Twelve Apostles' Church Eastleigh

Division or Unity?

In this email

Message from Fr Alexander — Division or Unity?

News …
Names for Prayer
One Calendar left
Monastery of St John the Baptist talks
Archimandrite Philip: Ten at Ten
Canon of Supplication to the Mother of God

Lockdown Response
Live stream information


Saints and Feasts — 28th January–4th February

Offer of help

Dear Friends

Our world loves to divide and talk about division. We see in newspapers, magazines, on the internet whole industries developed to comment on the separation of a once tight-knit community, a couple seeking divorce, fall-outs among team-mates. And then we are meant to gloat over their misfortune, to see ourselves as above such petty squabbles—yet we cannot get enough.

We go further, we want to ascribe a winner and loser in the separation. We want to see, want to know, which is the hero and which the villain. How much do you join in with this gossip? How much do I?

Such gossip seems part of human nature, but it is unhealthy: when it spills into the Church the results are even more dangerous. We Christians should take no part in it. There is a feast this week which reminds us of this. When there were those who tried to divide the teachings of St Basil the Great, St Gregory the Theologian and St John Chrysostom—saying one was better than the others—the three appeared together to a certain saint telling him that they have no discord or rivalry between them.

The feast day commemorating this—always 30th January and often called “Three Hierarchs”—also reminds us that education is essential part of the Christian Faith. And this is not only for children and “converts” but for everyone: all are called to deepen their Faith through study. The lockdown is an excellent opportunity for many to spend a little time in reading the Bible and, maybe, another spiritual book.

My dear brothers and sisters, friends, do not be part of the gossip around divisions but be a healing presence to unify each other to Christ. Be a part of the solution to our troubles rather than encourage greater separation. Pray for each other and for our society.


Names for prayer

If you have not yet done so, please do send me a list of those whom you would like me to pray for at the Liturgy. Please separate them out into four groups:

Living who are Orthodox
Living who are not Orthodox
Departed who are Orthodox
Departed who are not Orthodox

Just their Christian (first) names are needed. Please include your own names at the top of the list.

One Calendar left

The last calendar is still available: is there a space on your wall? Or a friend who would appreciate a gift?

Contact me for details, £6. First come, first served: don’t miss out!

Monastery of St John the Baptist talks

Each Sunday evening, 5.30–7pm, the Monastery in Essex, founded by St Sophrony, produces a talk on Zoom. Up until now these have been given either by Archimandrite* Peter, the abbot, or by Archimandrite Zacharias. You need to register for these in advance.

If you would be interested in joining the talks, please get in contact and I can send you the registration details. They are of great benefit.

[* Archimandrite is a title for a senior priest who is celibate.]

Archimandrite Philip: Ten at Ten

Also online, Archimandrite Philip of the monastery of our Archdiocese in Shropshire produces a Bible-study every weekday at 10 am from his YouTube channel—if you cannot watch live they are archived. Although called Ten at Ten, its length is somewhat a changeable feast.

You can reach his YouTube channel by clicking here or by searching “Archimandrite Philip” on YouTube.

Canon of Supplication to the Mother of God

This service is often called by its Greek name, the Paraklesis. In it, we ask the prayers of the Mother of God that she ask her Son and her God to protect us. It is full of beautiful poetry mixing the themes of her protection for us alongside her asking God for our protection.

Our bishop, Metropolitan Silouan, has asked all who can in our Archdiocese to pray this service together at 7 pm on Wednesdays in our homes so that we all may raise our prayers as one to the Lord that he may bring an end to this pandemic.

Could you take this on? It usually takes 30–40 minutes. If you do not have a copy of the service I can email it to you: let me know.

Lockdown Response

We are in lockdown and our Metropolitan has given a clear directive that all churches in the Archdiocese are to be closed until the end of February at least. Our Archdiocese, without judging what others are doing, has taken the position that we do not want any transmission to take place in our churches and we want to keep everyone safe.

This is not what any Church wants to do: all want to welcome people for worship, yet our worship is not the totality of what we do as Christians and now is an opportunity to make even more use of other aspects of our Faith. Pray. Really pray. Make prayer a regular part of your life. Study. Read the Scriptures, read what the Fathers say about the Scriptures. Give. Give to the poor and needy. Give you time to a friends: call them and say hello.

I am here for you: get in contact if you would like help and support. Together, by the grace of God, we can emerge with a stronger Faith.

Live stream

The Monastery of Saints Antony and Cuthbert, Shropshire, is live-streaming its services for all who are unable to go to their own churches. These are over YouTube and can be accessed here:

Usually Vespers on Saturday evenings at 5 pm and Matins and Liturgy on Sunday mornings from 7.30 am.


Have a look at our website —
If you click on the “Blog” link, or directly here, you will see all past emails as well as sermons etc.

Our Facebook Page,, too, has daily additions during the week as well as on feast days. Please do like and share our page and content so we may reach a wider group of people.

Do you receive the weekly (on Fridays) text message? If not, then let me know.

Saints and Feasts

Thursday 28th January — St Ephraim the Syrian (373). St Palladios the Hermit of Antioch. St James the Righteous. St Isaac the Syrian, Bishop of Ninevah (7th).

Friday 29th — Removal of the relics of St Ignatius the God-bearer (307). St Gildas the Wise, Abbot of Llanilltud and Britany (c 570). St Voloc, Bishop in Scotland (c 724).

Saturday 30th — Synaxis of the Three Hierarchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom.

Sunday 31st — 15th Sunday of Luke. Saints Cyrus and John the Unmercenaries. St Aed, First Bishop of Ferns in Ireland (632).

Monday 1st February — Forefeast of the Meeting of the Lord. St Trypho the Martyr. St Brigid of Kildare in Ireland (525). St Seiriol of Penom, Anglesey, Wales (6th). St Jariath, Bishop of Armagh (c 480). St Darlugdach, second Abbess of Kildare (c 524). St Ursus (6th).

Tueday 2nd — The Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.

Wedneday 3rd — Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord. Synaxis of the Holy and Righteous Simeon the God-receiver and Anna the Prophetess. St Nicholas, Enlightener of Japan (1912). St Werburga, Abbess of Chester (700). St Laurence, Archbishop of Canterbury (619).

Thursday 4th — Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord. St Isidore of Pelusium. St Aldate the Hieromartyr, Bishop of Gloucester (6th).

Can I help you?

I am here for you, you need only ask. Is there a way I can support your life of faith? Get in touch.

Can you help the mission?

Yes, absolutely. Offer yourselves to the Lord: pray! Make available to him all your talents and ask him how he would like you to use them — listen for his reply.

Your prayers!

With love in Christ

Fr Alexander