Forgiveness Sunday at St. Julian’s Church

On 17 March, our community held its first Sunday service at Saint Julian’s Church in Shrewsbury at the kind invitation of the owner, Mr Andrew Wright and his wife Lexie.

Andrew and Lexie are well-known in Shrewsbury and well-loved by many members of our community. They have been connected to our church since its very beginning. They were at the first Divine Liturgy in Shrewsbury in 1985 and told Fr Stephen about our current church at Sutton, which led to us purchasing it. We thank them for their kind hospitality and for keeping us in their prayers throughout our history.

Andrew Wright has been the custodian of St. Julian’s church since the Church of England sold it. He and Lexie have lovingly cared for the building for 45 years and are praying for a new beginning for the church in bringing people to God. After buying the building, Andrew and Lexie operated a craft centre there, but in 2000, they returned it to its original use as a place of worship. Many different denominations have held services in St Julian’s since 2000. We are very grateful to Andrew and Lexie for their generosity in allowing us to use the church for a trial period to understand whether the building is suitable for long-term use as an Orthodox Christian church.

Making a building suitable for Orthodox Christian worship takes much effort. Thank you to all of those who “prepared the way” over the last few weeks for our first service and to the churches in the West Midlands who have kindly lent us spare liturgical items.

On 17 March, we celebrated Matins, the Divine Liturgy, and Forgiveness Vespers in Saint Julian’s. Over 130 people attended the joyful occasion. Protopresbyter Stephen Maxfield celebrated the liturgy, and Protopresbyter Pancratios Sanders and Presbyter Panteleimon Maxfield concelebrated. At the end of vespers, the faithful participated in the rite of forgiveness to mark the entry into the Great Fast in preparation for Holy Pascha.

We will return to the Church of the 318 Holy Fathers, SY2 6FB, for the next two weeks (24 March and 31 March). Then, from 7 April, God-willing, we will return to St Julian’s church for Sunday worship at least until the beginning of the Nativity Fast.

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