Coptic New Year celebrated in St Margaret’s Church

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Coptic New Year celebrated in St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey, with messages from Her Majesty the Queen, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, the Archbishop of Canterbury and His Holiness Pope Francis

10 October 2019

Messages from Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, The Most Reverend Archbishop Justin Welby and His Holiness Pope Francis, were read during the annual Coptic New Year Service at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey on 8 October 2019. The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster welcomed over four hundred and fifty guests from the House of Lords and House of Commons, the Diplomatic Corps, the Foreign Commonwealth Office, the Home Office, and humanitarian and advocacy organisations, various ecumenical and inter-religious guests, and members of the Coptic Orthodox community in the United Kingdom.

After his welcome, His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, thanked The Very Reverend Dr John Hall for his support during his time as Dean of Westminster, and wished him every blessing for the next stages of his ministry, presenting a Coptic icon of St John the Beloved, on behalf of the Coptic Orthodox community in Britain.
The traditional Coptic vespers service was officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, who delivered a sermon on the theme of unity and solidarity, encouraging congregants to be light in darkness, and unified in bringing hope to all, despite challenges faced.

Towards the end of the evening, addresses were delivered by His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, His Excellency Tarek Adel, Ambassador of Egypt to the United Kingdom, The Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the United Nations, and Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, and The Viscount Younger of Leckie, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Faith and Communities.

The message from Her Majesty The Queen, read by The Rt Revd Jonathan Goodall, Bishop of Ebbsfleet, conveyed warm wishes to the clergy and congregation of the Coptic Orthodox Church, as well as all in attendance; also honouring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their Christian Faith. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, also extended warm wishes to the Coptic Orthodox community in his message read by The Right Reverend James Newcome DL, Bishop of Carlisle, offering heartfelt prayers for those who continue to face persecution and suffering for their Faith….

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