Serbian Patriarch Irinej celebrated the Holy Liturgy in Birmingham’s Lazarica

Church of Serbia – 10/10/18

His Holiness Irinej, the Serbian Patriarch, officiated the Holy Liturgy in the church of the Holy Great-martyr Prince Lazarus – Lazarica in Birmingham, England, on 7 October 2018.

Two anniversaries, 70 years since the founding of the Church Community of Birmingham and 50 years since the consecration of the Lazarica church in Birmingham, gathered together at the Holy Liturgy His Eminence Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana, Their Graces Bishops: Dositej of  Britiain-Scandinavia, Andrej of Austria-Switzerland and Arsenije of Nis from the Serbian Orthodox Church, as well as several Hierarchs from sister Orthodox Churches and a large number of high guests.

The Divine Liturgy was also concelebrated by the principal of the Lazarica church, archpriest-stavrophor Nenad Popovic, then protodeacon Damjan Bozic from the Belgrade Cathedral and hypodeacon Vladimir Jelic, maior domus of the Patriarchal Palace in Belgrade. The worship was remarkably enhanced by the Church-chanting Assemble “Branko” from Nis under the guidance of Ms. Sara Cincarevic. The Holy Liturgy was also attended by His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Alexander Karadjordjevic.

After the Holy Liturgy, the competent Bishop of the Serbian Diocese of Britain-Scandinavia Dositej greeted the congregation. “Those who built this church did not have much money, but they fostered love, faith and hope, with which they erected this church within a span of twenty years, and with the aid of many good people as well,” the Bishop said, and in particular warm words he greeted His Holiness Patriarch Irinej requesting him to send his paternal blessing and exhortations.

Sharing at first a great joy because of this prayerful gathering and meeting with Serbian people and co-brothers from other local Orthodox Churches, the Patriarch reminded that the Serbian people had been linked up with England with manifold ties and a long friendship, briefly reflecting on the history of the relationship of the Serbian Orthodox Church with the Anglican Church.

Patriarch Irinej reminded of some extraordinary figures, English nurses who sacrificed themselves for the Serbian people during the First World War. He also expressed a hope that the British state would support Serbia “so that we might preserve the cradle of our homeland – Kosovo, and Metohija”.

His Holiness specifically addressed the Serbs who live in England with a request to be grateful to the hosts who received them, but never to forget their Serbian origin and to convey this feeling to younger generations.

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