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Wonderful news! The Holy Synod of Antioch met on October 15th, under the presidency of His Beatitude JOHN X, Patriarch of Antioch. His Beatitude was for a short while our bishop, when he was Metropolitan of Europe. In that time he was able to get a good understanding of the particular challenges of the Church in the different parts of Europe. Under his guidance and by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Synod agreed that the structure of the Antiochian parishes and communities within Europe needed to change to support the continued growth of the Orthodox communities here.
The Synod Fathers have therefore divided the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Europe into three new archdioceses and a patriarchal vicariate. These new entities are:
The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of France and Southern and Western Europe
The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Germany and Central Europe
The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland
The Patriarchal Vicariate of Scandinavia
Although the Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland now exists canonically, it is still in the process of being set up as a legal entity. Initially we will be cared for by a Patriarchal Vicar (to be appointed in the next few weeks). The Holy Synod will elect our first Metropolitan Archbishop in 2014.
More news as it happens!