to the UK, working as a Hyperbaric Technician, diver, and H&S consultant. Whilst in Cyprus I became interested in the Orthodox Church. I was baptised in the Orthodox Church in 1997. In 2002 we moved to Dorset, and I started working for Dorset Police. I joined the Orthodox Christian Parish of St Edward in Athelhampton, and in 2008 was ordained Reader there. In May 2012, I was ordained Subdeacon by His Beatitude John X. I left Dorset Police in 2015 and worked as a translator. Metropolitan Ignatius of Western Europe ordained me to the diaconate in May 2015. In October 2015, Metropolitan Silouan transferred me to the parish of St Dunstan of Canterbury in Poole. In 2018, I was ordained to the priesthood by Metropolitan Silouan. I serve as assistant priest to Father Chrysostom. In 2019, I was awarded the epigonation. I also work as a part-time chaplain at Dorset County Hospital and Forston Mental Health Hospital, both in Dorchester.

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Fr Michel Touma (AP)

Cathedral of St George, London

I was born of an Orthodox family in Lebanon. I used to go to church but one day, it was in the Great Lent, I heard a priest explaining the passage of Revelation 3:15-16: "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.". He was insisting that we have to decide to be with Christ or against Him, as we cannot be lukewarm in the middle. This made me decide to change my plan and to start to be more with Christ. I decided to leave my work, dedicate my time to study theology in the University of Balamand and work to spread the Word of God. Today, I'm an assistant priest ordained by Metropolitan Silouan Oner at the Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral of St. George London. I try my best to provide spiritual support to parishioners, especially the young ones, to embody the true faith and give life to Christian love.

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Fr Alexander Haig [Jnr] (PP)

Twelve Apostles, Eastleigh

By the laying on of hands of our Father in Christ, Metropolitan Silouan, I was ordained to the priesthood in May 2019 having been ordained deacon 4 years prior. First, I was assigned to St Dunstan's Church, Poole, before Sayidna asked me to pastor the Church he established for Eastleigh. I was ordained Confessor (Pneumatikos) in 2021. All Christians, ordained or not, are called to make Christ present in this world: the particular role of the presbyter is to equip the faithful that they may do this diligently. I ask your prayers for me that I may perform my task according to the will of God through the direction of our beloved Sayidna.

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Fr Mihai Cerghit (AP)

St Hybald Mission, Scunthorpe

I had decided to serve to God since I was little. I started by going to church with my father and grandparents, and I undertook many activities in the church during my childhood. After I finished my school studies I eventually married and then I came with my wife to the UK for a while to work. God blessed us with 4 children. God 's plan for me was to serve in the Church of St Columba and Kentingern in Edlington, Doncaster; initially as a server in the altar and later, by the grace of God as a subddeacon, deacon and finally an assistant priest. From September 2023 I shall be serving the mission of St Hybald, Scunthorpe in the York clergy team.

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Fr Mark Shillaker (AP)

St Martin and St Helen, Colchester

I was born and raised in the Anglican faith in a clergy family but fell away in my teens, as many young people do. After many years of spiritual struggle, I began to feel Christ calling me and during this time developed an interest in the Orthodox Faith. I joined the community in Colchester, rather tentatively at first and was finally received into the Faith in 2018 after being very warmly welcomed; with my dear wife Khouria Paula following me shortly afterwards. I was ordained deacon in 2021 and priest in 2022 (after completion of the Archdiocesan E-Quip Course in Orthodox Christian Faith & Life). It is a wonderful privilege to serve our lively community; we have many young families and people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Like many Orthodox clergy in the west, I need paid employment and have a secular job as a caseworker for a national dementia charity. My career over many years has involved youth and community work, social care, special education and helping people recover from addictions. My interests include Church history, pastoral care and the fostering of healthy spiritual communities; music, drawing and symbolism.

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Fr Boniface Carroll (PC)

St Botolph, London

I was raised in an evangelical family, but from my youth found that the Christianity I was taught did not provide a full answer of the mystery of Christ. After many years of reading theology, both Christian and otherwise, I became convinced that if Christianity was true, the Orthodox Church was the one and only viable option. I was received into the Church on Lazarus Saturday 2009, at St Barnabas in Costa Mesa, California, and have lived in London since later the same year. I was ordained to the holy deaconate on 5 December 2022. Along with serving in the Cathedral of St George in London, I also help lead a small group for young families that meet for readers services each month as well as a young-adult group who meet for fellowship, prayer, and learning more about Orthodoxy.

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Fr Michael Harry (retired)

formerly Parish Priest at St Aethelheard, Louth

My wife Judy and I live near the extreme northern tip of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. If we had a magic telescope we could see Canada to the west and Iceland to the north. We have visited and known this place since the early 1970's, but we finally settled here five years ago when I stopped being able to completely support a parish. With our bishop's blessing however, I can continue with the duties of a priest by giving instruction, hearing confession, etc. I am also instructed to cooperate with other local Orthodox communities, especially the Highland Orthodox Community of St. Columba in Inverness under Bishop Raphael of Ilion (Ecumenical Patriarchate). We welcome contact from Orthodox visitors to Lewis. In the past these have included Deacon David and his wife Margaret from the York Antiochian parish, Father David Butler from the Nottingham Sourozh parish and Father Seraphim and the nuns from the Mull Monastery. Given the thin scattering of the Orthodox in this northern edge of Britain, our relationships tend to be pan-Orthodox. If you want to contact me as a priest, or just make a social call, do email first (fathermichaelh@btinternet.com); as it would be disappointing to come all this far and find me not at home.

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Fr George Hackney (retired)

Formerly Assistant priest at All Saints of Lincolnshire, Lincoln and then Parish Priest at St Aethelheard, Louth

I was born in 1941. I served 8 years as a Police Officer before residential training for the Anglican ministry at the former Lincoln Theological College 1965 - 1968 and I took my Masters in Theology at the University of Hull. I resigned from his Anglican parish in 2003 and was received into the Orthodox Church that same year in the Parish of the Holy Transfiguration, Nottingham. I was received into lay communion and as a layman I studied Orthodoxy for two years with the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge. I was ordained an Orthodox Priest in 2006 by Metropolitan Kallistos and served for 15 years as assistant to Archimandrite Philip in All Saints of Lincolnshire parish in Lincoln City. During this time I also served as Archdiocesan Ecumenical Officer, Chaplain to Morton Hall Prison and Orthodox Chaplain to the University of Lincoln. After a short break from ministry in 2019 to recover from major heart surgery I served as Parish Priest at St Aethelheard's, Louth for three years before finally retiring at the end of August 2022. I am married and live in Lincoln with Khourija Annis, my wife.

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Fr Deacon David Hoskin (PD)

St Constantine the Great, York

I have been actively engaged in Christian ministry for nearly fifty years, and in 2011 my wife and I embraced Orthodoxy. Since my ordination to the diaconate in 2014, in addition to the great privilege of serving as parish deacon and sharing in the preaching and teaching, I have occupied myself first with the task of writing computer software to generate for each day the commemorations, seasonal information and the appointed readings to aid the daily devotions of our church members. The extensive list of commemorations of the Saints of these islands was compiled from a number of sources by my parish priest, Fr Michael. Reflecting on the need for an appropriate translation of the Holy Scriptures, I then embarked on a translation in contemporary British English of the Patriarchal Greek Text of the New Testament. The translation is all but complete and the fruits of both projects have been available for use for some time on our parish website, and are now to be found on this website.

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Fr Deacon Thomas Ward (PD)

St Columba and St Kentigern, Doncaster

I began my religious life spending eight happy years as a Catholic monk in Bedfordshire. Over time I began to have doubts about aspects of Roman Catholic doctrine. Not without sadness, I left my monastery and got a job as a railway signaller in Yorkshire. I loved my work on the railway and have stayed with Network Rail ever since. In my first years of the signal box I came across the Orthodox Church online. I did some reading and eventually turned up rather anxiously for the Divine Liturgy at my parish in Doncaster. I was astonished and moved by the liturgy from my first visit and I remember feeling peculiarly at home. None of these feelings has ever quite left me. I was also touched by the warm welcome I received from parishioners. After more reading and praying, I was received into the Church, and three years later, I was ordained a deacon. It remains a massive honour and a joy to assist at the divine liturgy. I am conscious that I have an awful lot to learn, but both the priests and the laity of my parish are extremely patient with me. For this I am very grateful.

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Fr Deacon David Boddy (PD)

St Fursey Sutton with Stalham

I was born in Sunderland and brought up as a Roman Catholic. After school I became a master baker working as a manager for Sainsbury’s. Always having a faith I became an Anglican and attended Theological College in 1990. I served as parish priest and chaplain among deaf and disabled until 2016. I had constantly been troubled with Anglicanism and after meeting Fr Stephen Weston I came home to Orthodoxy and attended St Fursey's church. It was a wonderful day as I was accepted and chrismated along with my wife Photini. We have settled well and take a full part in the church and to see the new church is St Fursey built and in use was a great moment for all of the church members. It is a humble joy to be a deacon in the Holy Orthodox Church and I thank God for his goodness.

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Fr Deacon Dmitry Ismagilov (PD)

The Cathedral of St George, London

As from 1st January 2024 I shall serve as Finance Officer of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland. Due to my position, I cannot be attached to a specific parish. With the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Silouan, most of the time, I serve as a deacon at the St. George's Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in London. In my civil occupation, I currently work as a postdoctoral fellow at University College London, researching the governance of church finances in the Orthodox Church, both in the contemporary and historical context. I also teach undergraduate courses in Economic History and Development Economics at King's College London. I arrived in the UK in 2015 from Russia and became a parishioner at Holy Cross Church in Lancaster. Despite being raised in an Orthodox family and environment, encountering Orthodox Christianity in Britain reignited my faith. It was as if I experienced a purer version of our faith without any cultural and national baggage. I also was inspired by the hard missionary work the clergy and people of the Orthodox Church do to return these lands back to their Orthodox home. It was after a year spent in Lancaster that I had first thought about priesthood. God works in mysterious ways, indeed. I came to the UK to gain my master's and PhD degrees in Political Economy, hoping to pursue an academic career in the USA. But after a year in the church here, I felt at home and wanted to commit myself to serving the people in Britain and Ireland. When my family and I moved to London for my PhD research, with the blessing of Metropolitan Silouan, I became an altar server while also doing a distance learning course in Theology at the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies at Cambridge as part of my formal training before ordination. I might have learned a lot during my five years as a server at the Cathedral about liturgical practice, but the biggest lessons were lessons in Christian love, compassion and care that I learned from the priests and parishioners of our cathedral. The path to the ordination was not easy and short, but with God's mercy, I was ordained a deacon in September 2023. The prayers, guidance and support of Father Jonathan Hemmings, my spiritual father and parish priest at Holy Cross in Lancaster, were essential on this route. I now pray that God gives me the strength and ability to serve well His people in this holy land.

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Fr Deacon George Moldoveanu (PD)

The Cathedral of St George, London

I studied pastoral theology in Romania and moved to the United Kingdom in 2001, joined shortly by my wife, Nadia. Our daughter Catherine was born here in 2003. Initially, I attended St. Botolph in London, where Father Michael Harper, my spiritual father at the time of blessed memory, served. In 2005, we initially moved to the United States, attending Holy Cross Parish (OCA). I was blessed to know the worthy of remembrance Father Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa, a confessor of faith imprisoned by the communist regime during his last year. After his passing, I attended nearby Antiochian Orthodox Churches. Returning to the UK in 2014, I frequented churches in various jurisdictions (Romanian, ROCOR, Thyateira). Since 2022, I attended Saint George Antiochian Cathedral in London. I'm grateful for the prayers, support, and guidance of His Eminence, the Cathedral Fathers, and the Parish. I'm a software engineer by profession, finding technology a fulfilling vocation and hobby. I humbly ask your prayers to receive strength and protection from God in my service in His Church ahead.

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Fr Deacon Alexey Popov

St Aidan of Lindisfarne, Manchester

I was born in Kiev (Ukraine, USSR) in 1975. In 1999, I graduated from Physics Faculty of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukraine) and in 2002 I also finished Theological Seminary and in 2005 became serving as a deacon of Ukrainian Orthodox Church. During those years I worked as a lecturer at the University and defended my Ph.D. thesis in Solid State Physics in 2006. I received the Associate Professor diploma in 2014 and defended my Doctor of Science dissertation in 2018. In 2015 I started visiting the UK at the invitation of my colleagues from the University of Huddersfield. That was the time when I first met a friendly community of St. Aidan's and its welcoming Priests Fr Gregory and Fr Emmanuel. I am happy that Sayedna Silouan accepted me as the clergy of Antiochian Church and appointed me as a deacon to St. Aidan's.

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