Every second Saturday of the month, Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ.
4pm Divine Liturgy. Next: 13th November 2021

Very sadly, the Divine Liturgy in English at 9-30 am on Sundays at the Holy Family Cathedral, Lower Church, have had to be put on hold. Until the practicalities we cannot use the Lower Church space. Hopefully this will be resolved very soon. Please keep checking in here for details.

Owing to public health guidance, masks should still be worn indoors and distance maintained. Sanitisers are available. Holy Communion is distributed in both kinds from the mixed and common chalice, by means of a separate Communion spoon for each individual communicant.

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Beginnings of the Ukrainian Catholic Presence in England

Fr John Salter, chairman, writes in Chrysostom, Advent-St Nicholas 2012:

When I was an assistant priest at the Anglican parish of St Alban‘s, Holborn, with St.Peter‘s, Saffron Hill, from time to time, on a Saturday evening, I would creep into a small church in Saffron Hill used by the Ukrainian Catholics for the Vigil service. I thought this must be the old church of St.Peter‘s, Saffron Hill, but that had been demolished. I am not sure who had previously owned the church used by the Ukrainians. From time to time on the book stalls laid out in nearby Farringdon Road, opposite the offices of the Communist Morning Star newspaper, books and pamphlets published by the Ukrainians would appear at a time when, I suppose, they were moving out of Holborn.
I discovered that the Ukrainians had established themselves in the very small church in 1948, at the same time that my father and grandfather were taking on Ukrainians and other Displaced Persons on their farm in Shropshire. From the age of ten or eleven I became very familiar with the Ukrainian community in the West Midlands, especially in Wolverhampton, where they worshipped at SS. Mary and John in Snow Hill, later moving to the Catholic Apostolic Church in the same town, which they dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They have now built a new church and club in the Whitmore Reans area of Wolverhampton. It was built in 1988 to commemorate the thousandth anniversary of the conversion of Rus'.

The church at 143 Saffron Hill, Holborn, London, was consecrated by the Ordinary in Western Europe, Bishop Iwan Buchko in 1948. The church was packed to capacity for the consecration, but there was an embarrassing scene, however, when London‘s Ukrainian Orthodox Archpriest, present at the celebratory dinner with his wife, said in his speech that he felt preceding Catholic speakers claimed all the glory for Ukrainian resistance against Communism and the Russian terror; he protested that his compatriots overlooked the part the Orthodox were playing in this. The Archpriest ended his speech by leaving the table and reaching for his coat. In the embarrassed silence that ensued, the 15 other Orthodox guests stayed in their places.

The chief guest, Bishop Iwan Buchko, then rose to his feet to give his address, and the Orthodox prelates politely stood at the door as he spoke. The Bishop who strove gallantly to master a natural emotion at such a day in the history of his exiled Church, began by emphasising the uniqueness of the occasion when, thanks to His Eminence Cardinal Griffin and the sympathy and friendliness of English CatholicsUkrainian Greek Catholics now, at last, had a place of worship of their own. He said that the event should surely encourage Catholics to intensify our charity towards all. His Excellency said:

We Ukrainian Catholics‖ are proud of our resistance to the common foe of our Fatherland, and we do not cast reflection on our compatriots divided from us in faith. We shall continue to collaborate with them, as we have ever done, in purely social matters, and in works of charity. I readily recognise that our Orthodox compatriots have likewise suffered at the hands of Communists.

This was greeted with loud applause both by Catholics and Orthodox, and was answered at once by the Orthodox Archpriest from the door of the dining room, who said that in view of the Bishop's explanation, and out of regard to His Excellency's distinguished position, he would resume his seat at table. Loud cheers greeted this remark from the 80 guests present.

Some years later the Ukrainians had outgrown this little church dedicated to St.Theodore of Canterbury, who gave the Ecclesia Anglicana her parochial system, and who himself was a Greek Catholic from Calabria in Southern Italy, and planned to build a new cathedral. Had it been built it would have been England‘s smallest cathedral. The site had not been decided, but it was thought it would be in the West End area of London. Announcing this, Fr. Maluga, C.SS.R., Vicar General for the Ukrainians, said that Cardinal Godfrey was encouraging him to proceed with the work quickly, so as to implement the wishes expressed by His Holiness Pope Pius XII, when he established the Exarchate. In style, the cathedral was to be a tiny Byzantine replica of the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Moscow Road, Bayswater. It was to be in brick and in the form of a Greek cross, surmounted by a dome, and the sanctuary would occupy the whole of one arm of the cross. It would have seated 300. It was estimated that £55,000 would be needed for the work.

The Ukrainians had under-estimated the growth of their community; and when the Congregationalists left the Kings Weighhouse Chapel in Duke Street, Mayfair, the Ukrainians moved in and transformed it very sensitively for the Byzantine Rite, eventually placing an iconastasis across the east end.

The Orthodox Ukrainians, who have good relations with their Catholic brethren, are established in Acton, West London.

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