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St Winefride Appeal

Appeal in Russian [pdf]

Since the humble beginnings of our parish, with only four or five of us gathered for prayer, through God's mercy our numbers have increased to the point that our current chapel - within our priest's home - which has served us so well over the years, is no longer large enough for us, especially at such times as Nativity and Pascha. This Pascha we had 37 communicants, not counting others present. In light of this, we began last year to think about taking the momentous leap into acquiring a building of our own.

Shortly after our parish pilgrimage to the shrine of St Winefride in February, 2007, we discovered the redundant Anglican church of St Winefride, not very far from where we currently meet for worship. This church served the Welsh-speaking Anglican community in Birkenhead for over a century and, in terms of size, location, and prominence, it would be ideal for us. There would be a visible witness to the Orthodox Faith in Birkenhead and a more stable and comely home for the Orthodox and prospective Orthodox faithful to meet to worship God. The church is known and loved by the local people and The Anglican Diocese of Chester is keen for it to continue to be used for Christian worship. Convinced of St Winefride's prayers for us and for the restoration of the Holy Orthodox Faith in these islands, and with the blessing our Archbishop Mark, we have begun negotiations for the acquisition of this beautiful building.

However, this will cost money. The cost of acquisition alone will be in the region of £100, 000. This does not even touch on the amount of money that will be needed to put right many of the things that have decayed with age and, especially in more recent years when the building has stood unused. From a recent survey on the property by the Diocese, the building needs to be completely rewired, the roof tiling needs to be repaired, and pointing to the brickwork will need attention. The rising damp also needs to be corrected: generally, the building needs work and it will not come easily. If this is to be used for the offering of worship to the All-Holy Trinity and to serve as a centre for Orthodox mission in our little part of God's vineyard, then this will all need to be put right. Overall, including purchase, we are looking at an initial cost of approximately £200, 000.

We need your help

St Winefride's is not currently being used and its upkeep is costing the Chester Diocese money. Our Anglican friends have been very generous in opening this up to us but we cannot reasonably expect this situation to last for ever. At present, we only have up until the end of February. They will need to release this to a more open market if we do not move soon, which may result in the demolition of this beautiful historic building. We need to act now.

This is where you fit in. We need your prayers most of all. Ask the prayers of St Winfride and St Elisabeth. Please give what you can to help the furtherance of the historic Christianity of this land in this part of the country. Please offer that sacrifice so that future generations may come to know Christ through our witness.

We have informed the Chester Diocese of our interest and have been advised to have a portfolio ready for them which provides evidence of local Church support for us and evidence of pledges of money being made available in order to secure the purchase of the building. We have already obtained support verbally from local churches, including the Anglican Bishop of Birkenhead, and now we are seeking to secure pledges of money to place within the portfolio. The church building, once purchased, will be owned by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

This is where we would like your help.
Please visit our website at the address below for details of how to donate.
Please pray and see whether or not you feel able to support us in this purchase.
If you feel unable to support our parish financially at this point would you please support us by praying fully? We would value this enormously.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any clarification or would like to help in any way.

Thank you for your support and prayers.

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