PASTORAL VISIT

Nottingham
21.10.09



Bishop Hlib Lonchyna in Nottingham

Nottingham’s Ukrainian Catholic parish and community was delighted to welcome the new Apostolic Administrator for Ukrainian Catholics in Great Britain, Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, over the weekend.  It was the first time that he had been to the East Midlands and his visit coincided with the local parish church feast day – the Protection of the Mother of God over her children (“Pokrovy”). 

During the Divine Liturgy, which was concelebrated with parish priest Fr. Mykola Martyniuk, Bishop Hlib delivered a highly thought provoking and inspiring sermon in which he explained the history and significance of the feast of the Pokrov.  (See next but one issue of “Dumka” – 7 November.)

After the service, in the company of his elderly mother and Fr. Mykola Martyniyk, Bishop Hlib went on to visit the local AUGB Cultural Centre where he was greeted with traditional bread and salt and a communal rendition of “Guest in our Home...” led by pupils of Nottingham’s Ukrainian language Saturday School.  He was formally welcomed by local AUGB Branch Chair, Yevhen Kurlak, and taken on a tour of the premises during which he had an opportunity to meet with representatives of various organisations and community members. 

At a well attended special lunch held in the Bishop's honour in the homely surroundings of the Cultural Centre’s community hall, he was treated to music, song and poetry readings by local children (Saturday School and Ukrainian Youth Association).  Former Branch Chair Wasyl Semak also presented Bishop Hlib with a two-volume set of memoirs of Pavlo Rafaluk on the history of Nottingham’s Ukrainian community.

As with all such events, there are many that contribute behind the scenes to ensure that everything passes off smoothly – and this event was no exception.  The church and Cultural Centre were beautifully prepared, the meal and concert were splendid and the very sincere welcoming atmosphere that dominated throughout the day helped to make this particular pastoral visit that much more special.

The last time Nottingham’s Cultural Centre hosted a visit by a member of the Church hierarchy was in 2004 when the Patriarch of the Ukrainian Catholic Church blessed the AUGB Home and planted a tree in its gardens during an official opening ceremony.



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