Friday, 24 April 2015

Special service hosted by His Grace Bishop Angaelos and the Mayor of Stevenage to mark Saint George’s Day

Press Release
For immediate use
24 April 2015

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office

Special service hosted by His Grace Bishop Angaelos and the Mayor of Stevenage to mark Saint George’s Day
 24 April 2015

A special service was held in the Cathedral of Saint George in The Coptic Centre, Stevenage to mark Saint George’s Day on 23 April 2015. Hosted by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, and Councillor Sherma Batson MBE, Mayor of Stevenage, the service was attended by more than 100 people including The Countess Verulam, Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, civic dignitaries, ecumenical guests, and members of the Coptic community and the wider Stevenage community.

In his sermon Bishop Angaelos spoke of the recent murder of Coptic and Ethiopian Christians in Libya, saying:
“Today we celebrate the great martyr Saint George, and what we see in him is what we can strive to achieve in our lives today. What has been proven to us over the past weeks is that power, witness and dedication is not limited to the lives of the saints in the past, but sacrificing, even paying the ultimate price for one’s Faith is still happening today.       

Saint George was a person with conviction, a successful man, community leader, and military commander, and despite his struggles he would not renounce his Faith. It is that strength and example that allows us to be faithful witnesses and contribute positively to society today, knowing that despite the presence of evil, there is infinitely more hope that is brought about by people of conviction like Saint George. Today we celebrate the life of this great Saint and realise that we can likewise be the Saint George’s of our day.”

In a short address after the service, the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire said:
“Today is such an auspicious and wonderful day to be here, the Patron Saint’s Day, it really is a special day. It is wonderful to see this place flourishing as a Centre of prayer and calmness, meditation and love, in the midst of what are very difficult times for Christians. It is a wonderful example to the rest of us.”
In thanking those who attended the service the Mayor said:
“Lord Lieutenant, civic dignitaries, councillors, friends, residents, people of this town, thank you so much for joining the Bishop and I here today for this event, I hope you enjoyed the service as much as I did. I found the sermon uplifting, especially in the times that we are living in, as it is important to remember that there is still good in the world and I think there is more good than there is bad, and we must remain positive about that.
I would like to thank you for hosting the event in this magnificent Cathedral that is in our town, and I am glad that many are here today and have seen something they have never seen before. It has been a really lovely event to happen in my mayoral year, and I thank you for sharing this wonderful place as there are so many different people with different backgrounds and we need to share with the community, and I am glad to be part of it.”