Diocese of London

Coptic Orthodox Church in United Kingdom

The Coptic Orthodox Church was founded in the first Century in Egypt by Saint Mark the Apostle, and has had a presence and following in Egypt since. Today, the Coptic Orthodox Church represents 15% of the Egyptian population with approximately thirteen million faithful, and approximately 80% of Christians in the Middle East. The Coptic Orthodox Church has also experienced rapid growth of its expatriate community over the past 40 years in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, Australasia and the Arab Gulf, with approximately 10% of Coptic Christians now outside Egypt.

In the United Kingdom, the presence of the Church dates back to 10 August 1954 when it commenced its pastoral  and liturgical ministry in London. In February 1969, a historic Liturgy was celebrated in London by the then Bishop Shenouda, the late Pope Shenouda III of blessed memory, who encouraged the faithful to hold regular services, which subsequently led to the hiring of St Andrew’s church in Holborn. Copts would gather from across the United Kingdom to pray there until 1978 when, returning to London as Pope Shenouda III, His Holiness consecrated St Mark church in Kensington as the first Coptic Orthodox parish in Europe.

Since then, the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland has become an active member of its respective local, regional and national communities, serving in a variety of ways across the four nations, equipping its faithful to be positively contributing  and active members in their local settings. At the core of its pastoral care is a focus on Christian education at every level and an active youth ministry. The Coptic Orthodox Church also serves on a wider level through engaging in a variety of benevolent and advocacy related work.

The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland now has approximately 20,000 faithful across 32 parishes, with the number of these parishes constantly increasing. These have thus far been served by three dioceses: the diocese of Birmingham, the Midlands and its affiliated regions, served by HG Bishop Missael, the Diocese of Scotland, Ireland and North East England, served by HG Bishop Antony, and the Papal Diocese covering London, the South of England and South Wales, in which Archbishop Angaelos has served as His Holiness the Pope’s delegate since 1999.

His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church have now seen it fit to embark on a new stage of the ministry of the Church in Britain by establishing the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London, upon which we pray God’s blessing, guidance, inspiration and protection as it commences its ministry.

The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London

Diocesan Crest