Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in the Orthodox Parish of Saints Constantine and Helen in Brugge on Monday afternoon, November 11, 2019, after speaking at the College of Europe.
The Ecumenical Patriarch was warmly welcomed by Protopresbyter Bernard Peckstadt and the parish’s flock. The parish was established by Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium, when the Metropolitan was serving as an Archdeacon. The head of the parish is the brother of the Metropolitan of Belgium, Protopresbyter Bernard Peckstadt.
At the end of the doxology, the Ecumenical Patriarch chanted the Trisagion for the repose of the soul of the late Protopresbyter Ignatius Peckstadt, father of Metropolitan Athenagoras and Father Bernard.
The Ecumenical Patriarch thanked the local priests and the faithful who welcomed him with joy and love to Flanders while recounting his first encounter with the late Father Ignatius Peckstadt in August 2019 in Halki. There the Ecumenical Patriarch met the two sons of Father Ignatius who are currently serving with devotion the Mother Church as diocese of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Belgium.
After the exchange of gifts, the parish hosted a reception in honour of the Ecumenical Patriarch in the central hall of the Brugge Town Hall, in the heart of the medieval town.