On April 27, 2024, the Saturday of Lazarus, The Twelve Apostles Greek Orthodox Church in Hertfordshire, 43 individuals were received into the Orthodox Church by His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain. Assisting him were His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Claudiopolis and numerous Archdiocesan clergy members. The neophytes successfully attended the 7th Session of the Archdiocesan Discover Orthodoxy Class led by V. Rev. Archimandrite Nephon Tsimalis, Protosyncellus of the Archdiocese which was held on zoom every week for 9 months.

This session of Discover Orthodoxy started in September 2023 and is set to conclude in May. The group included 36 adults and one infant who were received through Holy Baptism and Chrismation, while six adults were received by Holy Chrismation. The newly illumined Orthodox Christians hail from various backgrounds, including the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Greece, Africa, other Commonwealth and European countries, and Asia.

The present session of the Catechism Class will offer a total of one hundred converts. Those not received on the Saturday of Lazarus are scheduled to be received during the Paschal Season at various parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain. To date, the Discover Orthodoxy program has welcomed over 260 converts, in just four and a half years. After the Service of Holy Baptism and Chrismation, the neophytes processed into the Church bearing their candles to participate in the Divine Liturgy, during which they received the Holy and Life-Giving Eucharist, for the first time.

Before the conclusion of the Liturgy, His Eminence elevated the Rev. Fr. Nikodemus Angeli to the rank of protopresbyter in honor of his humble and fruitful service. The Archbishop also thanked the parish clergy, the Rev. Protopresbyter Joseph Paliouras, Priest-in-charge, and the Rev. Father Demetrianos Melekis, for their hospitality and gracious assistance.

At the conclusion of the Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas offered an icon of the 12 Apostles to each of the newly illuminated Orthodox Christians as a token of the special day. A generous Lenten reception followed hosted by Archon Louis Loizou, Community Chairman, in honor the neophytes, families, and community.

Photo Credit: Jessy Papasavva Photography

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