The chief of sinners

Dear Friends

In the Prayer before Communion we say,

I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that thou art truly the Christ, who camest into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

Christ came into the world not to save the righteous but to call sinners to repentance (Matthew 9:13, Mark 2:17, Luke 5:32): and I identify as the foremost among all of them.

For some people this can come across as madness, “surely there are worse people than I am⁈” they say to themselves, “murderers and the like: I am basically okay.”

But this misses the point of the whole Christian life. This line, “of whom I am chief,”—sometimes translated “of whom I am first”—comes directly from the Apostle Paul,

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

1 Timothy 1:15

This is madness according to the world which insists of ranks and grades of evil, but for the Christian this is pure sanity—I am the only person for whose sin I must repent, I can correct my own sin rather than someone else’s. And if I focus on my sin, not merely to dwell in self-pity but to repent and turn to the Lord, I have the opportunity to become what I was created to be: in my right mind and with the Lord, I may become, by the grace of God, divine.

This is not to say that our sins do not affect others—each and every sin I commit has an effect on each one of you and on the entire Creation for which I ask your forgiveness—but that I am only responsible for what I do with what I am given: not anyone else’s actions but only my own.

My dear brothers and sisters, Christ has defeated his enemies—death, sin and idolatry—and brings new life to all who are faithful to him. How will you respond to this Gospel? Will you repent of your sin or will you blame others? Will you stand with reality or with falsehood?

My dear brothers and sisters, will you see yourself as the first among sinners?

As part of our measures against Covid-19, we strongly request all who attend our services to take a lateral flow test prior to attending.

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The Parish of St Martin and St Helen in Colchester, Essex, has recently purchased a Church building. Sayidna Silouan’s message to them, previewed below, can be read at the link.

Reverend Father Alexander
Reverend Deacon Mark
Esteemed members of the Parish Council
Honoured benefactors and founders of this Holy Temple
Faithful members of our Church of Saint Martin and Saint Helen
Friends of this sacred community

Grace, peace and mercy from our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ be unto you all!
This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 117:24

The Lord has accounted us worthy that we now see the day of the purchase of St Martin’s Church for Orthodox worship: the purpose for which it was built has been secured. This, truly, is the day which the Lord has made and we will rejoice. News came on the Apodosis, the Leavetaking, of Theophany and as God was manifest in the Jordan River so too he is manifest in this great event: God has descended and, through each one of you, has worked a sign of the Kingdom in Colchester and in our country.

Yet now is not the time for complacency, my beloved children, for there is much work to be done. We must all remain united so that we may beautify our Temple of God: this will require love and sacrifices—of our time, of our energy, of our talents and of our money—that the Lord will be glorified in us and in this new temple. I beseech the Almighty God that we all offer prayer to him to direct each one of us to offer fitting sacrifices to his glory.

Read the rest here.


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, one God, Amen.

We instinctively know, dear brothers and sisters, that someone who says, “I am completely self-reliant, I receive only what I deserve,” is living a fantasy. For much of what we receive we rely on others—on our parents, our family, our teachers and schools, our employers and our friends. Yes, we must cooperate with them, we work in order to receive, but many opportunities are down to luck and chance.

Do you recognise the contribution of others in the successes of your life? Do I? Or do we believe they are exclusively down to ourselves and our hard work?

So far, our world may understand this concept, but for us Christians we can go even further. We can recognise not only other human beings have contributed to our lives but God himself. God created us out of nothing and everything we have is from him: the clothes we wear, our houses, our food and drink, even the very air we breathe is from the Lord. Every moment of our existence is a moment given to us from above.

Read last Sunday’s sermon, A eucharistic life.
Archive of Past Sermons.

Services this week

Friday 21st January
Discussion on the books of Genesis & Exodus, 8 pm
Online only

Saturday 22nd January
Vespers, 6.30 pm
At St Francis’ Hall, Eastleigh

Sunday 23rd January
Divine Liturgy, 9.30 am
At St Francis’ Hall, Eastleigh

Online session is via Google Meet: please get in contact for the details.

As part of our measures against Covid-19, we strongly request all who attend our services to take a lateral flow test prior to attending.

Please join us: all are welcome, come and see.

Attending Church

We will be meeting at St Francis’ Hall, Nightingale Avenue, Eastleigh, SO50 9JA. It is presently a requirement that you wear a mask unless exempt. Come and See.

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