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Bournemouth orthodox priest “forced” to find new place of worship
AN ORTHODOX priest has been forced to find a new place of worship for his congregation after a Bournemouth parish made it “impossible for them to stay”. Father John Ives delivered his last sermon to the pan-orthodox congregation at the worship chapel of resurrection at St Peter’s on Sunday.
He has hired out the space every Sunday for the last three years and said he had no option but to leave because St Peter’s is hiring out the chapel to more community projects.
Father Ives said: “We have been asked to take out all our iconography after each Sunday service, but they have not given us anywhere to store all the statues and we have no means of transporting it.
“We have tried to compromise, but it is inevitable that we have to move. They have made it impossible for us to stay.” St Peter’s Church Council voted unanimously in favour of renting the space out to several community groups, including Bournemouth University, Arts University Bournemouth and SACRE, the standing advisory council for religious education.
The Rev of St Peter’s Church, Dr Ian Terry said: “We have been falling over ourselves to try and help Father Ives and his congregation and we gave him several months notice about the change. “We said he could still use the chapel on Sundays, but we wanted the church to be more community centred, so we have invited other groups to use the space during the week. “We are also short of storage space, so we couldn’t offer any for their iconography during the week.”
St Edmund’s Campion in Bournemouth has offered to be the new home for Father Ives’ flock and the first service will be held on Sunday, November 3.
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