Saturday 6th October 2018
The annual Pan-Orthodox Pilgrimage to the Shrine and Holy Well of St. Winifride is held on the first Saturday in October, with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain.
The Shrine is well signposted from the A55 trunk road; and it is recommended that pilgrims use this road, leaving it by the A5026, which leads directly into the centre of Holywell. Then, pilgrims should follow the brown signs for the Shrine, which is situated on the B121.
The nearest Railway Station is Flint, from where there is a bus service onwards to Holywell.
Saint Winifride was a nun in the seventh century, famed for her sanctity of life. The Holy Well near which she lived has been a place of pilgrimage ever since and the scene of many miracles of healing. Holywell is also the only place of Pilgrimage in Britain where Christian pilgrimage has continued uninterrupted for nearly 1400 years.
We were pleased to welcome Fr John Garnett from the GREEK ORTHODOX COMMUNITY OF THE HOLY ANARGYRI, COSMAS AND DAMIAN, IPSWICH on Sunday, connecting two orthodox communities spanning Britain from east to west!
When Thou, the Deathless Life, didst go down to death, then didst Thou slay hell by the lightning flash of Thy Divinity. And when Thou didst raise the dead from the lower world, all the Powers of Heaven cried aloud: Christ our God, Giver of Life, glory to Thee.
Noble Joseph took Thy immaculate Body down from the Tree, wrapped It in a clean shroud and spices, and having embalmed It laid It in a new sepulchre. But on the third day Thou didst rise, O Lord, granting to the world great mercy.
To the myrrbearing women at the sepulchre an Angel appeared and cried: Myrrh is fit for the dead, but Christ has shown Himself a Stranger to corruption. So cry: The Lord has risen, granting to the world great mercy.
Thou didst command the Myrrbearers to rejoice, O Christ our God, Thou didst dry the tears of our first mother Eve by Thy Resurrection, and Thou didst command the Apostles to preach: The Saviour has risen from the tomb.
If any be a devout lover of God,
let him partake with gladness from this fair and radiant feast.
If any be a faithful servant,
let him enter rejoicing into the joy of his Lord.
If any have wearied himself with fasting,
let him now enjoy his reward.
If any have laboured from the first hour,
let him receive today his rightful due.
If any have come after the third,
let him celebrate the feast with thankfulness.
If any have come after the sixth,
let him not be in doubt, for he will suffer no loss.
If any have delayed until the ninth,
let him not hesitate but draw near.
If any have arrived only at the eleventh,
let him not be afraid because he comes so late.
For the Master is generous and accepts the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him who comes at the eleventh hour
in the same was as him who has laboured from the first.
He accepts the deed, and commends the intention.
Enter then, all of you, into the joy of our Lord.
First and last, receive alike your reward.
Rich and poor, dance together.
You who fasted and you who have not fasted, rejoice together.
The table is fully laden: let all enjoy it.
The calf is fatted: let none go away hungry.
Let none lament his poverty;
for the universal Kingdom is revealed.
Let none bewail his transgressions;
for the light of forgiveness has risen from the tomb.
Let none fear death;
for death of the Saviour has set us free.
He has destroyed death by undergoing death.
He has despoiled hell by descending into hell.
He vexed it even as it tasted of His flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he cried:
Hell was filled with bitterness when it met Thee face to face below;
filled with bitterness, for it was brought to nothing;
filled with bitterness, for it was mocked;
filled with bitterness, for it was overthrown;
filled with bitterness, for it was put in chains.
Hell received a body, and encountered God. It received earth, and confronted heaven.
O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
Christ is risen! And you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is risen! And the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is risen! And the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen! And life is liberated!
Christ is risen! And the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be Glory and Power, now and forever, and from all ages to all ages.
A very moving Service of the 12 Gospels on Holy Thursday evening.