A NEW DEACONESS ORDAINED FOR THE BRITISH ORTHODOX CHURCH

The British Orthodox Church – 21/10/19

On 4 June 1989 Metropolitan Seraphim ordained two deaconesses for the church at Cusworth, which was the first ordination of that ministry for over 30 years, as the only two deaconesses remaining from those earlier days were then both in their seventies and had not been involved in active ministry for many years. Sisters Elizabeth (Beresford) and Sarah (Metcalfe) – who are the two ordained in 1989 – have served faithfully at the Cusworth church for the past thirty years, but with advancing age and various health issues they have not been as active of late as previously, although they have both remained active and faithful members of the congregation at Cusworth.

On 6 October 2019 Abba Seraphim ordained Elaine Dale, who has been a member of the Cusworth congregation for nineteen years and who has been a visitor of the sick and elderly for many years, as a deaconess, giving her the name of Sister Helena in honour of the Emperor Constantine’s mother, Saint Helena (c.246-330), whom two medieval chronicles (Henry of Huntingdon’s Historia Angloum and Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae) claimed was a daughter of the King of Britain, Coel Hen of Colchester, who allied with Helena’s husband, the Caesar Constantius Chlorus to avoid more war between the Britons and Rome.

Following the Kiss of Peace in the Divine Liturgy, Elaine was presented to Abba Seraphim by Deaconesses Elizabeth and Sarah.

A second cause for celebration
On 7 October Abba David, Bishop of Priddy, reached his 80th birthday and in anticipation of this Abba Seraphim hosted a thanksgiving dinner at The Boat Inn at Sprotbrough following the Raising of Evening Incense at Cusworth on Saturday, 5 October, which was attended by Abba David, Abba James, Elaine Dale and Vladimir Roze. Thanksgiving prayers were offered during the Divine Liturgy at Cusworth the following morning.

Among the several visitors who attended the Divine Liturgy to mark this double celebration was Mgr. Douglas Lewins, Archbishop of the Old Roman Catholic Church, who is a most welcome friend and guest of the church at Cusworth.

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