Bishop Thomas: Visitations
The Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic
A VISITATION BY THE BISHOP
- Scheduling a Visit: It is requested that the priest contact the bishop to schedule a visitation well in advance (usually a year in advance) of the desired date.
- Setting the Agenda for the Visit: Once the date for the visitation has been confirmed, the priest must send to the bishop a tentative agenda of all divine services, meetings and events to take place during the visitation. The agenda is tentative until it is blessed/approved by the bishop.
- Travel Arrangements: Contact Bishop Thomas about travel arrangements and how they will be made and paid for.
- Lodging & Meals: The priest is to discuss with the bishop the specific arrangements for his lodging and meals, the cost of which is to be covered by the parish or mission. A single hotel room with one bed is sufficient for the bishop. Suggested menus for all meal events as well as food and drink items placed in his hotel room for hospitality must be discussed with the bishop; of course, the traditional fasting discipline must be observed at all meal functions – both public and private. Bishop Thomas eats everything outside of the Lenten periods while observing the traditional fasting discipline during the fasts periods of the church.
- Stipend: It is traditional that a monetary gift be given to the bishop by the community at the time of his visit. The amount of this gift is usually between $500 and $1,000. Note that if the bishop arrives by car or is otherwise accompanied by an aide, it is traditional that a monetary gift also be given to his driver/aide.
- Arrival: If the bishop is arriving by plane, he is to be met immediately outside the secure passenger area by the priest and one or two parishioners who can assist with the car and luggage. While the priest and bishop go to the baggage claim area, the parishioner should bring the car around to the door from which the bishop and priest will exit the terminal with the luggage.
- Divine Services: Well in advance of the visit the priest must discuss with the bishop any questions or concerns he or others might have concerning the divine services so that everything is done “decently and in order.” It is the priest’s responsibility to see that all who take an active role in the services (subdeacons, altar boys, chanters, choir, etc.) are well trained and fully prepared for the bishop’s visit.
- You will also need to order candles for the bishop’s trikiri and dikiri. You may contact Bishop Thomas if you do not know where to order these. One source for these is the Monastery of Saint Gregory Palamas. You may call them at 419-368-5335.
Note that if the bishop arrives by car or is otherwise accompanied by an aide, the lodging and meal expenses of his driver/aide are also to be covered by the parish or mission.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CONTACT THE CHANCERY:
724-787-9832 or firstname.lastname@example.org
4407 Kanawha Ave., SE
Charleston, WV 25304
From the Administrative Offices of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic