Sunday 10th September, the Sunday before the Exultation of the Holy Cross, Metropolitan Silouan arrived at his community in Eastleigh, Hampshire, to preside over the services of Matins and the Divine Liturgy. The visit was a joyful surprise for all the faithful. Sayedna served the Liturgy and was assisted by the pastor of the community Presbyter Alexander Haig who preached a sermon.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, Sayedna spoke some words of encouragement for the faithful. He said how it was necessary for us to take up the Cross and fight against the passions. Sayidna explained how he did not tell anyone of his coming so that he could see the community on a "normal Sunday" and was pleased with the progress the Eastleigh community has made in just two and a half years. In honour of this he declared the community to no longer be a mission but a parish of the Archdiocese.
Following the services, the faithful had the opportunity to speak with Sayedna and enjoyed a meal together.
The differences in how the Liturgy is served with a bishop led to much discussion among the faithful and all looked forward to the next time Sayedna will be with us in this parish.