Bridging the Orthodox gap in Norfolk
On the second Saturday of each month, Fr Adrian Ling of All Saints' church is setting aside the side chapel of All Saints' church so that a Russian Orthodox Holy Liturgy (eucharist) may take place.
The services will be in English and led by Fr Christopher Knight. Of the plan to welcome Orthodoxy Fr Adrian said, “It is more important that this church is used for Christian worship than it stands unused when others can use it”.
Fr Christopher said, “We eagerly look forward, with thanks to Fr Adrian, to being able to offer people in King’s Lynn an opportunity to experience Orthodox worship. The services will start at 10.30am and end about noon. This may seem on the surface to be a long time, but what is normal in most denominations isn’t so in Orthodoxy. Nobody will mind if people arrive late or leave early. Punctuality and formality doesn’t feature very high up in the Orthodoxy way of looking at things.”
Everything will be sung in English and everyone of any denomination or none is welcome. Russian Orthodox harmonies differ significantly from the harmonies most people will be familiar with, and all are welcome even if they just want to come along to hear new music.
People would probably be very surprised to learn just how many Orthodox churches there are in Norfolk. Babingley has a monthly Coptic Orthodox church service. Once a month St Margarets has a Russian Orthodox service. There are Orthodox communities in Mettingham, Sutton, Gt Yarmouth and Norwich. Little Walsingham has a small Orthodox chapel in the main Anglican shrine, the old railway station was turned into an Orthodox church many years ago. The largest Russian Orthodox church is at Gt Walsingham and draws in people from as far afield as Ipswich, Spalding and Gt Yarmouth. Many are English but they also have people from Romania, the Ukraine, Poland, Cyprus, Greece and Russia as well.
Orthodoxy is a global denomination and because they use the same liturgy, generally speaking, across the world, people who don’t speak the language of the service they are attending know where in the service they are.
The collaboration between the congregation of All Saints’ King’s Lynn and Holy Transfiguration Gt Walsingham seeks to create a bridge of reconciliation and reach out to people for whom Orthodoxy is important.
For a fuller explanation of what Orthodoxy is, and isn’t, the best resource is; http://holytransfigurationwalsingham.simdif.com.
For reference the full list of services are February 14, March 14, April 11, May 9, June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12, October 10, November 14 and December 12 2015.
Pictured All Saints', King's Lynn.