The Christian world lost one of its most dedicated statesmen earlier this year. The V. Rev. Fr. Michael Harper departed this life on January 6, 2010, at age 78, in Cambridge, outside of London, England. He was an archpriest under the Patriarchate of Antioch.
Fr. Harper was baptized into Christ in the Church of England, and served for 40 years as a celebrated Anglican priest, emerging as an international leader of the spiritual renewal movement in that communion. Converting to the Orthodox Christian Faith in 1995, he carefully maintained his Christian friendships within the Anglican Church.
At the recommendation of Metropolitan PHILIP, Patriarch IGNATIUS IV personally guided Fr. Michael and his wife, Jeanne, through the transition into the Orthodox Church, appointing him to lead the Antiochian deanery in the British Isles. He left behind twenty convert parishes there as well as a ground-breaking Orthodox Studies program at prestigious Cambridge University, his alma mater.
Significantly, Fr. Michael established the first-ever all-English Orthodox parish in London. He was one of the most authentic and deeply committed Christian men I have ever known.
May his memory be eternal!
- Fr. Peter E. Gillquist