St Mary’s is unique. We are the only Anglican presence in Serbia. Our worship life centres around weekly celebration of the Holy Eucharist (also known as the Lord’s Supper, Mass and Communion). However, as a community we endeavour to love God and our neighbours every day – not just Sunday.
People like you. Our congregation is made up of locals and other Europeans, Africans and Americans, Asians and Australians. Some are born-and-bred Anglicans, but many of us come to St Mary’s from other Christian denominations. Students, aid workers, diplomats, children, journalists, mothers, footballers, executives, pensioners and teachers all find their worship home with us. Our members speak English as a first, second or even third language.
We are part of the Anglican Communion, which has 70 million members worldwide. The Anglican Communion is made up of 38 provinces overseen by the Archbishop of Canterbury, two of which comprise our church, the Church of England. The Church of England in turn consists of 44 dioceses, ours being the Diocese in Europe. This huge diocese hosts seven archdeaconries, including ours, the Eastern Archdeaconry. Finally, our archdeaconry has about two dozen congregations, of which one is St Mary’s Belgrade!
You can expect a warm welcome, sincere worship and a good cup of coffee with new English-speaking
friends. Please join us!
Serbia, one of the countries of the former Yugoslavia, is located in south-eastern Europe. The main faith here is Serbian Orthodox Christianity, and Serbian is the dominant language spoken. Belgrade, the ‘white city’, with its 1.5 million inhabitants, is known for its bustling urban café culture.Along with all other churches of the West, St Mary's goes by the Gregorian calendar introduced in 1582. Our fellow Christians in the Orthodox Church go by the older Julian calendar introduced in 45 BC, as still preferred throughout the East. This means major holidays frequently fall on different days for Western and Eastern Christians. For example, while St Mary's celebrates Christ's birth on the date we call December 25, our Orthodox brothers and sisters celebrate it 13 days later on January 7, their "December 25"!
Who is Jesus Christ?
Christians in our world have grown accustomed to living in a divided Church – so much so that many Christians who endeavour to live honest, faithful lives never even notice that the Church worldwide is fractured by disputes in theology, tradition, nationality, race, and much else.
These days, we are baptised into a broken Church, a broken Body of Christ. Yet we should always be full of hope. Christ is risen! And with his resurrection we are called to new life. This broken body will be redeemed, as surely as our Lord’s.
This is Jesus Christ, as he is known to both Anglicans and Orthodox Christians – the carpenter from Nazareth, the itinerant preacher, the Son of God and Son of Man who, sacrificed on a cross, died and was buried. He rose again and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
When we proclaim our shared faith in the Lord, he heals his divided Church.
The people of St Mary’s are privileged to proclaim their faith within the Anglican tradition – part of the “Western” church – while living in Serbia, home to the Serbian Orthodox Church – which is part of the “Eastern” church.
In this way, we are blessed to be witnesses of God’s work in the healing of his Church, through fellowship with our Serbian Orthodox brothers and sisters. We uphold each other in prayer, desiring the day when Church unity will be restored and made visible to us all, to the glory of our Lord.
Our experience of fellowship between Anglican and Orthodox Christians is made possible by the hospitality of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarch. One especially beautiful sign of the Patriarch’s hospitality has been his tradition of inviting us to celebrate Christmas Eve in the patriarchal chapel.
Bringing Anglicans and Serbian Orthodox Christians closer together is an important part of our chaplain’s mission. He is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s official representative, or Apokrisarios, to the Serbian Orthodox Church.
This means working to maintain good relations between our Churches, and seeking to promote greater understanding and unity. In this, the chaplain works closely with the Patriarch’s Secretary for External Church Relations.Want to lear more? The Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius is an Oxford-based fellowship aiming “to bridge the separation between the divided Christians of the "East and West”