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Belarusian Church Consecrated

Sunday 17 December 2016 saw the consecration of the church of the Holy Hierarch Cyril, Bishop of Turaŭ and All the Patron Saints of the Belarusian People. The church was consecrated on the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986 and is dedicated to the victims and survivors of that tragedy.

Present at the consecration were Archbishop Antonio Mennini, Apostolic Nuncio, Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, Bishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic eparchy of the Holy Family in London, Sergey Nuts, Apostolic Visitor for Greek Catholics in Belarus, and Bishop John Sherrington.

The church is the only purpose-built Belarusian Catholic church outside Belarus and also the first all-wooden church in the city since the Great Fire of London in 1666. The cornerstone of the church, brought from the Holy Trinity Church in Druya, was laid during a ceremony presided by Archbishop Mennini and Bishop Lonchyna on 7 February 2016.

Bishop John Sherrington, said: ‘It was a great joy to concelebrate at the consecration of the new Belarusian Church and its altar. 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 Belarusian Catholics in the UK. The celebration and welcome was a very rich reminder of the gifts of the Eastern Catholic Churches.’

The consecration was followed by a talk by Maria Mitskevich, from the relief fund Sakavik, on Chernobyl relief activities of the Belarusian Catholic Mission.

The Belarusian Catholic Mission in London was founded in 1947, with the approval of Cardinal Bernard Griffin, then Archbishop of Westminster. It is part of the Belarusian Greek Catholic Church.