St Melangell's is a Christian church. Although we're a new parish - a little over two years old - we're part of the ancient Orthodox Church founded by Jesus Christ 2000 years ago. More specifically, we belong to the Orthodox Church of the Gauls, which is part of the Communion of Western Orthodox Churches.
As an Orthodox Church our main purpose is our salvation. We confess the Christian Faith as expressed in the Holy Scriptures, in the writings of the Apostles and the Holy Fathers and Mothers of the Church, in the Creeds and the Canons of the Ecumenical Councils, in the whole ascetic and liturgical tradition of the early, undivided Church.
Don't worry if those words don't mean much to you yet: everybody is welcome to pray with us and experience something of our life.
We aim to be a welcoming community, open to all people who genuinely seek to explore the life in Christ, free from the political distractions and culture wars that have often made churches unwelcoming places.
We aim to be a living community, allowing our faith in Christ to influence our actions in our daily lives.
We aim to be a prayerful community, grounded in Orthodox Faith, worship, and life.
Our services are offered in English, and our worship and spiritual life are conducted according to forms of prayer, fasting, and spirituality that have their origins in the ancient Orthodox tradition of Western Europe and the British Isles, and which are collectively known as the Western Rite.
We gather regularly to worship God, to pray, and to hear the Holy Scriptures. We are still few in number but, should God bless our efforts, we hope to grow and provide a spiritual home for anybody who wants to find salvation in Jesus Christ.
If you would like to join us or just come for a visit, we would love to have you with us. You might find the information here to be useful.
If you are thinking about possibly becoming an Orthodox Christian, you might find these pages to be helpful.
If you would like to make contact with us, please feel free to get in touch.
A Brief History
- 19/04/2016 - Subdeacon Cyprian Astley is received into the Western Orthodox Church, having been baptised in the Eastern Orthodox Church (ROCOR) in 2006, and having served there as a subdeacon since 2010.
- April 2017 - Bishop Gregory of Arles gives Subdeacon Cyprian a blessing to explore the feasibility of forming a mission to serve the Greater Manchester area, under the patronage of the Holy Myrrhbearers.
- 2018 - Work commences to begin to raise awareness of our planned mission, to construct a website and social media presence, to translate and adapt liturgical and musical resources from the French texts into English, and to seek a place to host public services within easy reach of Manchester City Centre.
- 16/12/2018 - The Manchester mission is launched, having adopted St Melangell of Powys as our heavenly patroness, but retaining a devotion to the Holy Myrrhbearers. Four people worship together in a private home in Oldham, praying Lauds for the 5th Sunday of Advent. This continues every Sunday morning for the next eight weeks.
- 08/02/2019 - Vespers is prayed for the first time in the Lady Chapel of the Anglican church of St Cross in Clayton. Weekly Vespers on Saturday evening continues for a number of months until August 2019, when practical considerations make this no longer feasible.
- 01/06/2019 - Members and friends of St Melangell's mission make a pilgrimage to the shrine and church of St Melangell in Pennant Melangell, with the hope that this would become an annual occurrence.
- August 2019 - Oldham Parish Church generously provides a temporary home for public services until a more central and easily accessible location can be found. Vespers is prayed here weekly until February 2020.
- 15/09/2019 - Bishop Gregory ordains Cyprian to the diaconate to serve our growing mission.
- 22/02/2020 - Vespers is prayed at Chapel Street & Hope United Reformed Church on the edge of Salford, which is to be a weekly arrangement until the building is due to be demolished near the end of this year.
- 21/03/2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic means that many people have taken the decision not to attend public worship. Vespers at St Melangell's is live-streamed on Facebook for the first time.
- 28/03/2020 - The UK is in lockdown and public worship is prohibited. After only 4 weeks in our new home, we have been forced to close. A temporary chapel is constructed in Deacon Cyprian's home, from which Sunday Vespers and Lauds are live-streamed each week, as well as services for various feasts and for Holy Week & Pascha. This arrangement continues for over a year throughout the worst of the pandemic.
- 26/05/2021 - Bishop Gregory issues a decree, formally raising Saint Melangell's mission to the status of a parish, and appointing Deacon Cyprian as Rector.
- 08/07/2021 - The Parish of Saint Melangell is granted the status of a Registered Charity in England and Wales by the Charity Commission.
- 14/08/2021 - Public worship resumes with Vespers for the Dormition & Assumption of the Mother of God as the parish begins life in its new home at Hope Methodist Church in Failsworth.
- 07/11/2021 - We welcome Photini and Bertram as two new Orthodox Christians into the Body of Christ, as we perform the first baptisms of our growing mission, made possible through the kind hospitality of Oldham Baptist Church.
- 09/01/2022 - The Feast of the Theophany (the Baptism of the Saviour). Members of our parish and the general public gather at Salford Quays, where the Great Blessing of the Waters is performed at the Manchester Ship Canal, with the Mayor of Salford in attendance. To our knowledge, this is the first time any Orthodox church has performed this rite publicly in Greater Manchester in recent decades. A memorial service follows for all those who have lost their lives on or in the waters of the canal.
- 01/05/2022 - During a parish retreat to Bishop Gregory's monastery at Bois-Aubry, France, Bertram is ordained as an acolyte, Joseph is ordained as a reader, and Deacon Cyprian is tonsured as a monk and ordained to the priesthood - all to serve our parish.
- 07/05/2022 - The catechumen Aristobulus is baptised and chrismated into Christ's holy Church.
- 08/05/2022 - The Divine Liturgy (the Mass) is celebrated for the first time at St Melangell's. This occasion also marks the first time that the Divine Liturgy according to St Germanus has been celebrated in the British Isles as part of a regular parish life, as well as the 60th anniversary of the first celebration of this Liturgy by St John the Wonderworker in 1962.