Service marks new Coptic year

A special service has taken place in Westminster this week to mark the Coptic Feast of Nayrouz and the new Coptic year.

The service at St Margaret's Church was attended by members of the House of Lords, the Speaker of the House of Commons, as well as church leaders, including the Reverend Canon Andrew Tremlett, rector of St Margaret's church.

A message from the Archbishop of Canterbury was read to the congregation by his personal secretary, Canon Jonathan Goodall.

The service was the first of its kind to be held by the Coptic community in the United Kingdom.

Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, spoke of the challenges facing Egypt and the Middle East, and the papal selection process taking place this week.

"At this significant time in the contemporary history of the Coptic Orthodox Church, we are prayerfully waiting for the announcement of the 118th Pope of Alexandria while at the same time hopeful that God can use this opportunity of change in Egypt to provide a heart for all where the rights, liberties, entitlements, and responsibilities of every person are considered equally before society and the law," he said.