Robert E Lee Won’t Orthodox … St Elvis?

Robert E Lee Won’t Orthodox … St Elvis? January 25, 2005

I understand there’s Saints that were named Elvis? True, but just joshing …

Welsh saints to adorn Orthodox church

Jan 24 2005, Rhodri Clark, Western Mail

A CHURCH in North Wales could be decorated with frescoes of hundreds of Welsh saints to cement its links with ancient Celtic Christianity.

The long list of Welsh saints includes each one commemorated in a place name starting with “Llan”, as well as St Patrick and others remembered mainly for their work outside Wales.

Father Deiniol, who founded the Wales Orthodox Mission more than 20 years ago, said there were so many saints that there would not be enough room in his Blaenau Ffestiniog church for each one.

“We could include one from every part of Wales,” said Fr Deiniol, known locally as Y Tad Deiniol.

A religious artist in Colwyn Bay has expressed interest in the job, but would first have to learn how to paint icons in the traditional Orthodox style.

Fr Deiniol has decided against building an onion tower – a powerful symbol of Orthodox churches in Russia and elsewhere – on his former Anglican church in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

“We thought about that once but we asked, ‘What would that be saying?’ It’s very foreign. We’re not Russians or Greeks, we’re Welsh. The onion tower is not part of our tradition.”

He is chaplain in Bangor and Aberystwyth, where some of the university students are from Greece, Russia and other countries with a predominantly orthodox faith. Services at his church in Blaenau Ffestiniog can attract up to 300 people at key festivals in the calendar such as Easter.

The history of Fr Deiniol’s mission will be retold in an hour-long documentary on S4C on Tuesday, February 1.

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