borders rotated




'Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit'

St Matthew 28: 19

Charity No. 282910

the church 2 Twitter circle black small Facebook circle black small


Welcome to the news page


Here you can comment on any article written. Give it a try!

By St Mary of Zion, Sep 13 2015 10:29PM

By His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church

in the United Kingdom

As we approach the UK Parliament debate on the proposed ‘assisted dying bill’, we must ensure that this discussion is conducted within the context of a clear understanding of the sanctity of life and the inevitability of death. At the outset, the selective use of the term ‘assisted dying’ over ‘assisted suicide’ shifts the focus from the fact that this act will essentially legitimise and facilitate the premature taking of one’s own life.

An open letter addressed to parliamentarians regarding the ‘assisted dying’ bill was published in the Guardian on 5 September 2015, signed by various Faith leaders, of which I was one. This letter which opposed the bill outlined the following key concerns:

· “If passed, it will directly affect not only those who are terminally ill and who wish to end their lives, but also their families and friends and the health professionals who care for them”

· “It also has the potential to have a significant impact on other vulnerable individuals: those who believe that they have become burdens to family and carers and feel under pressure within themselves to 'do the decent thing' and, tragically, those who might be pressured by others to seek a medically-assisted death”

· "In the UK some 500,000 elderly people are abused each year, most by family members, often for financial reasons. Many of these would also be vulnerable to pressure to end their lives prematurely”

· “For many, a change in the law would result, not in great comfort, but in an added burden to consider ending their lives prematurely; a burden they ought not be asked to bear”

We have an age-old duty of care, especially to those closest to us, and this proposed change could in certain situations deprive us of giving that care to those who may consider themselves purely as a burden, and thus seek the premature ending of their own lives.

It is encouraging that the vast majority of doctors and healthcare professionals entrusted with front-line care for terminal patients see their role as being either to provide treatment or the appropriate palliative care, according to their medical judgement, but not as actively encouraging or taking part in ending life.

In not knowing when life will end, we continue to live that life to its fullest and impact the world around us, even at an advanced age or when experiencing the greatest illness. If we are now placed in a position to decide when life can or should indeed end, whether it be ours or others, this could significantly affect how we live our life, and would create a constant dilemma for many as to when the ‘right time’ to end it would be.

One unsettling element of the proposed bill is that it qualifies a person for assisted suicide if he or she is “reasonably expected to die within six months” leaving no room for the uncertainty which we know to still be part of our medical science even today. My own pastoral experience has brought me to minister to many diagnosed with terminal illness who have lived far beyond their prescribed life-expectancy. One brother bishop in particular who was told that he had 6 months to live 7 years ago continues to effectively shepherd his flock until today.

At a time when we see tens of thousands of people coming to our shores, fleeing death and seeking a better chance of life, this bill essentially seeks to advocate for those within those same shores to end their lives; a stark contrast indeed. Rather than looking at ways to legitimately end life, our focus should be on how to allow people to live and safeguard it as a precious gift.

Regardless of the outcome of this debate, it must be acknowledged that being in a place where death seems preferable to life, whether our own or others, is one of immense pain, and so we pray comfort for those suffering that pain, those seeing loved ones suffering before them, and for the wide variety of healthcare and support professionals who deal with them at various stages of their journey.


View this statement online via

For more information please contact:

Angela Mikhail

Media and Communications Officer

The Coptic Orthodox Church UK

Tel: +44 (0)20 71937076

Statement on the government proposal to legalise assisted suicide

By St Mary of Zion, Aug 28 2014 11:44AM

Statement by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, on the anniversary of the unprecedented attacks on Churches in Egypt, and the current situation in Iraq, Syria and the Middle East

As we witness the atrocities in Iraq and Syria, and share the pain of those who are displaced and have lost loved ones, we also remember those commemorating the first anniversary of painful events that unfolded in Egypt over the coming days. Whether considering communities and families who lost loved ones in the pro-Morsi protests in the suburbs of Cairo, or the scores of Christian communities whose churches and places of ministry throughout Egypt were subsequently attacked, the continuing need for healing and reconciliation is ever present.

These events in Egypt are now an all-too-distant memory for many around the world, but for those personally touched by them, there remains real pain. For most, this pain is accompanied by a sense of immense loss, while for some who take a more radical line, by anger and a need for violent retribution. This need drove a small minority, a year ago, to retaliate against the scapegoated Christian community of Egypt that chose the extraordinary path of non-retaliation despite the unjustified and unprecedented level of attacks. Their restraint was, and continues to be, a powerful witness that has provided a strong foundation for peace and reconciliation.

Whether addressing Egypt, Iraq, Syria, or the broader Middle East, peace, stability, cohesion and reconciliation are traits of unified and unifying states, and can not come about without the support of a proactive and intentional effort from those who govern them.

With the atrocities we are witnessing at the forefront of our minds, we continue to advocate for those, regardless of race, religion or belief, who are suffering, and pray God’s grace and strength upon them as they currently endure immense challenges and persecution, and endeavour to move ahead from a place of mourning and loss.

As the situation facing Christians and minority groups in the Middle East increasingly spirals to new and dangerous levels of exclusion and dehumanisation, the need is intensified for both the unified Body of Christ within the Christian family, and the global community as a whole, to stand in solidarity with those suffering, condemn acts of brutality, and provide whatever assistance may be needed, while at the same time, explore every possible means of healing, rebuilding and restoring of communities and lives.

We continue to hold those suffering great struggles, indignity and the loss of precious human life in our prayers, that grace, healing and strength be bestowed upon them all at this time. We also pray for those committing these atrocities, that they will one day realise the sanctity and dignity granted equally by God to every human life.

Coptic Orthodox Church UK

Media and Communications Office

RSS Feed

Why not comment

Pope Tawadros II Catholicos Karekin II 1b72283998

Orthodox News

Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II download