On the Feast of the Ascension, 4th / 17th May 2018, Mark Tattum-Smith was ordained to the Holy Diaconate at the Festal Liturgy celebrated at the Diocesan Cathedral in London. Celebrated by His Grace Bishop Irenei, the Festal Divine Liturgy was co-served by Archpriest Paul Elliott, Chancellor of the Diocese, together with Archpriest Vitaly Serapinas of the Cathedral Parish, and Priest Antony Bardsley of the Parish of the Mother of God, ‘Joy of All Who Sorrow’ in Mettingham, where the newly-ordained Fr Mark will serve as the second parish Deacon.

Fr Deacon Mark, a longtime and active member of the Mettingham parish, has served there in the roles of choir director and Altar server, having been tonsured Reader in 2007 by His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, and ordained Subdeacon in 2017 by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. He is known to many throughout the Diocese for his work, as part of the College of Our Lady of Mettingham, to produce English-language service texts for use at various Diocesan services and elsewhere, as well as for his activities in the Church’s approach to social issues (such as its recent participation in the UK March for Life).

Fr Mark was joined in London by his wife, Matushka Elizabeth, together with their children Mary and George, the latter of whom served in the Holy Altar during the Divine Liturgy, and held the tray from which his father’s new diaconal vestments were presented to him by the Bishop at the end of his ordination. Additionally, Fr Mark’s parents were able to join him for the day, seeing their son ordained for the service of God’s Holy Altar.

Following the Divine Liturgy, the parishioners and clergy gathered in the Cathedral Hall for a festive meal provided by the Sisterhood, at which a special cake was presented by the parish to Fr Mark, bearing an image in icing of the Temple in which he was ordained, as well as the word ‘Axios!’ (in Greek, ‘He is worthy!’) — the word traditionally proclaimed immediately after the ordination, as a sign of acknwoledgement of the grace poured out upon the newly-ordained — as a joyful sign of their love for the new Deacon.