Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawad­ros II arrived in Britain for his first pastoral visit last Friday.

He visited Coptic parishes across the country, officiated at liturgical services and perf­ormed several consecrations.

Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, accompanied Pope Tawadros throughout his stay.

Speaking ahead of his visit, the Coptic leader said: “This is a historic visit, not only of the 118th Pope of Alexandria to the United Kingdom, but more personally for His Holiness Pope Tawadros, as his first engagement with his flock across Brit­ain. For Coptic Christians here, it will be an opportunity to spend time with the head of their Church, and their spiritual father. This has been a difficult year for Christians in Egypt with recent and ongoing attacks, and thus the visit will also be an opportunity for their brothers and sisters to hear directly from His Holiness about the situation there, and how they can provide greater support for them.”

Pope Tawadros’s visit came days after his historic meeting with Pope Francis in Egypt, at which the two leaders signed an agreement to recognise the sacrament of baptism performed in each other’s churches. Previously, the Coptic Orthodox Church had required those joining from the Catholic Church to be re-baptised.

Coptic Christians represent 80 per cent of Christians in the Middle East.

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