Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Midlands and Affiliated Areas U.K.
The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Midlands, U.K. is under the care of Bishop Missael.
Background and Foundation
In 1991 the first Coptic Orthodox Diocese to be established in the United Kingdom and all the diaspora was the Diocese of the Midlands, U.K. (Although at the time known as the Diocese of Birmingham). Pope Shenouda III appointed Bishop Missael (who was at the time a General Bishop) to oversee this Diocese, which he has continued to do to this day.
The Diocese is headquartered at St. Mary & St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Centre in Birmingham where the bishop also resides.
The seal of the Diocese depicts a crucifix and fish based on the ancient 4th-5th century limestone Coptic engraving currently situated in the Louvre Museum, France.
Regions in the United Kingdom that fall under the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Midlands, U.K. are as follows:
- West Midlands
- Greater Manchester
- North Wales
Before becoming Bishop of the Diocese, Bishop Missael established St. Mary & St. Antony's Coptic Church in 1985, and the Coptic Orthodox Centre in Birmingham in 1989. These later formed part of the early Diocese.
The Diocese was the first Diocese under the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate to be established in all the lands of immigration (including Europe, America, Australia). Following its establishment by Pope Shenouda III, the British Orthodox Church and the Diocese of Ireland, Scotland and North East England and its Affiliated Areas were formed in 1992 and 1995 respectively. Hence Bishop Missael became the first Coptic Orthodox bishop to serve the United Kingdom.
As of 2013[update] the diocese has six resident priests:
Churches in the Diocese
The Diocese has a total of 11 Churches and rented buildings:
- St. Mary & St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Centre, Birmingham
- St. Mary & Archangel Michael's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (under construction), Birmingham
- St. Mary & St. Antony's Coptic Orthodox Church, Birmingham
- St. Mary & St. Mina's Coptic Orthodox Church, Manchester
- St. Mary & St. George's Coptic Orthodox Church, Nottingham
- St. Mary & St. Abaskhyron's Coptic Orthodox Church, Llandudno
- Rented Church in Stoke-on-trent
- Rented Church in Liverpool
- Rented Church in Leicester
- Rented Church in Oxford
- Rented Church in Northampton
- Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
- Coptic Orthodox Church in Europe
- Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom
- Bishop Missael