22 Nov Patriarch visits Lazarica
On Sunday 16 October, 2016, as our Church prayers celebrated St. Dionysius the Areopagite, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej served Divine Liturgy at the temple of the Holy Prince Lazar in Birmingham. Co-serving with His Holiness was Bishop Dositej of Britain and Scandinavia, Bishop Irinej of Eastern USA and Vicar Bishop Joseph Ignatius of the Romanian Metropolitan of Britain and Ireland along with 25 priests of the Serbian, Romanian and Russian Patriarchate. Responses at the Divine Liturgy was served by the newly formed Lazarica choir conducted by Damjen Racic.
His Holiness had brought with him fragments of the relics of St. Prince Lazar to the Church, where they will be contained. They were donated to Lazarica in Birmingham by the Ravanica monastery. After Divine Liturgy, Bishop Dositej addressed the attendees and thanked the Patriarch for his visit and blessing. Bishop Dositej went on to say that this was only the second time a Serbian Patriarch has served Divine Liturgy at the Lazarica after Patriarch German, bringing joy and blessings to the Serbian faithful. His Holiness expressed his gratitude for the invitation and his great joy to be among our people in this holy place. A monument was consecrated in remembrance of all the patrons and donors of the Lazarica and especially for Father Milenko Zebić, Sir Adrian Cadbury and Sir Alfred Owen, great friends, founders and donors of this Church. His Holiness also sanctified and blessed the land upon which construction will soon begin on a new Church House.
A short reception at the St Evgenija tower was followed by a table of hospitality lovingly prepared by the Circle of Serbian Sisters of the Lazarica Church. After lunch at the konak hall a program was prepared in honour of His Holiness’ visit where Ravna Gora Folklore Troupe from Birmingham-Leicester performed alongside pupils from the Lazarica Sunday school and Andjela and Zoran from Coventry. At the end of the program, the parish priest Proto Presbyter Nenad Popovic thanked His Holiness and all those who visited on behalf of the parish board while its president, Tarajan Petkovic, awarded the Owen family with a book on Kosovo’s Christian heritage.