Thursday 12 January 2012

Press Release from the Coptic Orthodox Church Centre UK

For immediate use
Date:  9th January 2012  
The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre
Media and Public Relations Office

Representatives of Her Majesty The Queen, the Prime Minister, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, as well as numerous Ecumenical, Inter-Religious and Civil representatives attended the Alexandria Memorial Service at The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre in the UK, Sunday 8th January.

A memorial service to mark the first anniversary of the bombing in Alexandria of the Church of Saints Mark & Peter in Egypt, as well as the victims of Atfih, Imbaba and more notably Maspero, was held on Sunday 8th January at The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre, UK. In attendance was The Countess of Verulam, Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire representing Her Majesty The Queen, Ms Anne Aichroth, Egypt Desk Office representing the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Downing Street, The Revd Canon Jonathan Goodall representing The Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury,  as well as many Ecumenical, inter-religious and Civil representatives.

The service was led by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom who spoke about the Feast of the Nativity, being celebrated by the Coptic Orthodox Church on January 8 this year, and that the birth of Christ was for transformation and change, calling for an Egypt that is also transformed to be for every Egyptian citizen, stating the following in his address:

“We must move on from bitterness, but we must also move on from old ways that have fragmented a community and brought a death sentence, albeit unofficial, upon many...we stand and we pray today, we raise our hearts in confidence, and we place ourselves before the Incarnate Word, that as He sacrificed and as those we commemorate today sacrificed, as He reconciled the world, reconciliation may also come to every part of the world, to Egypt, to Nigeria, and to every part that is suffering now.”

The personal message from The Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury said the following:

“I write to assure you once again of the love and prayer that the Church of England extends for you. We are all deeply conscious of the spiritual gifts poured out upon the Coptic Church and our prayer at the moment is that those gifts will be used in a peaceful new Egypt, where the very best of your history of tolerance and co-operation between communities of faith may be honoured. We pray very earnestly for the good of the whole nation...”

For more information and resources please contact:

Media and Public Relations Officer
or by telephone 0207-193 7076

Memorial Service: Address by His Grace Bishop Angaelos
Transcript: available upon request
UK Press Conference RE: Maspero Incident, Westminster Central Hall, 20/10/2011
House of Lords Debate: Situation of Christians in the Middle East, 9th December 2011
Hansard from the House of Lords Debate

Media and Public Relations Office
The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre
Shephalbury Manor
Broadhall Way, Stevenage
Hertfordshire SG2 8NP
England, United Kingdom

Tel.: +44 (0)207 1937076
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