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Friday, May 01, 2009

New Orthodox Church in Wallasey


From celestial realms descending,
ready for the nuptial bed,
to his presence, decked with jewels,
by her Lord shall she be led;
all her streets and all her bulwarks
of pure gold are fashioned. - Urbs Ierusalem Beata


After years of worshipping in a converted room in a private home, my parish is hoping to move to new premises in July. We have secured a redundant cemetery chapel in Wallasey, not far from where we are now, so our people will be able to travel there. We have use of it for 25 years. The cemetery and its chapel mean a lot to the local people and already we have had positive responses from people in the area. Some have begun reading up on Orthodoxy and hope to come to some of our first services in the new church. It's all very exciting.

From our perspective, it means that we shall have a visible place of witness that is recognisable as a church, and space to meet for social functions, catechesis, and perhaps other activities, without feeling as though we are imposing on the generosity and hospitality of a family. Who knows what may come of this in time, with prayer and effort?

A great deal of work needs to be done but there will be photo updates on the parish website as things progress. You need some imagination at the moment to see what it could be but by allmeans look at the "before" photos and see what you think. Let's see how things develop.

Daily, daily, sing the praises
of the city God hath made;
in the beauteous fields of Eden
its foundation stones are laid.

O, that I had wings of angels,
here to spread and heavenward fly,
I would seek the gates of Zion,
far beyond the starry sky!

All the walls of that dear city
are of bright and burnished gold;
it is matchless in its beauty,
and its treasures are untold.

In the midst of that dear city
Christ is reigning on His seat,
and the angels swing their censers
in a ring about His feet.

From the throne a river issues,
clear as crystal, passing bright,
and it traverses the city
like a beam of silver light.

There the forests ever blossom,
like our orchards here in May;
there the gardens never wither,
but eternally are gay.

There the meadows green and dewy
shine with lilies wondrous fair;
thousand, thousand, are the colours
of the waving flowers there.

There the wind is sweetly fragrant,
and is laden with the song
of the seraphs, and the elders,
and the great redeem├Ęd throng.

O, I would my ears were open
here to catch that happy strain!
O, I would my eyes some vision
of that Eden would attain!

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