Fr Christodoulos Fyles
Fr Dionysios Higgs
FATHER CHRISTODOULOS FYLES
Fr Christodoulos, or Daniel as he was then, worked steadily with a few others in establishing a community of Orthodox believers in Central Lancashire. These early beginnings were occasional services in a borrowed church in Wigan in November 1988. He was received into the Orthodox Church at Chester in 1989 during Pascha.
He was ordained as a Sub-Deacon to serve the community in 1994 and subsequently as Deacon in March 1996. As the community was growing it became obvious that it needed its own priest in order to provide more local services and to ensure further growth. Consequently Deacon Daniel was priested by Archbishop Gregorios in January 1998 and became Fr Christodoulos.
Despite a period of illness Fr Christodoulos worked to serve Orthodox believers and others interested in Orthodoxy and saw gradual growth in the community. It became obvious the community needed a church of its own and, after a few false starts, Fr Christodoulos was delighted to see this come to fruition in July 2007 when we were able to buy a disused Methodist Church in Leyland. Along with Gregory, our chairman, and a few others he threw himself into the refurbishment and transformation of the building for Orthodox worship. Work gradually continues and in October 2010 Fr Christodoulos welcomed Archbishop Gregorios who consecrated the building as an Orthodox Church.
Father Christodoulos retired as Priest in Charge in 2014 but is still very active in the church. When not in church Father can often be found happily working at his favourite lathe producing beautiful wooden items or busy using his DIY skills doing repairs.
FATHER DIONYSIOS-JAMES HIGGS
Fr Dionysios is a convert to Orthodoxy from an evangelical Christian background. While studying Theology as an undergraduate he became interested in Orthodox Christian theology and read about it for five years before deciding to become Orthodox. At that point he moved from Kent to Shropshire so that he could join the English speaking Orthodox parish in Shrewsbury. He spent ten years living in Shropshire during which time he trained and worked as a mental health nurse and he married Rebecca in September 2008.
He was active in the Shrewsbury church and was ordained to serve them as a Sub-Deacon by Archbishop Gregorios in Birmingham in September 2009. He attended undergraduate theological studies at the Midlands Orthodox Study Centre. He then continued his studies part-time towards a Masters in Orthodox Christian theology which he did whilst working as a mental health nurse. After four years hard work he graduated in October 2013.
He was trained for the various offices around the Altar by Fr Stephen Maxfield in Shrewsbury, and then moved to Leyland in August 2011 to serve us here at Holy Apostles. He was ordained Deacon Dionysios in Leyland by Archbishop Gregorios when he consecrated the church in October 2010. He was priested by Archbishop Gregorios in Leyland in July 2012. He now works part-time for the church in a paid capacity and part-time in local nursing homes.
After a period as assistant priest for the parish in Leyland, he took over as Priest in Charge when Fr Christodoulos retired from the position. Outside of Holy Apostles both Fr Dionysios and his wife “Bec” (Rebecca) also serve on the national committee for the Fellowship of St John the Baptist, organising conferences and study weekends. Fr Dionysios is also one of the priests who assists with the annual youth camp for the Greek Archdiocese in Shropshire.