The solemn consecration of the new church of the Holy Hierarch Cyril, bishop of Turaŭ and All the Patron Saints of the Belarusian People took place today, 17 December, in Woodside Park, north London.
This building is the first purpose-built Belarusian Catholic church in the world outside Belarus and the first all-wooden church in the city since the Great Fire of London.
Consecrated on the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986, the church is also dedicated to the memory of the victims and survivors of that event.
The ceremony was followed by a talk on Chernobyl relief activities of the Belarusian Catholic Mission and her rector, Fr Alexander Nadson by guest speaker Mrs Maria Mitskevich, a chairperson of the relief fund 'Sakavik', Minsk.
A reception was held at the Marian House following the talk.
Auxilliary Bishop John Sherrington, who took part in the service, said: "It was a great joy to concelebrate at the Consecration of the Altar and new Belarusian Church. The consecration of the altar, symbol of Christ, included washing, lathering, and pouring of wine and drying before the anointing with Chrism. We remembered the preparation of Christ's body for burial before he rose in glory. This rich Divine Liturgy thanked God for this new Church which gives hope to the Catholics of Belarus. The celebration and welcome was a very rich reminder of the gifts of the Eastern Catholic Churches."
The Belarusian Catholic Mission of the Byzantine-Slavonic Rite in England was established in 1947.
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