St. Thomas Syriac Orthodox Cathedral London consecrated
- * His Holiness Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas consecrated the St. Thomas Syriac Orthodox Cathedral, London
* His Holiness installed the Holy Relics of St. Thomas, brought from Mosul, at the Cathedral
* Messages of Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth, The Right Hon. Dr. Gordon Brown and Most Rev. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury were read.
LONDON: His Holiness Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas consecrated St. Thomas Syriac Orthodox Cathedral on July 03, Saturday here. The Cathedral, situated at 7-11 Armstrong Road, Acton, London, W3 7JL, had been built in a mere six months at the cost of around 1.8 million pounds. The Church is situated on the first floor with a spacious community hall below it and offices and clergy living accommodation upstairs. Metropolitans Their Eminences Mor Philoxenos Mathias Nayis (Assistant to the Patriarch), Dr. Mor Coorilos Aphrem Karim Archbishop, Eastern USA), Mor Athanasius Touma Dokkoma (Patriarchal Vicar, Great Britain) assisted His Holiness.
His Holiness Patriarch Zakka was borne into the Cathedral on his throne, carried on the shoulders of several deacons, whilst the congregation clapped, the women ululated and the children threw flower petals. The proceedings opened with words of welcome and the gratitude of the community (largely Syriac Orthodox from Iraq) expressed in their warm statements about British hospitality and the singing of the British National Anthem. Among messages received were one from Her Majesty The Queen, The Right Hon. Dr. Gordon Brown and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev. Rowan Williams. The Patriarch was accompanied by a large retinue of Syriac Orthodox metropolitans and clergy and relics of St. Thomas had been brought from Mosul for the new Cathedral. Among the ecumenical guests were HE Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira (Ecumenical Patriarchate), HE Metropolitan John of Western & Central Europe (Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch), the Archbishop of Westminster (Mgr. Vincent Nichols) and the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe (Right Rev'd Geoffrey Rowell). The Oriental Orthodox clergy, who joined the Syriac Metropolitans in the sanctuary, included HE Archbishop Antonios of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church) and from the Coptic Orthodox Church HE Metropolitan Seraphim
(who read the Epistle in English), HG Bishop Missael of Birmingham, HG Bishop Antony of Scotland, Ireland & NE England, HG Bishop Elia of Khartoum and HG Bishop Angaelos (General Bishop for UK). A number of priests from the Coptic, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Armenian and Malankara churches were also present.