Diocese of the Northeast Welcome to the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd Map to the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd Anglican Church in America
Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd

Late last summer, Aare Ilves, a resident of Charlestown, New Hampshire, paid a visit to the home land of his parents in Estonia. On his trip Mr. Ilves met with Metropolitan Stephanos of the Estonian Apostolic-Orthodox Church who gave him a message and gift to bring back to the rector of the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd. These were presented to Bishop Brian Marsh in a brief ceremony at the end of Sunday services several weeks ago.

The parents of Mr. Ilves immigrated to the United States from Estonia in the mid- 1950s. In pursuing the geneology of his family, he made several trips to Europe over the past decade during which he located his grandmother’s grave, the Estonian Orthodox Church that she attended, and the priest who conducted her funeral 36 years ago.

This past summer, he made the trip with a letter of introduction and greetings to officials of the Estonian Orthodox Church from the Rt. Rev. Brian Marsh, Bishop of the Diocese of the Northeast of the Anglican Church in America. Bp. Marsh is also rector of the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd in Charlestown where Mr. Ilves is a parishioner and lay reader.

Mr. Ilves presented his letter to the Office of the Estonian Apostolic-Orthodox Church in Tallinn and was soon warmly welcomed by His Eminence, the Most Blessed Stephanos, Metropolitan of Tallinn and All Estonia. The Orthodox Church of Estonia was granted autonomy in 1923 by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. During the Second World War, the Metropolitan at that time escaped to Sweden, and the Soviets put the Church under the control of Moscow. The autonomy of the Estonian Orthodox Church was restored in 1994.

Metropolitan Stephanos gave Mr. Ilves a book on the history of the Estonian Church and asked him to convey his fraternal greetings to Bishop Marsh. This was done in a brief ceremony at the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd after Holy Eucharist on Sunday, October 18. Bishop Marsh expressed his delight in receiving this token of affection from Metropolitan Stephanos. “It is not often that a layman gets to play such a direct role in improving ecumenical relations between distant parts of the Catholic Church”, said Marsh. “We are very gratified that Aare had the opportunity to convey our greetings directly to Metropolitan Stephanos and that he was so graciously received.”

The Anglican Church in America is part of the worldwide Traditional Anglican Communion, with members in 44 countries, which seeks to uphold the Catholic Faith, Apostolic Order, Orthodox Worship and Evangelical Witness of the Anglican tradition within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. The Communion holds Holy Scripture and the ancient Creeds of the Undivided Church as authentic and authoritative, and worships according to the traditional formularies of the Church.

Aare Ilves presents the gift of a book from Metropolitan Stephanoes of Estonia to Bishop Brian R. Marsh, of the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd, Charlestown.

Aare Ilves presents the gift of a book from Metropolitan Stephanoes of Estonia to Bishop Brian R. Marsh, of the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd, Charlestown.