Melkite Church

Melkite Archbishop Elias Chacour, Papal Nuncio Archbishop Antonio Franco
© Mazur/

The Melkite church is one of the earliest formed in Christendom. It has witnessed the entire history of Christianity in the Middle East. Palestinian Melkites can trace their history back to the earliest Christians in the 1st century AD. The Melkite Church is still mainly centered in the East with a few churches in America, Australia and the UK and elsewhere. The Melkite rites and liturgy are shared with the Greek Orthodox but conducted in Arabic with other languages used outside the Middle East. But whereas the Orthodox Church is independent, the Melkite Church moved into communion with Rome in 1729. Since then the Catholic Church has been composed of the Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic (Melkite) churches. While in union, they each maintain their own western and eastern liturgies and traditions.

In Israel the 80,000 Melkites form the largest Christian denomination in the country. There are an estimated 1.6 million Melkites worldwide.

The primary liturgy in the Melkite Church is that of St John Chrisostom (c. 347–407).  Read ‘The Divine and Holy Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople

Icon of St John Chrysostom

The UK Melkite community meet at

St. Barnabas Church
Pimlico Road

The church, which is shared with an Anglican congregation is located near Victoria Station. The lliturgy is in Arabic and English.
St Barnabas church Melkite Divine Liturgy is at 12 noon on Sunday.

Father Shafiq AbouZayd ( Parish Priest)


This century in the UK there is a growing interest in the eastern spirituality of the Melkite and other eastern churches where the ancient faith is perceived to be undiluted by the passage of time and modern influences. Some of this interest comes from the increasing popularity of icons, with many UK churches now appreciating their meaning and value and investing in one or two for their own congregations. The British Association of Iconographers has been prominent in promoting courses in icon study, icon painting and eastern spirituality.  Many of these are conducted at Turvey Abbey in Bedfordshire.

For further information contact Audrey Porksen email:


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