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Friday, 30 April 2010

The Church of the Resurrection, Pera, Istanbul is inaugurated

In a joyous celebration on Sunday 25 April, over 90 persons gathered for the inauguration of the Church of the Resurrection, Pera, in Istanbul. This church formed from the growing together of two Turkish speaking congregations, one already part of the diocese in Europe, and another coming from an independent protestant tradition. Following a period of several months of mutual discernment the Church of the Resurrection held their first Annual General Meeting on Sunday 18th April and a Church Council and churchwardens elected. The Revd Engin Yildirim, already a priest of this diocese, is now the priest-in-charge of the Church of the Resurrection, Pera.

Turkish-speaking Christians are a small minority in the country and many groups have tended to split apart from one another. The union of two congregations is therefore significant and marks a maturing in the life of the indigenous Turkish Church. The Anglican Church offers a place where Turkish Christians can find a home that is rooted in the tradition of the Unndivided Church while open to a genuine Turkish expression of Christianity.

As the service began the Churchwardens declared "We come from once distinct communities and now we recgonize and embrace our unity in Christ. As God's people we now gather as one Body, to worship him together". A corporate renewal of baptismal vows followed and a common confession of the faith of the Church. After the eucharist, Fr Engin dismissed the congregation, who held lit candles to signify their life in Christ who is the Light of the World, with these words: "One in heart and one in mind, and empowered by the Spirit, Go in peace to love and serve the Lord".

The Church of the Resurrection is fully part of the Church of England Diocese in Europe. Its worship is eucharistic according to the provisions of Common Worship, translated into Turkish. The music of the liturgy is developing and draws on the rich traditions from Armenia, Persia as well as Turkey itself.  There about 12 children in a Sunday School programme. The congregation embraces its Anglican vocation to ecumenism, and understands its role as a bridge church between the ancient Churches in Turkey, such as the Orthodox, Armenian and Syrian churches, and the new free evangelical congregations which have emerged recent years. The ecumenical guests at the liturgy included representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, the Finnish Lutheran Church, the Dutch Reformed Church and several Turkish protestant congregations in the city. The members also have a strong commitment to service to the wider community, particularly in outreach to refugees. Last Christmas, a lunch was held for over 80 refugees, and members teach English and other skills to the refugee community in Istanbul. 

The Anglican presence in Istanbul goes back over 400 years. Christ Church with St Helena's Istanbul, with its chaplain the Revd Canon Ian Sherwood, continues to serve the English-speaking community, and has itself an impressive ministry with refugees. There are other Anglican congregations in Turkey are in Ankara and Izmir.

We welcome the Church of the Resurrection, Pera into the family of our diocese, and rejoice with them in this milestone. We look forward to journeying with them and supporting them in the years ahead.

A note to members of the Archdeaconry of France: in the photo below you will see in use see the gift of the chalice, paten and ciborium which you gave as a gift to Fr Engin's congregation last year.

The website of this new parish is here.


  1. Personally,i really wish to see Anglican/Episcopal houses of God in Marmaris,Bodrum and Didim where many expatriates are permanently residing and tourists visiting all year round. Especially in Marmaris,we need a church..

  2. Sevgili Kardesim Engin,
    Seninle seviniyoruz! Gercekten RAB seni ve Dirilis Kilisesi cok bereketlesin! Tebrik ediyoruz seni ve sevgili esin Mine!
    Sevgi ve saygilarimizla,
    Roger ile Yvonne

  3. as a frequent visitor to Istanbul and to this church in particular, this is very encouraging to see!

  4. Thomas
    There are plans underway for the development of work in Didim and Bodrum

  5. Thank you for your prompt answer Bishop Hamid.
    I have been living in Marmaris for almost 3 years.There was used to be a non-denominational evangelical church named 'Marmaris Christian Fellowship' but it no longer exists due to some reasons (the American pastor moved to Fethiye).

    Marmaris is a very popular touristic destination among the British travelers and there are some permanent residents too (Brits,Germans,Dutch people)We have a seperate Christian cemetery but unfortunately without a chapel.

    I am in touch with Rev. Ronald Evans from Izmir in case we need a pastor to officiate weddings and burials.

    This ruling government is somehow christian-friendly compared to others and i am optimistic about having a permanent priest and a chapel in Marmaris.

  6. I visited Marmaris for a number of years and attended a small Christian Fellowship gathering, which was held in a premises rented from a Turkish gentleman. Most of the congregants were expats together with tourists like myself. I do recall, however, a Turkish couple who drove a considerable distance from their home, which was somewhere inland.

    When I went to Marmaris in 2009 I was sad to find that the Fellowship had closed down and the Pastor had gone back to the US.

    I am sure that there are enough expat Christians to revitalise the Church in Marmaris.

    For my part I would love to be involved and initially would be prepared to do some fundraising here in the UK. Are there any expats who will pick up this baton for Christ.

  7. I am visiting my niece in Marmaris over Easter week this year (2012) is there anywhere nearby where I can attend a service. I am Anglo-Catholic in practice but would love to attend any Christian observance of Holy Week.

  8. Jo'Anne, you should check the directory at The nearest parish is St John's Izmir, but that is not very close.

  9. Dear Bishop Could you tell me if there is an Anglican Community in Georgia(Europe)İ found an address on the official web site of the church of England!İt is said that Anglican community comes for gathering in St.Peter,s German Lutheran church!The local Lutheran bishop informed me that there is only one Evangelical-Lutheran church in Tbilisi.(Reconsilation church)and not St.Peter,s!İ guess that site misled us!İ am from Georgia.İ will look forawrd to your answer!Thank you

  10. Dear Andria
    I am afraid there are no regular Church of England services in Georgia. There is, I believe, a service in English (but not Anglican) offered by the Georgian Baptist Church, but I have no more details.