A special service was held at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 to commemorate the Coptic Feast of Nayrouz, marking the new Coptic Year. The service was the first of its kind for the Coptic community in the United Kingdom.
The service was attended by members of the House of Lords, the Speaker of the House of Commons, as well as heads and representatives of numerous Christian churches and denominations, and inter-religious governmental and non-governmental organisations.
Reverend Cannon Andrew Tremlett, rector of St Margaret’s church welcomed all on behalf of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey, and a message from the Right Reverend Archbishop of Canterbury was read by Canon Jonathan Goodall, his personal secretary. During the service, which was prayed predominantly in English with some Coptic, His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, addressed the changing political climate in Egypt, the challenges faced in the Middle East, and the new application of a new found democracy. Bishop Angaelos also spoke about the papal selection process and the general state of Christians in Egypt.
"At this significant time in the contemporary history of the Coptic Orthodox Church, we are prayerfully waiting for the announcement of the 118th Pope of Alexandria while at the same time hopeful that God can use this opportunity of change in Egypt to provide a heart for all where the rights, liberties, entitlements, and responsibilities of every person are considered equally before society and the law."
At the end of the service there were addresses from the Rt Hon John Bercow, speaker of the House of Commons, and the Rt Hon Alistair Burt, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs. After the service there was a drinks reception for all those who attended.
For more information see: http://www.copticcentre.com/