The parish “Saint Makarios the Great” in Northern England is under the jurisdiction of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolis of Western and Southern Europe based in Paris. Chronologically speaking, we are the second Romanian parish to be founded in Britain. The area covered by the parish includes the English counties of Yorkshire and Greater Manchester. In 2004 there were only a few families from cities in Northern England: Leeds, Manchester, Bradford, Sheffield, Hull, York, Durham, Preston, as well as other smaller towns. Later, the parish grew: we purchased our own place of worship and increasingly greaternumbers of Romanians frequent the church. Thus on Sundays 80 to 100 people regularly take part in the services. On Christmas or on the church’s feast day, the numbers are greater, and on Easter more and more believers participate so that in 2016 there were over 800 people.
Our host was parished for six years by the Anglican Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield, a town approximately 15 miles south of Leeds.
The first concrete measures for the foundation of the parish were taken on 20 June 2004, when on the initiative of Fr Hieromonk Macarie Drăgoi(currently Bishop of the Orthodox Romanians in Northern Europe), the Constitutional Assembly of the future Romanian Orthodox Parish handed His Eminence Metropolitan Iosif, head of the Metropolis of Western and Southern Europe, the document necessary for the establishment. Through the Grammata (Constitutions) no. 265 dated 18 August 2004, His Eminence gave his hierarchical blessing for the establishment of the Romanian Orthodox Parish ‘St. Makarios the Great’.
Fr Hieromonk Macarie DrăgoiHieromonk Father Macarie was the first pastor of the parish from 2004 to his return home in the spring of 2005. Pastoral cover during thetwo-month interim to the ordination to priesthood of Father Constantin Popescu was ensured by Fr Dumitru Catarig and Archimandrite Fr Emilian Nica (presently the Auxiliary Bishop of Ramnic Archdiocese), who was at that time studying in Britain.
Father Constantin Popescu was ordinated on the holy night of our Lord’s Resurrection in 2005 and served the community with great love and devotion untilSeptember 2013, the year when the church was consecrated.
Fr Hieromonk Serafim Aldea pastored the community fromSeptember 2013 to January 2014.
His Eminence Ignatie Mureșanul, Bishop-Vicar of the Bishopric of Spain and Portugal took over the pastoring of the parishfor a year and a half (January 2014 –June 2015).
By the assignment of His Eminence Metropolitan Iosif, on 14 December 2014, His Eminence Ignatie consecrates as priest in the church of St. Makarios the Great, the young theologian Ciprian Petru Nedelcu, who became the present pastor of the community starting with July 2015.