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At the invitation of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Synaxis of Primates of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches took place at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Geneva, from 21st to 28th January, 2016. The following Primates attended:

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria

Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow

Patriarch Irinej of Serbia

Patriarch Daniel of Romania

Patriarch Neophyte of Bulgaria

Patriarch Ilia of Georgia

Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus

Archbishop Anastasios of Albania

Archbishop Rastislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia

The following Primates were unable to attend: Their Beatitudes Patriarch John X of Antioch and Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland, for health reasons, and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, for personal reasons. Nevertheless, all three were represented by official delegations of their Churches.

The Primates of the Orthodox Churches convened to finalize the texts for the Holy and Great Council. In the framework of the Synaxis, on Sunday, 24th January, a Divine Liturgy was held at the Holy Stavropegic Church of St. Paul. Along with the Ecumenical Patriarch, who presided, Their Beatitudes and Heads of the delegations of the Orthodox Churches concelebrated the Liturgy, with the exception of the Head of the delegation of the Patriarchate of Antioch.

During the Synaxis, whose sessions were held in the apostolic spirit of "speaking the truth in love" (Eph. 4.15), in concord and understanding, the Primates affirmed their decision to convene the Holy and Great Council. The Council will be held at the Orthodox Academy of Crete from June 16th to 27th, 2016. To this end, the Primates humbly invoke the grace and blessing of the Holy Trinity and fervently invite the prayers of the fullness of the Church, clergy and laity, for the period leading to and the sessions of the Holy and Great Council.

The items officially approved for referral to and adoption by the Holy and Great Council are: The Mission of the Orthodox Church in the Contemporary World, The Orthodox Diaspora, Autonomy and its Manner of Proclamation, The Sacrament of Marriage and its Impediments, The Significance of Fasting and its Application Today, and Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World. By decision of the Primates, all approved documents will be published.

The Primates also discussed and determined the establishment of a Panorthodox Secretariat, the by-laws of the Council, the participation of non-Orthodox observers in the opening and closing sessions, and the budgetary costs related the Council.

Moreover, the Primates expressed their support for the persecuted Christians of the Middle East and their ongoing concern for the abduction of the two Metropolitans, Paul Yazigi of the Patriarchate of Antioch and Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syriac Archdiocese.

The proceedings of the Synaxis of the concluded on Wednesday evening, January 27th, 2016, with the closing address by its President, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Article originally appears on »

Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church on the Refugee Crisis Read Bishop's Angaelos comments here »


His All-Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch and senior hierarch of the Orthodox Church, has sent a letter of commendation to the Orthodox Institute for its work, which is also an endorsement of the Institute's cooperation with the Cambridge Theological Federation. His All-Holiness, who has "carefully read through the contents and pamphlets of your correspondence" (the outlines of all IOCS' courses) "would like to congratulate you on the impressive and expansive work of the Institute". Read the letter from the Patriarch here »

'THE WAY' - IOCS COURSE IN INTERNATIONAL USEPlease click on the above link for details

THE CAMBRIDGE THEOLOGICAL FEDERATION is unique in bringing together of a variety of Christian traditions in joint teaching and learning by which our horizons are expanded and our experience shared - but it is also a place where each tradition has to accept informed criticism of things it holds most dear.

This is true of a forthcoming study, Wrestling with a Godly Order: Encounters with the 1662 Book of Common Prayer from Sarum College Press and edited by James Steven, to be launched on 20 May 2015. In it, two Federation members, Revd Dr Susan Durbar, former Principal of Westminster College (United Reformed Church) and Professor David Frost, Principal of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, join five other liturgical scholars, Anglican, Baptist, Methodist and Roman Catholic, in examining the effects of a foundation document of the Church of England, the 1662 BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, on their own communities. It is a history of massive influence, adaptation and appropriation, but also of fierce theological criticism and political opposition.

All are invited to the Book Launch at Sarum College at 12.25 pm on Wednesday 20 May, and to buy a copy at a pre-order price of £14.19 from Sarum College Bookshop, 19 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EE (tel. 01722 326899). Click here for more details ».


The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies has launched a programme of translation to present the ancient Liturgies of the once-united and universal Church at their best. The programme is also intended to assist the worship-experience of the Orthodox communities of Great Britain, whatever their ethnic background, by producing a single modern English translation of the Greek originals that can lie alongside texts in a church's language of origin Click here for more details ».

A Message from the Principal.


The trials and sufferings of Christians in the Middle East, in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, are constantly in the mind of members of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies - not least because one of our Directors, Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, is with his people in Damascus at the centre of civil war, whilst his brother, Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo, our close friend and a Visiting Lecturer at the Institute, is, along with the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, held hostage and at the mercy of rebel forces.

We have petitioned the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary to seek the release of the two Bishops and have received an assurance from the department handling Middle Eastern affairs that they are doing all they can. Many of us will be moved to contribute to the relief of Iraqi and Syrian refugees - though it is wise to take note of the warning from the Charity Commission to check the credentials of relief organizations before you give.

Bishop Angaelos
Meanwhile, we draw your attention to the outstanding address given at Great St Mary's Church, Cambridge, during a Prayer Vigil for Christians in the Middle East, by the Coptic Bishop in Great Britain, Bishop Angaelos. As a path to understanding what is happening, in its historical and scriptural context, and as an aid to deciding how we should response, it could hardly be bettered. It is to be found at

Cambridge Liturgical Psalter - Now as an AUDIO BOOK

A reading by the Principal, Professor David Frost, of the complete Book of Psalms (Cambridge Liturgical Psalter version) is now available as an audio book from AUDIBLE, price £14.49, but only £3.99 if you take out membership of Audible. The recording is also available from iTunes and Amazon.

Buying the Cambridge Liturgical Psalter Audio Book is another way you can help IOCS, because for every person who gets the recording at reduced membership price, the publisher gets a bounty of $50! Purchase here »

Yoga and Christianity: click here to listen to Dr Christine Mangala Frost's recent contribution on the BBC Radio 4 programme on Yoga.

ONLINE COURSE IN NEW TESTAMENT GREEK. The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies recommends a course in New Testament Greek by Distance Learning, for which enrolments will start from March this year. The course is organised and run by Archimandrite Nikodemos Anagnostopoulos, currently a Visiting Lecturer with our Institute. For more information about the course please see the attached leaflet or contact Fr Nikodemus at or Please click here for more information »

Appeal to to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary on behalf of kidnapped Syrian Bishops. Please click here to see the letter which our Principal, Professor David Frost, sent to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, regarding the kidnapping of Metropolitan Paul Yazigi, the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo, and Metropolitan Youhanna Ibrahim, the Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo. We urge all our friends to also write to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary with similar pleas.

Palamas House
IOCS acquires new home! The Institute is delighted to announce the purchase of own premises at 25-27 High Street Chesterton, Cambridge, CB4 1ND. To learn more about this major development in the life of the Institute, please read the Principal's letter here.