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Orthodox Participation in the March for Life

On Saturday 5th May 2018 (n.s.), the annual March for Life (UK) will be held — for the first time outside the Palace of Westminster in London. The March for Life is the largest pro-life event in the United Kingdom and aims to gather people from across the UK to bear witness to the inherent sanctity and dignity of life from conception until its natural end. In the United States, a significant number of Orthodox Christians participate in the annual March for Life, with clergy and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia as well as Orthodox Christians from other Local Churches regularly taking part. This year, with the blessing of his Grace Bishop Irenei, the Orthodox faithful of these lands are invited to take part in the March for Life, as well as attend a special programme of Divine Services, in order to ensure that there is a clear spiritual focus and foundation for the day's activities.

The day will begin at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Mother of God in Harvard Road, where the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by His Grace Bishop Irenei in honour of St Vitalis of Gaza (+625). St Vitalis, whose name literally means 'Life', is a highly appropriate saint to be associated with this day, as he dedicated his life to ministering to vulnerable women and meekly turning them away from lives of sin, vice and prostitution. Vladyka will bless all those taking part on the march and pray for their safe journey and return. Participants will then travel on the underground together to the Sourozh Cathedral at Ennismore Gardens and there attend a short moleben to be celebrated by Archpriest Joseph Skinner. Participants will then travel onward to Westminster to attend the march and listen to speeches by eminent speakers. After travelling back via Gunnersbury Station, the day will end with the Vigil Service for St George the Wonderworker — who is also the Heavenly Patron of England — at the Cathedral in Harvard Road.

For more information please contact Subdeacon Mark Tattum-Smith (tattumsmith@gmail.com or 01502 716914). Those wishing to participate are advised to take a packed lunch and wear comfortable shoes, and have appropriate clothing in case the weather is unkind.

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