Stained Glass of St.

Mark the Apostle and Martyr Isaac Fanous 1978

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Index
Foreward............................................................................................................................ 5 Introduction...................................................................................................................... 5 His Beginnings – His Education – His Service – His Work........................................... 7 His Beginnings and His Childhood.................................................................................. 7 His Education................................................................................................................... 9 His Deaconate and Sunday School Service ................................................................... 10 His work......................................................................................................................... 11 His Ministry as a priest in Egypt and Abroad. ............................................................ 12 His Recommendation to the priesthood. ........................................................................ 12 His Ordination as a priest for St. George’s church in El Daher, Cairo.......................... 14 His Service in the U.K and Europe. ............................................................................... 14 His Other Ministerial Activities in London. .................................................................. 16 His Departure .................................................................................................................. 18 Carrying the Cross of Illness from His youth ................................................................ 18 The last hours before his departure................................................................................ 19 The funeral of Father Bishoy Bushra at St. Mark’s in London ..................................... 20 The funeral service at the Grand Cathedral in Egypt..................................................... 21 Tribute and acknowledgments....................................................................................... 22 From bishops and fellow priests .................................................................................... 22 From deacons and members of the congregation .......................................................... 28 Tributes to Abouna Bishoy from the Youth of St. Mark’s Church - London:.............. 32 Photographs..................................................................................................................... 38

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Foreward
Introduction How painful it is to the Lord when one of his people dies. ( Psalm 116:15 ). God honours his own people particularly those who serve Him with honesty and dignity. As much as they are missed in this earthly world when they depart, they will be received with honour and glory in heaven. They join the twenty four priests who sit on their thrones infront of Him. Our beloved Father Bishoy Boushra was a truly blessed man who will be greatly missed. Inspite of a painful physical ailment, he was never deterred to fulfil his duties with honesty . With God’s grace and power he was happy to be proud of his weakness in order to feel the protection of Christ power over him. At the end he surrendered his life to His Saviour to be released from the suffering to the place where there is no more sorrow or tears. His Holiness Pope Shenouda as mentioned in El Keraza expressed his deep feeling for the death of this loving and greatly loved priest. He spoke about the sense of deep loss expressed by the congregation in UK. and the moving funeral service at St.Mark’s church in Kensington. He mentioned the last journey of his body to Cairo. He presided over the funeral service at St.Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo attended by many bishops and large number of fellow priests. The layout of this book refers to Father Bishoy’s life from birth to priesthood, his service in Cairo and UK till his departure. We would like to thank all those who participated in this work. We mention the deacons Dr. Ghali Hanna, Mr. George Barbary for the translation of some articles and Mr. Gamal Wasfy for his tireless effort to produce the book. We also thank Mr. Maged Sahfiq and all at Dar Anton for printing and publishing in Cairo. May Father Bishoy soul rest in peace and The Holy Spirit compassionate condolences to the family and congregations in UK and Egypt. 7th June 2007.( 40th day Commemoration ).

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“A righteous man shall be remembered forever”
Psalm 112:6

Father Bishoy Boushra
Celebrant 1987 – 2007 The congregation of Saint Mark’s Church, London, will cherish the dearest memory of a spiritual Father who, throughout his ministry, gave them outstanding and devoted service. He was dedicated to all in giving pastoral guidance and advice, and to any person in need, he gave help and comfort. He went further, and after took the initiative to enquire about the needs of others, in spite of his own health difficulties. The memory of our beloved Father Bishop shall remain in our hearts and minds through his sermons and preaching which he delivered at the pulpit, or wrote in pamphlets, booklets and brochures to commemorate special church occasions and festivities. “Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your LORD.” Matthew 25:21

Dr F. Megal
Secretary of the Church Council

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Chapter 1

His Beginnings – His Education – His Service – His Work
His Beginnings and His Childhood The child Monir Bushra (his name before ordination to the priesthood) was born on 20th May 1941 in a place called ‘Saket Makeey’ in the district of Giza. His father was called Bushra Makar and his mother was called Mariam Gendy Mikhael. They had moved from the city of Samalot in the region of El Minya to live in Giza due to his father’s work commitments at a public company involved in the import and export trade and which was based in Cairo. Monir was the firstborn of his parents, and he was greatly loved by them, and they brought him up with great care. They paid particular attention to his spiritual life from a young age. His parents were righteous and walked in the path of virtues and love for the poor. They embraced the example of St. Abraam, bishop of Fayoum, in the virtue of giving, and his parents would never refuse a request from a poor person. Monir was brought up to love others in particular the poor and needy. During his early childhood the family was exposed to a lot of danger due to the Second World War. The shelling and bombs would often land on houses in their area, and the noise of the shells was deafening. Many homes were demolished as a result, and many of the occupants were left homeless. The family at that time lived in great worry, especially his mother Mariam, who greatly feared for the life of her then only son. As the air raid sirens sounded she would grab Monir, who was still only one year old, and hold him tight, and as the bombs began to fall around the house, and the explosions shock their surroundings, she would hold him tighter and tighter, in the hope that her body would become a protective cover for her son, and nothing would harm him. In all these difficulties the parents would lift their prayers to God to protect them and find them a safer place to live, away from these dangers. God soon answered their prayers and they moved to a safer place. Their new home was in Embaba Street in a neighbourhood of Cairo called El Daher, in front of the church of the great Saint George. In this new home his brothers were also born, Nabil, Nageeb, and Makram. The family suffered a great and sudden tribulation with the departure of Makram from this life at a very tender age, but they quickly recovered through their prayers to God and recognising His comfort in their lives and His protection for them. Their prayers turned quickly to thanksgiving and to the words ‘thy will be done’, and they would say with Job, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Having overcome the falling shells and bombs in Giza and always remembering God’s remarkable rescue for them and their son Monir, another great tribulation fell upon the family once more. One day Monir fell seriously ill with gastroenteritis (which results in severe vomiting and diarrhoea) and pneumonia which threatened to end his life. He was only four at the time and his mother Mariam turned to God with much prayer and tears, asking for the intercessions of St. Mary and St. George. During her prayers she would

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weep so much that her tears would fall on her son with his angelic face, whom she held in her arms and on her lap. It happened one late night and after a long time of praying that she was finally defeated by sleep due to her tiredness. She slept were she had been on the floor with her son in her arms, and she saw in a dream St. Mary, the Mother of God, handing her a bouquet of flowers and she took it in her hand. She immediately awoke to find her hand holding onto the hand of her son and moments later Monir awoke and got up and started running and playing in the room around her. The mother at first could not believe that Monir was healed and she called his father, who came running quickly. He took him immediately to the doctor and the doctor stated that the boy was fine and healthy and there was nothing to worry about. This confirmed to them the miracle which the Lord had done for them through the intercessions of St. Mary and they glorified God for His wonderful works. From that time his mother Mariam took him to the church and presented him to the priest of the church and the choirmaster to take care of educating him in the hymns of the church and serving the altar. For when Monir was sick and she was asking for the intercessions of St. Mary, his mother prayed just as Hannah the mother of Samuel had prayed and said, “I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life”. The Holy Spirit had inspired her in her prayers and unawares she had prophesied about the priesthood which her son would one day hold although he was still a very young boy at the time. The young boy Monir continued to grow and attended the Holy Liturgies regularly, partaking of the Holy Sacraments, and attending Sunday school. He loved the hymns of the church. He would spend much time trying to learn them and he was blessed with a wonderful voice. His Grace Bishop Theophilus, head of St. Mary’s monastery of Surian was one day praying the Holy Liturgy in the church of St. George El Daher and he ordained the young Monir to the rank of ‘Psaltos’ or ‘Cantor’ in the deaconate ranks. He was aged six at the time and he ordained his brothers Nabil and Nageeb at the same time. When his father saw how dedicated he was to learning the hymns and listening to his wonderful voice, he brought him as a present a small set of cymbals and a triangle. Those cymbals and triangle went on to be the cause of many frictions with the neighbours as the young cantor spent long hours honing his skill and practising the hymns and reciting the Holy Liturgy in the house. He would often stay up late at night singing hymns to the extent that the neighbours complained saying, “Have you turned your home into a church or what… we can’t get to sleep because of the singing, the cymbals, and the triangle!!!” This was the life of the child Monir, growing in virtue and grace. The more he grew the more his knowledge and love for the church, her dogma and her rites increased. His knowledge of hymns also increased. There was also a neighbour to the family called Mr Boulis Kheer. This neighbour had moved from Upper Egypt in the south, to Cairo. His relatives would often come and visit him, and amongst those relatives was a young boy named Tobia who would attend every year during the summer to spend the summer holidays with his relative. During this time Tobia would spend all his time with his friend Monir. They were inseparable except at bedtime. Their friendship was so close that they would do everything together. They were known for their quietness and spirituality and they would attend all the church meetings and all the Holy Liturgies during the length of the summer.

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Until the time would come to return to school and Tobia would return to Upper Egypt but they would remain in continual touch with each other until the following summer arrived. As for the quiet young spiritual Tobia, he went on to become His Grace Bishop Fam, the Bishop of Tema.

His Education The young Monir began his education at the local primary school. He studied there for six years and graduated from there passing all his exams before moving onto a secondary school to continue his education. During this time he continued to attend Sunday School and Spiritual Meetings as well as the Holy Liturgies during the week and the feast days of the saints and the Feasts. During this time his great spiritual and educational level grew to become greater than his peers. Having passed his Secondary exams, he then went on to study at a Higher Secondary Education school. His church and deacon service did not stop him from excelling in his education. A story which is told during his Higher Secondary Education studies was that he would leave the classroom with his friends during the time of the Islamic lesson, to preserve his Christian belief and dogma, and so as not to offend either his friends or those in the class by his presence. Once the Arabic teacher, who also gave the Islamic class objected to him leaving, despite there being no obligation on him to stay. Monir politely refused to stay and this angered the teacher who started attacking the Christian religion and questioning Monir about his faith. Although he was a young student at the time, Monir being filled with the Holy Spirit answered all his accusations calmly and in a persuasive manner with the knowledge he had at the time. He was in fact so persuasive that the heart of the teacher was moved, and the Spirit of God convicted him to seek out more. He asked Monir to bring some books about the Christian belief, and Monir got the books from his father’s library. His father was also deeply knowledgeable in this area. The matter ended with the teacher spending much time studying the Christian belief and finally he was convinced by the reliability and truth of the Christian faith, all this because of the Holy Spirit which was in the young deacon Monir Bushra. The young Monir was exceptionally bright. His favourite and best subject by far was mathematics. His desire was to become an accountant, and his wish came true when he finally finished his higher secondary education and he joined Cairo University to study business. Here and we stop to mention an important story which shows how God was planning his life. Once a youth came to him complaining of a problem which he had prayed a lot about but God did not answer him so what should he do? So Monir started to talk to him about the marvellous work of God in our lives and that he should leave all the matters in the hand of God and let his guide be “Thy will be done” for God knows best when and how to answer our requests. Many times our requests are not according to the will of God, and many times God delays in responding to our requests for reasons which become clear later. He delays because if He were to respond immediately the harm that would befall us would far out way the benefits, and God does not wish to harm us in any way.

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This very advice came back to play an important role in his life. Monir went through a great tribulation during the last year of his higher secondary education when he was forced to repeat the year due to his exam results. This came as an incredible shock to him, for he was very diligent in his studies, and had revised hard for the exams. His family felt for his distress but they encouraged him with supportive words and he soon was working hard. He put his distress to one side from this unexpected tribulation. He would say to himself I am sure God had a reason for this, and sure enough there was a reason… Monir repeated the year and he passed his final higher secondary education exams with excellent results, and his exam score allowed him to study business at the University of Cairo as was his original wish. The years went by with his peers being one year ahead of him. They graduated one year ahead of him and were all conscripted into the army as was required at the time. In that year they were sent out to fight the war in Yemen and sadly none of them were to return alive from that war. It was at this moment that Monir and his family realised how God’s divine plan and intervention in his life had preserved him from harm, for God had another mission for Monir to complete as His servant. During the time he was in the Business school he was greatly loved by all his friends. He was known for his joyous spirit and wonderful smile. He would touch everyone who came in contact with him. He would rarely come home on his own, but would often bring back two or three of his friends to have lunch or dinner. He was so popular with the students that they made him head of the student union for the University. His activities also extended to performing as part of the university drama group. He also organised and supervised the many trips for the university students.

His Deaconate and Sunday School Service Due to his clear spiritual growth during the secondary school stage, the head of Sunday school for St. George’s Church, El Daher, appointed him a servant. In fact he was heavily reliant on Monir to serve those of primary school age. This was the beginnings of Monir’s blessed Sunday school service from an early age. Furthermore he did not stop in attending his own age group Sunday school with his friends to learn despite being appointed a servant. As a result of his humility and meekness, he never felt himself better than his friends or other servants because he was younger than them in the service. Rather he felt the weight of responsibility on his shoulders and he would often pray to God to allow him to carry that responsibility faithfully. His tribulation of having to repeat his final year would have caused many to give up hope and stop serving. However this had the opposite effect on Monir. He started to serve even more, least what befell him may have been due to a lack of service on his part, or so he would often think. He did not allow this tribulation to trouble him, but he threw it over his shoulder and instead proceeded to throw his entire strength at studying and serving God even more. His spirituality increased day by day under the guidance of his spiritual father, and next to his Sunday school service he was dedicated to his serve as a deacon. He also had other services such as supervising the church’s drama group and organising trips for the youth to the monasteries, the holy sites, and the leisure destinations around Egypt.

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Many a person who was far from God returned to the church during this time because of this youthful God loving servant. His work Monir graduated from business school and almost immediately started work as an accountant for a accountancy firm of Mr Louis Mikhael in 1965. He was honest and dedicated in his work. This was to the extent that when he moved to work as a manager in Shamla Company in Cairo, Mr Mikhael refused to let him go and he agreed to work for Mr Mikhael on certain evenings as well as working for Shamla Company. In 1969 he moved to become head of accounts at Elewayat of Egypt Company, he worked for three years there until he was chosen to be ordained a priest for the church of St. George in El Daher. An incident which also occurred to him during his youth was that one day he suddenly suffered severe pain in his abdomen area, and his father and family took him to see Doctor Morris Ameen Awad, who diagnosed the pain as appendicitis requiring immediate and urgent surgery to remove the appendix. His mother became greatly distressed due to the dangers of the operation and she asked his brother Nageeb to go to the old patriarchate in Klot Bay and ask for the prayers of His Holiness Pope Kyrillos the VI for Monir. It was the habit of Pope Kyrillos VI to sit on a chair in the middle of the hall in the old patriarchate for anyone to take the blessings from him. Naturally many would attend to take his holiness’ blessings and on the day Nageeb attended the place was crowded with people wishing to take the blessings of his holiness that Nageeb could not think of a way to reach his holiness. He then decided to leave to rejoin the family back at the clinic. As he was thinking of leaving his holiness Pope Kyrillos VI called to him, “Come here, you tall person from El Minya who is standing there”. Nageeb approached his holiness and said to him, “But I am not from El Minya your holiness”. At this his holiness gave him a sharp look with his eyes and hit him with the cross on his head saying, “Alright, you who comes from Samalot then, or is Samalot no longer in El Minya” (This his holiness said referring to his parents and ancestry who come from Samalot in El Minya). His holiness then said to him, “Take this cotton soaked in oil and go and wipe it on the side which hurts your brother, and tell him not to fear he will recover”. Nageeb went and followed the instructions of his holiness and told Monir what his holiness had said. The operation took place and Monir made a speedier than usual recovery. What was nice about this incident was that His Holiness Pope Kyrillos VI did not know Nageeb and yet the Spirit of God had revealed to his holiness who he was and why he had come.

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Chapter 2

His Ministry as a priest in Egypt and Abroad.
His Recommendation to the priesthood. All the signs and indications pointed towards, that the Sunday school teacher and deacon Monir Boshra Makar, was chosen from heaven to be ordained as a priest to serve the altar of the Lord. God had granted him, a musical voice, a distinctive spiritual performance, a strong love for the church rites, zeal towards Orthodox dogma and above all people’s love for him and his love for them. Prior to his ordination, he served continuously for 25 years at St.George’s church (El Daher, Cairo). That service started as a young deacon at the age of six years old. He served both primary and secondary school ages as well as to his service to the youth groups and arranging trips and outings. Not only did he serve as a deacon, close to the altar; he also accompanied the church’s priests during pastoral visits to the sick to give them communion or pray for them the unction of the sick rites during Lent. He used to attend early, the evening raising of the incense and mass. All these activities in the church, in addition to his spiritual growth had encouraged the church’s priests, council, congregation to put his name forward to be ordained as a priest. When he was informed of the recommendation, it was natural that he requested a period of prayer and reflection asking God’s guidance, help and declaration to make the right decision. He needed to consult his father of confession, to be guided by his advice and recommendations on this subject that would affect his future. Moreover, he didn’t neglect the views of his family, especially his parents and brothers and sisters. Some of his family objected to his recommendation to the priesthood. Their goal was towards earthly glory, wondering how he could leave a high position as a head of an accounts department in one of the largest companies. They were all very proud of him and his position. However, his personal point of view was directed towards heavenly glory. For him the priesthood was a blessing, he felt unworthy of. Instead of working in the worldly field of men, he preferred to work in God’s field who is the King and Kings and Lord of Lords. Through that vision, he desired to leave the service of the world and accept his recommendation for the priesthood. In spite of all of this, he asked God to give him a sign to confirm support in the decision that he took. One of these signs was gaining the family’s consent and agreement with God’s will as the priesthood was a blessing for him and them. He continued to pray intensely asking for God’s guidance. His brother said that the family began to relent, especially when they felt that this was his wish. As much as they respected and valued him, they tried to please him and not object to a decision he took on deep conviction. On his part, he had advised them not to object against anything before raising their hearts to God, asking for His guidance. He used to say to them, that their objections meant they were against God’s will, or else how can we pray saying, ‘thy will be done’.

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One day he stood in front of St. George’s icon in the church raising his heart with tears for this subject. While he was praying, he heard a voice coming from the icon saying, ‘Monir, you will be a priest of this church’. He hurried home and told his mother what he had heard. She advised him to keep that experience a secret so as not to loose on the recurrence of these apparitions. The word of the great martyr St. George was the decisive factor on his ordination. He became sure, without any doubt that this call was from God. He and his family had to accept. Joy filled all of their hearts, including those who had objected previously. It seemed only natural, that when the priesthood was offered to him that he spent time reflecting on the past incidents. How God had protected him and saved his life more than once, when he was a small child and when he grew up. He graduated from university a year later than all his peers and colleagues, who had been recruited to fight in Yemen and many of them did not return, he could have been one of them. He also remembered a sentence said to him by his holiness pope Kyrellos whilst he was still a young man. This sentence turned out to be a prophecy about him becoming a priest. What did His holiness Pope Kyrellos say to him? His sister Rebecca said, ‘my brother, Monir, had a strong relationship with Pope Kyrelos. In one of Monir’s visits to St. Mena’s monastery whilst he was a university student with a group of deacons from the church, there they met with his holiness who admired my brother’s voice and his spirituality in prayers. His holiness patted his shoulder with fatherly love and gentleness, saying to him, ‘where are you going to run away from it, you with a nice voice’. Of course his holiness meant the priesthood. The family kept a photograph of the late Fr. Bishoy when he was a deacon standing behind his holiness, holding the gospel and the cross praying the litany of the gospel during a holy mass. His brother said that the day this photo was taken holds pleasant and funny memory. His Holiness Pope Kyrellos used to visit any of the churches in Cairo in the early hours of the morning without prior arrangement. On that day his holiness came to St. George’s church El Daher. Neither the priest nor the cantors (cantor Sadek Attallah) were present at that hour of the morning. The deacon Monir and his brother were already in the church, when his holiness entered, followed by his disciple. He called the deacon Monir and asked him, where is abouna and the cantor? Monir answered, ‘your holiness, they should be on their way’. The pope said, ‘my son, get the psalmody and let’s pray the tasbeha (praise). Then prepare the censor to pray the morning raising of incense until abouna and the cantor arrive’. After a short while, the priest and cantor Sadek arrived and panicked when they saw the Pope. His Holiness didn’t blame of rebuke them. At the end of the mass, Pope Kyrellos, asked cantor Sadek, ‘can we pray mass without Tasbeha?’ Cantor Sadek replied, ‘no your holiness, but I prayed it on my way to church’. His Holiness smiled as well as those that were gathered around at the time. After his ordination, the late Fr. Bishoy, used to remind Cantor Sadek with this funny incident, asking him while smiling, ‘Oh Cantor, did you pray the tasbeha (praise).’ Cantor Sadek used to laugh and say, ‘what an embarrassing situation that was for me, how could I have arrived that late after his holiness.’ On that day, the photographer took lots of photos during mass and one of them was the before mentioned photo. It was a valuable photo indeed. As well as the photo, Fr.Bishoy, kept a scarf belonging to his holiness Pope Kyrellos. Many miracles happened with the blessing of this scarf.

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His Ordination as a priest for St. George’s church in El Daher, Cairo. After the departure of Pope Kyrellos VI, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, may God prolong his life, ascended to the throne of St. Mark. The deacon Monir Boshra was amongst the first people to be ordained by His Holiness after his enthronement on the sea of St. Mark on the 14th November 1971. The deacon Monir was ordained on the feast of the Pentecost on the 28thMay 1972. He was called Fr. Bishoy Boshra a priest on St. George’s church at El Daher, Cairo. His ordination day was a day of joy, gladness and happiness for his family and the congregation of the church and all his beloved. He had a great capacity to love and to be loved by all. Even his Muslim colleagues in the company where he worked arranged a farewell party and presented him with a silver cross to use during his service as a priest. Shortly after his ordination, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, seconded him to serve at St. Mary’s church (madinat Nasr – Cairo) as the priest of that church had been seconded to serve abroad. He served there for two years during which time the congregation grew to love him. Meanwhile, his congregation from St. George’s church submitted several requests to His Holiness Pope Shenouda for his return to them. He didn’t show any preference and left the decision down to his holiness, who promised to return him to them. After two years, he returned to serve at St. George’s church, where the congregation greeted him with much joy at his return to them and to the Altar for which he was ordained. His Service in the U.K and Europe. The late Fr. Bishoy Boshra wrote a book on the occasion of the silver Jubilee of the consecration of St. Mark’s church London. In that book, he mentioned that the first mass was prayed in London on the 10th August 1954 by the late Fr. Saleeb Sourial, the priest of St. Mark’s church in Giza, who was accompanied by Fr. Makary El Souryany (the late Bishop Samuel). With them there were Mr. Waheeb Attallah (the late Bishop Gregorious) and engineer Yohanna el Raheb. They were delegates representing the Coptic Church at the general assembly of the world council of churches. Another mass was celebrated for the Copts in London in February 1969, by his grace Bishop Shenouda, Bishop of Education (the present Pope) during his visit to London and Oxford, on his way from Austria where he was representing the Coptic Church in a theology conference in Vienna. At that time, he encouraged the Copts on the necessity of having a regular service through a dedicated church for them where they would be able to hold meetings and have regular mass. It followed that St. Andrew’s church in Holborn was rented. However, it was only available to pray Sunday Mass and the major feasts. Although there were very few people at that time, the congregation used to gather from many British cities to attend mass and share in the Holy Communion. In June 1970 Fr. Antonious El Souryany, (his eminence Metropolitan Pakhomious of el bouhaira) came to London accompanying his sick brother. He celebrated mass in a few places in London. In August 1971, Metropolitan Antonious of Sohag (acting up as head of the synod) came with his grace bishop Samuel, both came visiting London for a week where they celebrated mass in St. Andrew’s church Holborn. In the period between August and November 1971 Fr. Matthias El souryany (his grace Bishop Rewies) served the Coptic congregation in London. He returned to Egypt to attend the enthronement of H.H. Pope Shenouda III. On the 29th November 1971, the Pope sent Fr. Aghathon El souryany (the late Bishop Aghathon), who was followed by Fr. Kyrellos Kyrellos, between Easter 1972 and the holy week of 1973. He was relieved by Fr. Wisa el souryany (assistant Bishop Isak), who served between Lent 1973 and May 1974. In May 1974, Fr. Antonious Farag came to serve in London. The ministry had

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expanded. He used to travel every Saturday to one of the British cities and towns to serve the congregation there. At that time the idea of buying a church for the Copts in the U.K was crystallised. The contract to buy the present St. Mark’s church in Kensington London, was signed and sealed. Fr. Antonious Farag, returned to Egypt in January 1977 and he was followed by Fr. Shenouda Doss who continued with the service at the utmost perfection. The number of the congregation was increasing and the ministry needed more than one priest. It was H.H Pope Shenouda’s decision to send Fr. Bishoy Boshra on the 23rd October 1978 to serve as well as to receive treatment. Fr. Shenouda Doss returned to Egypt and was replaced by Fr. Antonious Farag who came back to the U.K in October 1979 and stayed to his departure on the 18th Feb 1997. Since the arrival of Fr. Bishoy Boshra to London, his service was not limited to St. Mark’s church only. He tried hard to have a house for the Lord in every city in U.K He continued with what was started by Fr. Antonious Farag and Fr Shenouda Doss in visiting the other cities in the U.K. In these visits, he would celebrate mass, receive confessions and hold meetings, for example, in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Brighton as well as travelling to Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Fr. Antonious Thabet shared this ministry with him since his arrival in August 1980. It was arranged that either one of them travelled to one of the cities on Friday night of every week celebrating mass on Saturday morning there and returning on Saturday night to pray mass in St. Marks on Sunday. Both of them continued in this ministry until the churches were established in these places with the congregation having their own priest there to serve them. The late Fr. Bishoy Boshra used to consider establishing churches as a great job that pleases God’s heart. He worked hard to establish St. Mary’s and St. Shenouda’s church – Coulsdon, south of London. His Holiness our pope, consecrated it in 1989 and the service there was well established and now under the care of Fr. Isaac Ibrahim. H.H.Pope Shenouda III wrote in the church visitor’s book, on the occasion of its consecration: ‘On Wednesday 23rd August 1989, I was pleased to consecrate the Altar of your church south of London on the name of the virgin and St.Shenouda. I had with me nine bishops, their graces, bishop Bishoy, bishop Sarapamon, bishop Tadros, bishop Markos of France, bishop Rewies, bishop Missail, bishop Paula, bishop Moussa, and Bishop Serapion. With them were assistant Bishop Athanasious and some of our priest from France, Holland and Switzerland. On the same day, the baptismal font was consecrated and I baptised four children. I promoted Fr. Girgis Louka to a Hegomen and ordained some deacons. Accept my sincere congratulations to the congregation of this beloved church and especially our dear son Fr. Bishoy Boshra. It was very pleasing that the church had a large hall and surrounding land. May the lord be with you all, strengthen you working with you and through you for the glory of His Name.’ signed Shenouda III Patriarch of Alexandria. The late Fr.Bishoy Boshra played a major role in establishing the Coptic centre in Stevenage and the church of the archangel and St. Antonious there. Now the service is well established in that place under the care of his grace bishop Angealos and Fr. Shenouda Asham. There is now a new large Cathedral named after St. George. Fr. Bishoy with the other priests had an important role in establishing the church of The Virgin and Archangel Michael in Golders Green, North London. This church is now being served by Fr. Mikhail Ibrahim Salama and Fr. Louka. Fr. Mikhail was originally ordained to serve at St. Mark’s London, but was transferred there later. Shortly after that time, Fr. Thomas Fayez arrived to serve the youth and the families at St. Mark’s. One of the first Cities, where the Coptic ministry was established was Birmingham. There, the Coptic congregation bought a church instead of travelling all the way to St. Mark’s church in London to attend mass and major feasts. The late Fr. Bishoy Boshra

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played a large role in serving the Copts in Birmingham and encouraging them to purchase a church of their own. He held a great deal of affection in the hearts of those he served. The ministry there expanded, and Birmingham, became a Diocese under the care and leadership of His Grace Bishop Missail. The establishment of the service in many other cities in Britain, was the work of Fr. Bishoy Boshra and Fr. Antonious Thabet. The seeds they planted grew and multiplied and produced many churches all over the U.K. Many of these churches are under the care of his grace bishop Anthony, the bishop of Scotland, Ireland and North East England. The ministry of the late Fr. Bishoy Boshra, was not limited to London and the U.K only. It extended far and wide to reach many European cities. He travelled to Switzerland, Marseille, Brussels, Denmark and other places, alternating with Fr. Antonious Thabet. That ministry continued until permanent Coptic churches were established in these countries, with the presence of dedicated priests. In some of these European countries, even, Dioceses were established, with bishops serving in Germany, Italy, Austria and France. His Other Ministerial Activities in London. He used to put in front of him, the verse, ’For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was Sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’ (Matt 25:35-36). Depending on the words of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the late Fr. Bishoy, as well as the other priests in the church, Fr Antonious Thabet and Fr. Thomas Fayez, concentrated on other services alongside the rites of the church. This service included: 1. The Service of the sick. A large amount of sick people came from Egypt and abroad to receive treatment in the U.K. His service to them included meeting and greeting them, housing them and transporting them to and from hospitals. He arranged doctors’ appointments accompanying them there and fulfilling their needs. Many times there was the need to compliment the treatment costs and hospital fees. This service included everybody, not only bishops or priests but also many people. His house was open for all. Therefore he will be greatly missed by those who were touched with his spirit of love and the real sincere fatherhood. 2. Accommodating strangers. This included both single youth and families who sought refuge in the church. He had to arrange accommodation that suited them, in addition to the pastoral care they needed. The late Fr. Bishoy used to share a meal in the eve of the major feasts with the youth who have no family in the U.K. His wife, with the help of others, used to prepare these meals. It is worth mentioning that in the last Easter eve 08th April 2007, just three weeks before his departure, he insisted that his wife should prepare the meal for the youth as the habit of every feast. His health at that time had deteriorated to the extent that he could not celebrate the Easter Mass, and indeed his wife respected his wish. 3. Accommodating Priests and Bishops. Fr. Bishoy considered the visit of the priests and bishops to his house and staying with him, as a great blessing for the house and its inhabitants. He received many of the bishops coming to London for treatment or in transit. He welcomed many priests and their families coming for treatment. That service was also shared with Fr. Antonious Thabet and Fr. Thomas Fayez. His eminence, Metropolitan Bishoy, general secretary of the Holy Synod, wrote, “we thank the merciful Lord that He granted us to see the beloved

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Fr. Bishoy Boshra in his own house after our last visit to him in hospital. The Lord’s protection had appeared in saving his life, may the Lord make it a blessing for many. This house is a house of Christian generosity. May the Lord fill it with every abundance, blessing and peace, through the prayers of H.H. Pope Shenouda III.” London 03rd April 1997. Signed, Metropolitan Bishoy, Metropolitan of Demit, Kafr El-sheikh and the convent of St. Demiana.’ 4. Prisoners Service. With the other priests, he visited the church’s sons who were arrested and imprisoned. He encouraged them, received their confessions, helping to provide for their needs until they were released. This is a small example of the many and variable services that the late Fr. Bishoy Boshra did. Because of these services, he attracted many souls to Christ, to the extent, that many whom he ministered, would say repeatedly, we saw Christ in him.

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Chapter 3

His Departure
Carrying the Cross of Illness from His youth Hegoumen Father Bishoy Bushra carried in his body the cross of illness, from his early youth, and this is what necessitated him to come to the United Kingdom for treatment and resulted in his service there. From his arrival in October 1978 he would visit the medical clinics and hospitals on a regular basis. He used to suffer severe health episodes from time to time, and these continued to increase until it became clear that his liver had become so battered by his illnesses that it was no longer functioning properly and he would require a liver transplant as a matter of urgency within a short time. This was the diagnosis of the Doctors in 1989, and the matter was left in the hand of God. In August 1989, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III came to consecrate the Church of Saint Mary and Saint Shenouda in Colesdon, Croydon in London. Father Bishoy Bushra was then seriously ill in hospital and he asked the doctors for permission to leave the hospital for a short while to allow him to attend the consecration of the altar and the church and to take the blessings of His Holiness Pope Shenouda. This was a special occasion for Father Bishoy because he had greatly laboured in building this church which started with a small amount of donations from the families in the area and increased until they were able to buy the church. When he came to take the blessings of the Pope, his holiness was greatly moved by the sight of him in his serious ill health, and said to him, “Father why have you tired yourself and left your bed, I was going to come and visit you”. The doctors gave him a very short life expectancy should they not be able to do the liver transplant and the days began to go by and his health continued to deteriorate even further. It reached the stage when a number began to loss hope and serious glances to the funeral arrangements started to be made. Sadness clouded the face of all beginning with his family and extending to the congregation of the church in London. Everyone was lifting fervent prayers with many tears in the hope that God might do a miracle or a liver would become available for the transplant operation. Despite the shortness of time and exhaustion of patience due to the lack of donors, God finally intervened with His strong hand at the appropriate time in response to all the prayers that were raised on his behalf. In God’s love for him and with His Divine authority for the sake of the mission he had not yet completed, God arrived in the fourth watch. Forty eight hours before the end of his life expectancy the telephone rang in the office of the doctor treating him at King’s College to inform him that a suitable liver donor had been found. He was rushed by ambulance to Cambridge University Hospital and what was then a pioneering operation at the time was performed to save his life. The operation took over twelve hours and he was only the fourth person in the country ever to have received this kind of operation. The operation was successful and despite some close moments during his recovery in hospital he did recover.

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According to the Doctors, Father Bishoy was expected to live another 8 to 10 years as a result of the new liver. However the timings of God are different to the timings of men, and he went on to live a further 17 years. He felt in himself that his mission on earth was not complete, and that God had lengthened his life so that he can dedicate every moment to the service and this is what he exactly did. After his recovery from the liver transplant; he dedicated himself to serving even more. In particular he would serve the sick, those in pain, and those who are sad. His smile and his spiritual guidance was a source of comfort to all those who were sad, and gave rest to all those in pain or who were sick.

He was required to take a large amount of medication to prevent his body from rejecting the new liver. Furthermore, every so often, he was required to attend the hospital for them to take a liver sample and do checks to ensure that it was still working properly. Every time he would suffer great pain as a result of the taking of a liver sample. After a few years of active service another illness began to take its hold in his body, and even more medication had to be taken by him. Despite all this he did not grumble but accepted everything with thanksgiving, neither did he fall short in serving anyone. He would often return home at two or three in the morning. He would always answer a request for help from anyone who had fallen into a problem whatever the time might be. Father Bishoy Bushra continued to serve with all the strength that was given to him despite the difficulties and problems he faced with his health until finally his health noticeably deteriorated during the second half of the Lent in 2007. The last two Holy Liturgies he prayed here on this earth were those of the Last Friday in Lent, and the Feast of Palm Sunday. He could not thereafter attend the prayers of the Holy Pascha week, despite his great love for the readings, hymns and prayers of that week. He would always advice his children to take heed in attending this Holy week because of its great blessings in their lives and its uniqueness of coming round once a year. He was also unable to attend the Saturday Vigil Service of Apocalypses Night, or the Feast of the Resurrection. His doctors had advised that he needed another liver transplant urgently but his general health meant that such an operation was unlikely to succeed. Father Bishoy also did not personally want the operation because of the great tribulations that he went through the first time round. He hoped and prayed that God would intervene with a miracle, but he would often say, “Let it be your will O God”. His family and the church once more began to pray for this matter. The last hours before his departure In his severe ill health he attempted to attend the church on the first day of Holy Pascha 2007, but having just arrived in the church he suffered a prolapsed disc in his back which caused him great and unbearable pain. He was unable to sit or lie down which resulted in the ambulance being called. He spent the whole of Holy Week in Charing Cross Hospital and he was finally allowed home on Great Friday. It was hoped that he might be able to attend the Saturday Night Vigil or the Feast of the Resurrection but this was not to be. Instead his pain increased and he was moved to Hammersmith Hospital where he had previously spent two weeks at the end of the Lent fast. He was then moved to King’s College hospital and after two days he was admitted to the intensive care unit. He

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remained in the intensive care unit in the Kidney department for ten days in an attempt to save his life. Despite a request that people should not attend the hospital due to his ill health, the visiting room was crowded each day with those who wished to ask about his health, whether it be bishops, priests or congregation. The visiting room was turned into a prayer room, even a church. For prayers were often lifted up to God for him and his family in this room. What also was very noticeable at the time was the large number of youth from the church who attended to ask about him, for he had a place in each one of their hearts. The family and the people lived in great hope that he would recover so that another liver transplant could be done. Sometimes the medical equipment would show him getting better and at other times they were not encouraging. Until finally on Saturday the 28th of April his health began to take a dramatic turn for the worse. Present at the time was His Grace Bishop Angaelos, His Grace Bishop Boulos, Father Thomas Fayiz and Father Shenouda Asham, and a huge number of people from the church. At around eleven in the evening of Saturday, the 28th April 2007, his family accompanied by the fathers, entered the intensive care unit to his bedside for the final time, and his spirit departed shortly thereafter in calmness and peace. This was one of the most moving moments of his life on earth, for at this time the hospital corridors were flooded with many people in particular youth who had come to him in this hour. His Grace Bishop Angaelos had hardly announced the news of Father Bishoy’s departure when all those present, old and young, began to weep openly, and a cloud of sorrow covered their faces. The news spread like wildfire across the United Kingdom and beyond and all those at the hospital had the privilege of taking a blessing from his body. The funeral of Father Bishoy Bushra at St. Mark’s in London On the 6th of May 2007, the blessed body arrived at St. Mark’s church, and the deacons carried him on their shoulders in procession whilst singing, “Christ has risen” (Ekristos Anaesti). Despite this being a joyous tune, the voices singing the tune reflected the solemnity of the occasion. The procession of the deacons with the coffin to the altar was accompanied by audible crying and tears of the men, women and children. For it was difficult for them to witness the scene of the deacons carrying on their shoulder the coffin of Father Bishoy were once he had walked countless times with the censor amongst the congregation. It was a greatly moving scene and the deacons laid the coffin before the altar in the deacon’s chorus and the fathers opened the coffin. The prayers then commenced with evening praises, followed by evening vespers (which included a commemoration for the Feast of St. Mark), and the midnight praises. During the midnight praises the people approached the open coffin in order to take their blessings from Father Bishoy’s holy body and to say their final and personal farewell to him. He was arrayed in the most beautiful priestly vestments and carrying in one hand the cross and the Holy Bible in the other and a beautiful picture of the last supper adorned the inside of his coffin. The following day the Holy Liturgy was prayed followed by the funeral prayers. The prayers were lead by His Grace Bishop Antoni, and His Grace Bishop Angaelos, as well

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as a large number of Coptic Orthodox Priests from across the United Kingdom. Amongst those present from other churches were His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasius on behalf of His Holiness Pope Mar Ignatius Zaka, Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox, as well as delegations from the Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Armenian Orthodox churches. The Egyptian Ambassador to the United Kingdom was also in attendance and gave a talk expressing his love for Father Bishoy as well as a number of diplomats including the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United Kingdom. A delegation from the Islamic Mosque, in London was also in attendance during the prayers. The words and eulogies lasted some three hours. What was moving most of all though was the sheer volume of people who attended both days. Finally there came the dramatic moment when the coffin was lifted on the shoulders of the deacons and for the last time Father Bishoy was carried in procession around the altar and the church, to say his final farewell to the place which he had stood in and to the people whom he had served for almost twenty nine years in the body. It was the final time that the people would see him and no one could contain his tears in that moment. Even the skies wept and what remained a sunny day throughout was interrupted by light rain as the very moment his holy body was carried around and out of the church. It was as if the very nature of London was itself saying her farewell to this beloved servant of God.. The funeral service at the Grand Cathedral in Egypt In Cairo, the holy body was laid once more before the altar of St. George’s Church in El Daher, where he had once served. The following day a Holy Liturgy was prayed and it was the feast day of St. Mark. After the Holy Liturgy his body was carried to the Grand Cathedral in Egypt and the funeral prayers were lead by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III with a large number of bishops and a vast number of priests. Due to the great love he had for Father Bishoy, His Holiness Pope Shenouda was unable to speak, and as he began the eulogy he wept, causing all who were present to weep with him. For they all were touched by the warmth of emotions and depth of feelings he had for Father Bishoy. His Grace Bishop Moussa then gave a comforting word for all those present Having ended all the prayers the pure body was carried to its final resting place in the family mausoleum and he was buried there and as the door of the mausoleum was finally shut announcing the end of the life of our beloved Father Bishoy Bushra in the body on this earth, so it also announced the beginnings of his life in the heavens with the twenty four priests. May he be an intercessor for us, and may God assist us in the completion of our struggles on this earth just as He assisted him, so that we may once again meet with him in the Glory of Heaven and Glory be to our God forever. Amen

'Well done, good and faithful servant… Come and share your master's happiness!' Mt 25:21…

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Chapter 4

Tribute and acknowledgments
From bishops and fellow priests

Fr. Bishoy reflected God's love
By: HG Bishop Angealos General Bishop - Stevenage - UK
Peace and grace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ. It is with great sadness and great joy that we celebrate the life of Father Bishoy. Sadness because we have lost the exemplary servant, the loving father and the caring priest; Joy because he is now where he deserves to be, where he has striven to be. Father Bishoy was well known to me for many years, not only as a priest but as a friend and as a model of priestly service, which I will dearly miss. Father Bishoy had an impact on all those he met and reflected God's love through the way he served, in particular his home was always open to those whom he served and all were welcomed by his family. We also all know his love for establishing churches and he played an essential role in the purchase of the Coptic Church Centre in Stevenage. He took a brave step despite resistance and was guided by the will of God, not by the will of people. Throughout his life Father Bishoy was dedicated to his service and the love of his children and he achieved God's mission, he was faithful with the service which had been entrusted to Him and it is for this reason that we know he is with His heavenly father. We thank God for the life of Fr. Bishoy, for giving me the oopportunity to serve with Him and for showing me that God's love can be manifested through the service of His children. We pray that God consoles all those he leaves behind through the intercessions of the Virgin Mary the prayers of Saint Mark and Saint George, and the prayers of our holy father His Holiness Pope Shenouda III.

Condolences of the British Orthodox Churches
By: Metropolitan Seraphim
I have heard the sad news of Father Bishoy’s death, He has been in the prayers of all the British Orthodox churches since his illness became serious, but we are very sad to learn of his passing, although we rejoice that he is now with the Lord he served so faithfully for so many years. Father Bishoy’s gentle and kindly spirit won him much love and respect from all those with whom he dealt and he was a zealous and conscientious priest who served the Coptic Church faithfully. Despite his frail health, Father Bishoy was a strong soldier of Christ and his energy and dedication were an example to us all. I send my sincere condolences for the family of Father Bishoy on their loss as well as assurances of my prayers and the prayers of my clergy for his repose and for the comfort of his family and congregation.

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Condolences of the Armenian Church
By: Bishop Nathan
On behalf of the Armenian Church in Great Britain, as well as on my behalf personally, I would like to offer the Coptic Church our condolences on the passing away of our spiritual friend and colleague. In human terms. It is sad to think that the late Fr. Bishoy, a man of gentle but firm faith, is no longer here with us today. The loss will be both palpable and marking. Yet, as we feel this loss, we reaffirm our Christian faith and reassure ourselves of our firm belief that Abouna Bishoy has toward the heaven Jerusalem. Sadly, I regret I cannot be with all in Church tomorrow as I am not in the UK at the moment. As such, I would appreciate it if you could convey our deepest condolences and prayers to Fr. Bishoy’s family, his brothers and sisters in Christ. In His love we remain, and in His abiding hope we are always.

Father Bishoy a fruitful branch in the True Vine
By Fr. Shenouda Asham - Stevenage
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.,….., Abide in Me, and I in you” John 15:1-4 For a branch to bear good fruits, it has to abide in the vine, well watered and nourished through the vine and pruned to bear more fruits. Abouna Bishoy was one of those fruitful branches. He abided in Christ, the true vine, nourished through His body and His blood, watered with the Holy Spirit and pruned with long illness and as the result he bore and gave good fruits. These fruits which St. Paul mentioned in his epistle to the Galatians “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Gal 5:22-23. Love: he carried in his heart the love of our Lord Jesus Christ and he took Him as his example. He applied the commandment of our Lord “love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” Luke 10:25-28. He loved everyone and is loved by everyone. Joy: we used to see him joyful even at the time of difficulties, as a disciple of Christ he was always seeing Christ before him, so he used to look at Him and reflect His joy “the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord” John 20:20. Peace: He used to open his heart to Christ to enter and say “Peace to you” John 20:21; this certainly gave him peace which he extended to others at the time of trouble. He used to see Christ in the middle of the troubled sea saying "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." Matt 14:27. Longsuffering: he was very patient in his illness and he bore it with thanksgiving, I have never seen him grumbling even at the most difficult time. Also with others he followed the words of his Saviour “I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two” Matt 5:39-42I Kindness: he was kind with everyone we have not seen him rebuking anyone in public but he used to advice and direct in a humble way. He was like our Lord healing and supporting those who are brokenhearted “He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted” Luke 4:18. Goodness: he had the good heart out of which brings good “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good” Luke 6:45 Faithfulness: his faith was reflected in every aspect of his life. He was faithful toward God Who entrusted him of a great service to serve as a priest in His church. He used to pray with St. Paul saying “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” 1 Tim 1:12. He was faithful in establishing many

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churches in UK and Europe as he served in them. One of those is the church of Archangel Michael and Saint Anthony in Stevenage, as he was the driving force behind buying it. Also he used to come and serve the congregation every Saturday before the coming of Fr. Angaelos El Anba Bishoy (His Grace Bishop Angaelos). We will never forget his service, his encouragement and his support to our church. Gentleness: he leaned that from his Master who said “learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart” Matt 11:29. Self-control: He lived with the principle that St. Paul taught to the Ephesians “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” Eph 4:29. My dear father Abouna Bishoy may the Lord repose your pure soul in the paradise of joy as He knows your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance (Rev 2:19). Pray for us before the Lord that He may help us to complete our struggle and join you in the paradise; and to grant His peace and comfort to your family, your spiritual children and the church.

A spiritual and successful Father
By Rev. Fr. Antonious T. Shenouda St. Marks’ Coptic Orthodox Church London
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge will give to me on that Day.” There are many things to say about my brother and friend Father Bishoy Boshra the priest of St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox church, London who heard the calling of the Lord “enter to the joys of the lord”. We have been colleges at St. Mark’s church for about 27 years sharing together many services and facing many situations. I felt that I was with an experienced priest and I learned a lot from him. It is my privilege to shed some light on aspects of his life. 1. Father Bishoy Boshra believed the prayer of the holy mass had an effect on solving problems. Many times I heard him say “I need more liturgies to pray” and on the last clergy meeting he said to us “let me pray the liturgy and you can take the sermons”. This was an expression of his faith in the power of prayer. I will never forget him praying the holy mass with all his feelings that God may intervene to solve these problems. There was even an agreement between us that whoever prayed the mass would remember the names of the other’s family as well as their own. 2. Father Bishoy Boshra: the friend of the saints. Every time he visited Egypt he tried to take some relics of saints with him, if it was possible. Then he consulted me about where, in the church, to put them. I will never forget once when he called me to tell me of some good news. He brought back with him some relics of our beloved St. Mark from Egypt and accordingly we decided together where to put them in the church. This showed his joyous feelings for having even a very small part of the relics of St. Mark. It also shows that he wanted to share his joy whith his colleagues and brothers in the ministry 3. Fr Bishoy the diligent visitor of the sick St. Mark’s church is a famous place for comforting the sick. When I arrived in London August 1980, he had previous experience in visiting the sick and I accompanied him during my early days of service to various hospitals in London. I felt that he did that to comply with Jesus’ commandments “when I was sick you visited me” I was surprised how much attention he paid to the treatment of everyone who was sick and I also said to myself, while Fr Bishoy is still in pain from his ailments he still wants to alleviate the pain of others by praying and visiting them. Many times, we informed each other about news of new arrivals and went together for the first visit. This is a crown of glory that he took with him in the eternal life. This was not only limited to

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London but included other visits outside of London where he insisted on driving in his car for long distances. 4. Fr Bishoy’s efforts in the expansion of the ministry. St Mark’s church in London was serving most of the cities and towns around the U.K. In addition, after my arrival to the U.K, we began to serve in European countries. The late Fr. Antonious Farag, was serving before I came to the U.K. However, after he suffered a stroke, he was unable to travel so Fr. Bishoy and myself, started to plan the workload between us. We began the ministry in some cities in France, Switzerland and Denmark, in addition to the cities in the U.K. We thank God that many churches were established in these cities. 5. Father Bishoy the courteous especially with his colleagues the priests. It was a well known fact that he participated with his congregation during their different occasions even though he was not in good health, he didn’t think of himself. I will not forget his support during the wedding of my son, Tony in Alexandria. He travelled with his family to Alexandria especially to attend the wedding. His presence left a good feeling with my family and friends. There are many things to say about his welcoming of visitors to London including many priests and bishops who came for medical treatment or social visits. Also many of the new-comers to England were met by him and he tried to find solutions to their problems. My brother and lifetime friend. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who chose you to the priesthood, saw your toils and your hard work. He told you “I fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge will give to me on that Day.”

Peace be with your spirit my beloved Father, the Reverend Bishoy Bushra
By Fr. Thomas Fayez, St Mark’s Church London
Peace be to your spirit, my Father for the day you embraced us as we approached our youth years in St George’s Church, Zaher, Cairo – more than 35 years ago. Many nights you stayed to the early hours to sit with every youth who needed your guidance and help. You did not care to rest your body, but cared much more for the comfort of others. Peace be to your spirit that loved the Holy Mass and prayers. Many times I begged you to rest at home because of your illness and I offered to pray the Mass, every time you replied I need the altar. Many times I saw you kneeling before the altar as you could not stand. Many times you could only pray interrupted words as you were struggling to breathe, but you never left the altar. Your smile after every Mass brought me happiness, despite your tired body as if you felt “I have struggled and became victorious” Peace be to your spirit, my Father for you had a loving and kind heart to all. How many people have you helped secretly without anyone knowing? God allowed me to know some of them in various circumstances. Peace be to your spirit, my Father, I met with your passionate fatherhood the minute my feet touched London and till you departed. I saw you joyful for every successful service to the youth. Many times you supported me with your prayers and guidance. You stood by me and defended me when that was necessary. You worked hard to make my family comfortable, each member of my family in every way you could. I will never forget the last time I met you in the hospital, you lay in bed in pain, you were calling on the Lord Jesus that He gives you the strength to cope with the pain. I came to say goodbye as I was traveling to Egypt for my brother’s wedding the next day in Cairo, many times you asked me, while in great pain, to leave you so that I would complete the preparation for travel the next day. Such was your care for others rather than yourself. Peace be to your spirit, my Father, your spirit went to heaven while we were preparing to celebrate the martyrdom of the Roman hero, St George, whose church you served as a deacon and then as a priest. I knew how strong your relationship was with him. God willed that you celebrate in heaven with St George on his feast day this year. On the arrival of your body to Cairo, St

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George actually hosted your body in his church in Zaher to spend your last night in his bosom and in the same place where you started your service. It is this deep friendship that connected you both that our hero St George has revealed to us. Peace be to your spirit, my Father, we will never forget you, our tears are not an expression of sadness without hope but rather feelings of love and passion in exchange for your love and passion. Pray for the service, for your family and your beloved children everywhere. We will not forget you because we have fellowship with your spirit in every Liturgy and in every place we prayed together. Peace be to your spirit, my Father, now you are in Paradise praying for us to complete our struggle until we meet again. Forgive us and absolve us and remember us before the throne of His grace before which you are now standing with the twenty four priests.

Farewell To My Father
By: John Bishoy Makkar
did not expect to be saying farewell to my father so soon, although I have known I for quite some time now as my father has been telling me gently since just before Christmas, and I know that this was God's will and that my father has been preparing himself all his life for the hour when he will meet with our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ whom he loved and served all his life as a deacon and as a priest. His main aim in life was that hour. My father was so ill for the majority of his life and that was one of the reasons why we came to London in the first place, but I’ve never heard my father complain about his illness. As a matter of fact he used to thank god for his illness, and he was always joyful and happy even in his time of suffering. All he ever wanted in life was to serve god and serve his children so that he can reach the goal which he did at the time of his death in the flesh, and that was exactly what he did when he was with us in flesh, with all honesty and happiness. He used to always say that only in sickness do you see and understand the cross. When he was in so much pain during holy week, I was so worried about him and frustrated that I could not do anything about the pain, but he was so happy. I asked him when we were alone, why he was so happy and the answer I got shocked me and made me emotionally upset. He said to me, “Although I am in so much pain, I am glad that I have suffered with Christ and felt just a tiny bit of what He has felt on the cross in holy, for he gives only what one can bear and no more, and if he loves you, he will allow you to suffer with him.” I held myself for a while and then slowly left the room to stand outside weeping. But now he is with us in spirit, for he has reached his goal and is still serving god but this time while seeing him also. Now we have an intercessor in heaven who loved us and whom we loved very much. He can guide us still. All we have to do is ask him to help us and he will. If we want to see him, all we have to do is go to the church and attend the mass and he will be there waiting and praying with us and for us. I was contemplating on how many people my father served while they were still alive in flesh, and whom he himself prayed upon at the times of their departure, both young and old, who have now received him with joy up in heaven. I remember when I was in time of trouble and I would like to pick up the phone to him to speak with him but I was scared that he would be solving a bigger problem or he was sleeping (although he hardly ever slept) or he was in hospital, I would find that he is calling me, and he would say in a joking kind of way, “Izayak ya gohn, ya ritna ma iftakarna haga 3idla, maalak? (Hi john, I wish I remembered something worth it, what’s wrong???”. It was like he could feel that I was in agony or there was a problem and that he was always there to solve it for me. When I tried to resolve it by myself he would leave me till all the doors were closed, then he would say to me, “why do you always rely on yourself?” Then he would take me to the alter of the church and say to me, “this is where all the power comes from, bring your problems here and they will be solved. Try it once and if I am wrong don’t come back.” This is how much faith he had in god and his alter, and

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believe me when I say that every problem I had and dad put on the alter, it was solved in a way I would never have imagined possible. I have many things to say about my father but I have limited words that I am allowed to put in this book, but one thing I must say is that we have had calls from all over the world from people we knew and others we didn’t saying to us that they have known Christ through dad and have seen Christ in him. My family and I all have been touched by each and every one of you, for the love you have for my father. This has shown us that he has touched your hearts the same way he has touched our family’s hearts. He loved each and every one of you with all his heart. He always put you (the bishops, priests and congregation) and us (the family) before himself and his health. I remember many calls late at night when dad was still with us in flesh, as he was just about to go to sleep or had already gone to sleep. After one of those calls I went to check up on him and I would find him getting up and getting dressed. I asked him what he was doing and he answered and said there is a couple that are having a little argument and they need me to be there so that if god wills the problem will be solved. I then argued with him and said that they can wait until tomorrow. Right now you need to get some rest as you are very ill and they are not. He would then gently say to me, “how can I sleep knowing that my children have a problem? And they will not be comfortable or be able to sleep themselves until the problem is resolved. Also suppose I leave them and sleep, where do I hide my face from god? I would then understand how loyal he was in his service and to Christ. He lived the verse in the bible which says: “well done, good and faithful servant, you were faithful over the few things, I will make you ruler of many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” Matt 25:21. I remember when I was younger; I used to be so jealous of my friends. They went on holidays with their father and they had their father to themselves, while I wanted that so much, but I never had it. Only now I understand what my father has left behind for me. For what he has left behind is a beautiful huge family for me and that is each and every one of you. Each time I want to see dad, all I have to do is look at each and every one of you for you have all got a piece of dad in you. The one thing that our family now know how to do properly is serving and loving everyone we come by, because this is what dad taught us to do. He planted that seed in us right from the beginning and watched it grow. He always used to say that if anyone turns up at our doorstep, never turn them away but serve them with what you can, lest when the time comes and you turn up at the doorstep of the holy one, and he turn you away. This is what I remember of my father and until we meet again I will live by this rule he set out. Finally we would like to thank each and every one of you, who at the head is His Holiness Pope Shenouda III for the support and love which you all have shown us. We ask you to pray for us for the journey ahead, so that we may strive in our struggle on earth, until the day we will all meet again with dad in the paradise with our lord Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless each of your lives. I will leave you with the passage which my father lived by and pray that we all live by it so we can be in the same place as he is and meet him again when the time comes. 3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, and thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, Endures all things. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13: 3-8.

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From deacons and members of the congregation

Dedication to Father Bishoy
Its been so hard to put into words my thoughts on such a great man who has inspired myself and many. Anything I say would not be enough of course and would obviously fall short to all who knew him; nevertheless I would like to honour this father with my words. Of the many things he has taught me and I will continually try to learn and apply, I would like to focus on some aspects of his character. Fr. Bishoy was a man of vision, it was clear that his vision stemmed from his time before the Throne of Grace. He knew what young people needed and not just what they wanted or thought they needed. In the early part of 1995 Fr. Bishoy got a few young servants together and revealed to them his vision for a successful annual youth conference. It would need prayer and hard work he told us but the key was to get others working with us as well, to grow others in the service. With tremendous zeal every week thereafter we would meet in preparation and without fail every week Fr. Bishoy would produce additional helpers for the conference and suggest their specific team roles. His tenderness and contagious fire would bind that young helper to this call with little more than a smile and a loving tap on the shoulders, for his affectionate nature caused one to want to please him. So it was that although we started with less than 4 servants we ended up with several teams of more than 5 people each, teams that would pray for the conference, lead worship, set the program, organize the logistics of the conference, prepare the food, serve the food, and record and distribute the talks. He had formed an army with his radiant smile and we wanted to succeed for him and the Lord he served. He was not afraid to delegate in order to build up others, and his delegation was carefully followed up by him to ensure all were active and growing. Needless to say that that year’s conference was a great success with over 160 or more youth attending and with a spirit of unity across all that I can remember to this day. It didn’t end there a few days after the conference a few servants were called to meet Fr. Bishoy to discuss, for he was humble and gentle in proposing his ideas, a regular Friday youth meeting that would have its focus on effective worship before the Lord and on good teaching. The meeting started, yet from the start father Bishoy and father Antonious would attend at the back of the church and encourage it to be youth led. Our worship times though would often need some lifting, fr. Bishoys spirit of worship would then take over, Arabic and surprisingly English hymns would be introduced by him, people would be encouraged to pray out and a school of worship was effected on Friday nights. He was a man of prayer and it was contagious. We longed to meet our heavenly Father as he obviously was in those rich times of prayer. The meeting soared in popularity and father Bishoy’s relationship with each and every member caused it to grow in depth and spirituality. Youth would come from Brighton and Birmingham weekly to join in our worship of the King of Kings. A few years later as these meetings continued Fr. Bishoy longed for youth to grow in discipleship and depth, he introduced us to a teacher called Ibrahim El Sayeh for him to start regular weekly Bible studies. Fr. Bishoy would continually approach Uncle Ibrahim with new people that needed the Bible studies and Uncle Ibrahim would consent to add more and more to first one class then many to the point that Bible Studies were going on almost every day in the week. The Bible studies trained the army of servants that were arising, the Friday Youth meeting would place us before the Lord in worship and the Sunday liturgy empowered us with His Grace.

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Father Bishoy began then to encourage youth to enter into service, asking them to share what they had received with others and a generation of Sunday school servants and other servants grew under his tender and watchful gaze. While being servants we were required to attend a meeting that Fr. Bishoy intended would unite us all in one heart and mind, the servants meeting. This was a weekly meeting that had an agenda set by Fr. Bishoy and the heads of service families. The meeting was usually blessed with good teaching by the servants themselves and often by Fr. Bishoy at times arranging external speakers for topics he felt necessary. He had built us up from youth, watched over our teachers as they taught us, built us up in service and responsibility and now was forming us into a united family of servants because with him we definitely felt like a family. I fell short in my service, preparation and follow up of those in my service and in telling him he would be sorrowful with me as to the state of those in my care. He would encourage me, sometimes sternly, as I needed it and would then show me his tender love, I remember him at times crying when I asked him for help in difficult matters for members of the class that I served, that was a strong lesson for me in having a heart for others and realizing the seriousness of our service. As a father to us all he played a key part in many of his children discovering their suitability of each other for marriage and led us gently towards marriage. He presided over our weddings with a cheecky joy and the same spirit of joyfull praise mentioned earlier truly blessing our marriages with his unique stamp of happiness. In the large and the small he was a faithful servant. An example of the small is one that I noticed especially after having my own children. Their birthday celebrations would be held in church after Sunday school where I noticed that the candles would not be blown out except with Fr. Bishoy being present to sing ‘happy birthday’ and to hug the child. This left my children with a deep sense of worth and love for Fr. Bishoy. Looking back of course it was something he did for all the young angels who celebrated their birthdays, he would try to be present and present them with a gift and his warmth. So much so that my now 5 Year old son Stephen, having been praying for Fr. Bishoy’s health every night for a period of months found me telling him that father was now in heaven. Stephen was silent and then said but daddy I will miss his hugs. I answered we all will…. Remember your children in your prayers father Bishoy, those whom you taught, discipled, trained, placed in service, married, baptized their children, and cared for their children too. By: Ehab Roufail

To my beloved Father Abouna Bishoy,
Forty days have passed since you departed from this temporary world to the world of eternal living, which you worked for with all sincerity and passion, quoting to us always the words of St Paul, ‘But I chastise my body and bring it into subjection, lest perhaps after preaching to other, I myself should be rejected.’ 1 Cor 9:27 You were always mindful of the salvation of your congregation and yourself, always fiery in spirit. You were a great example of love and humility and were filled with the spirit of righteousness and the love of God. I remember the late Metropolitan Daniel, Bishop of Khartoum, saying about you during his visit to St. Mark’s Church London, ‘This is a man of God, and His faithful servant.’ You were unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in your generosity and housing of the stranger. You were a father to the poor, the needy and the weak, and to those who had nobody; your house was an oasis of

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comfort to many. You turned no-one away, even if it compromised your health and welfare, and continued this for the last 30 years, even during your illness. I will not forget, during your illness in hospital, only a week before you passed away, of your request regarding one of your congregation, who had no relatives, saying to me, ‘Look after him, for he has no one.’ What is this love, this generosity, this heart and this fatherhood? We applaud you, oh father, for you will hear the words of the Holy Spirit as in the words of St. Matthew, saying, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many; enter into the joy of your Master.’ Matt 25:21. We commend you, oh father, when you hear the voice of our Lord saying, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ Matt 25:31 Pray for us, our father, so that our hearts may not drown in the sea of despair and the pain of your departure. Pray for us also, that we may be good servants as you taught us in patience and love. As you stand in the midst of the Throne of Grace, remember the congregation of St. Mark’s Church, so that God may console us with his Holy Spirit and wipe away every tear from our eyes.

By: Michael George

A Blessed Fr. Abouna Bishoy
Blessed are you Abouna Bishoy , blessed was your life on this earth and blessed is your departure to the Land of The Living. You lived your life for others, caring more about their faith, happiness and comfort than your own health and comfort. God chose that you depart from this life to Heaven on the Eve of Sunday, the day of the Resurrection and during the Fifty Days of Joy. The prayers which were arranged in the church on the third day of your departure were held on the Eve of St George’s Feast , the saint who you loved and served his church in Cairo for many years. The day of your burial will be on St Mark’s Feast, of whom you served his church in London for 29 years. We are confident that you are with our Risen God enjoying the company of his saints. Pray for us.

By Nabeel Boutros

“Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy.” (Psalm 132:9)
Who am I the unworthy but devoted son of the great man, Fr. Bishoy, to speak of the honour attained by him on this earth? To him was put on righteousness when he was ordained a priest of God and surely on that day did the saints shout for joy. We the true believers of Christ likewise, although some what unwillingly in this our time of selfish mournful sorrow, in turn shout for the joy that our Father has now gained what he spent his whole life working hard to accomplish. Fr. Bishoy now says with our teacher St. Paul “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Without a doubt we say to you Father, your crown is well deserved and it was that promised to you by the Lord our God for indeed it is written: “The labourer is worthy of his reward” (1 Timothy 5:18). Father Bishoy was a true shepherd who sincerely cared whole heartedly for his flock. He did his up most to keep his flock within one fold and if one of his flock strayed he followed the teaching of God which says “I will seek that which was lost and bring back that which has strayed” (Ezekiel 34:15). Some may ask why he would bother searching after that which was lost particularly when it would have been much easier to care for that which he already had. However,

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this kind of question was most certainly not the type to enter into the mind of our late Father, for he found comfort in the knowledge that every individual member of his church was accounted for and that he could stand before the Just Judge and honestly say he had done his best to keep them. Communication with God was a major part of Fr. Bishoy’s existence and one could easily see that his weapon in life was prayer alone. Many times I would hear members of the congregation say that he ‘was a man of prayer’ or ‘he really loves to pray’ and I did not fully understand what they meant until I was privileged enough to see this for myself. The man who we saw standing before the altar of God was no ordinary man, but a devout servant of the Lord, who offered up to God not only the bread and wine beseeching that they become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ but also the petitions of his people pleading that God would answer each one according to His mercy. This was always evident during the altar processions in the liturgy where we would see billows of incense rising upwards. In this Fr. Bishoy was loyal to the scripture ritual which states that the priests “shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat” (Leviticus 16:13) and again true to the words of the Coptic Psalmody where it says: “Wherein God takes away the sins of the people, through the burnt offerings and the aroma of incense”. Truly Fr. Bishoy spent his years in earnest gratitude thanking God for accepting him as a humble servant and we always had this feeling renewed within us whenever we listened to him praying the liturgy of St. Gregory and chanting with such heart felt passion “I offer unto You, O’ my Master the symbols of my freedom … You are He who has given to me this service which is full of mystery”. Now after his departure from this earth we say chant O’ David, in our midst with the psaltery and harp, with happiness and joy for our Father Bishoy saying: “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, you are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4). The Lord God chose Fr. Bishoy in the same manner that he chose the sons of Aaron and spoke commanding that they “may minister to Me as priests; for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood” (Exodus 40:15). Through this we learn that Fr. Bishoy will be eternally praising and serving God and that his priesthood was no mere earthly occupation. For in the like manner St. John reveals to us from his vision into heaven that he saw “twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones … twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads” (Revelation 4:4). My beloved brethren who share with me in contemplating our great loss, to you I say let us ask the Lord to turn our morning into joy in the knowledge that our beloved Father Bishoy is not ‘dead’ for our Christian belief does not allow us to think so, but to affirm with faith that he has departed this world to an eternal life, to a place free from strife and sorrow and full of joy in the resurrection. It is at this time that we utter the words chanted to Fr. Bishoy long ago at the time of his ordination and say fervently: ‘Pray to Lord on our behalf, O’ priest of God the Most High, Father Bishoy the Hegumen, that He may forgive us our sins’. And finally “Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come … and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead” who has made for us “priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 6:4, 5, 6).

By: Subdeacon Andrew Halim

I Saw Jesus in him
I was privileged to have been baptised as an adult by Abouna and the first time I met him I saw Jesus in him so clearly. He asked me if I believed if the Holy Communion was the real Body and Blood of Jesus and after speaking with him I was in no doubt. Ho told me he loved to pray the part in the Mass “Amen, Amen, Amen I believe, I believe, I believe and confess until my last breathe that this is the life-giving body …” When I spoke with him I felt he was truly my father – his love and warm smile made me feel accepted. Whatever problem I shared with him, his answer was simple “Jesus with You” and “We will pray”. He pointed always to Jesus. So even though Abouna has now gone and I will miss him so much, what he has shown me is always to look to Jesus and whatever problem I have to pray.

Mrs Sue Raphael

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Tributes to Abouna Bishoy from the Youth of St. Mark’s Church - London:
As we look back over time .. we find ourselves wondering..... Did we remember to thank you enough for all you have done for us? For all the times you were by our sides . to help and support us..... To celebrate our successes .. to understand our problems and accept our shortcomings .. or for teaching us by your example, the value of hard work, good judgment, Courage and integrity? We wonder if we ever thanked you .. for the sacrifices you made. To let us have the very best? And for the simple things in life like laughing, smiling and the great times we shared which we will never forget. If we have forgotten to show our gratitude enough for all the things you did, we are praying to God, to let you know how much we thank and appreciate you.Please pray for us that we are able to strive and to defeat the enemy so that we can meet you again in heaven , and kiss your hands.

Maha Adel
I love Abouna Bishoy with all my heart. He was the most caring and loving person who continues to inspire me to live for Christ. He will always be in my heart and I thank God everyday for having such an amazing person in my life. You are my angel and I will miss you so much.

Tryvana Ekladious
When I heard the news that my guardian angel. Abouna Bishoy, had departed from this world, I was devastated. I asked myself… “Who is going to bless my new flat? Who will be the one who performs my wedding? Who will baptise my children?” Suddenly, knowing it wouldn’t be him tears my world apart. I hadn’t imagined anyone else doing it. I had pictured my dad giving me away and my dad performing my wedding service! Two fathers’ …one was Abouna Bishoy! Since then, and whilst every emotion was still raw, I have spent every possible moment with Abouna’s family, and it was then that I had an epiphany… He is still with me, right by my side, in my every move. His smile is what I remember most. His granddaughters’ have inherited this priceless gift. Throughout my childhood his smile would light up my face and I couldn’t help but smile right back at him every time. Even now, I smile when I think of it and that contagious laugh he had. Abouna was the kind of man you wanted to hug. He has been in my life my whole life and it will be tough to go to church knowing I will not see him anymore. He was part of my family and his sense of humour will live on in many of my childhood memories. The time I spent with him and his family throughout the years cannot be measured in one article. The blessing I had, growing up with John, Sherry and Mark was that I got to have a second dad… Abouna! When there was something bothering me, he would often just take me in his arms and hug me. He wouldn’t ask me why or even want me to talk about it… he just wanted to make it better. Even if I thought I was covering up my emotions, he just knew. He would take me in his arms, just like he always did when I was little, (even now as an adult) and I could feel his love for me in every hug. Somehow it made everything alright again. His love for me, made me feel as though I was one of his children and his warmth still lives on in his family. He always made the effort to check on me and was never angry with me if I was not regular at church. Instead, he was always so welcoming and pleased to see me; I would make the effort just for him! I am sad that I will not see him again, in this tough life we lead but I am comforted by knowing that a man of such great warmth, love, generosity, wisdom, compassion and integrity but to name a few things that spring to mind when I think of him, is knowing he is where he has always wanted to be…with God. I will miss him terribly but every time I feel sad I will think of all the jokes he would crack and how his laugh had the power to make a whole room fill with happiness and lau

Heidi Garas Mikhail
Who is going to hit me on my back now? Who is going to tell me all those Arabic jokes that I

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never understood? Who is always going to tell me that everything will be ok even when things were really bad?And who is going to love unconditionally like he loved? Abouna Bishoy was not just a Priest, Father, Grandfather, Brother, and Uncle, but also like an Angel from the heavens brought to us on earth. His love, warmth, and kindness were so powerful that no one could deny that he has touched the hearts of each and every one of us as some point in our lives. When I heard that Abouna was sick I was abroad at the time, and was not aware of the extent of his illness, in fact I was not so concerned because I knew that God always healed Abouna and felt this time would be no different! Little did I know what God’s plan would be for him this time round! It seems like only yesterday when I was sitting with him laughing and joking, being greeted with a slap on the back and a joke about my height. He was so full of life, and that’s why I couldn’t quite believe that he really was so sick, especially since I had only just seen him before I went away. On my return I spent a lot of time at the hospital with family and friends, where we were all praying and hoping that Abouna would get better. I felt an indescribable amount of love by so many people for Abouna, and so found myself frustrated at times and felt like going into the room and saying ‘Abouna enough now, wake up, we need you here with us’. I just wanted to see him smile, to make those Arabic jokes that I never understood so that I could laugh with him again. I feel really sad that Abouna has left us, and I will really miss him, but I am equally comforted that he is no longer suffering and is now sat in the heavens with our Lord Jesus Christ looking down on us. There is no one on this earth that can ever replace this unique Angel sent to us from God.

Joanna Ekladious
I have always considered Abouna Bishoy and his beloved family my second family. I love them all very much. Every week he’d greet me with the warmest smile and make a joke. After having a terrible week I would see him and feel that God was in our presence. He was a great father, friend and spiritual guidance to me. I have always felt the power of his prayers, especially during the mass and confession. He gave me perfect advice during several difficult times in my life. I loved the values with which he dealt with people. That is, he would accept everyone and show them unconditional love. Some of my muslim friends met Abouna and were so moved by him that they spoke about him to others; and were heart broken when they heard the news. Abouna truly did the best a human being could do to mirror image Christ; by offering open arms to all. I was fortunate enough to receive a call from him during his last days. He told me ‘mena, ana awz est-starayah (because he knew he was ready to meet Christ). I love and miss Abouna so much! I feel very lost after his death. For me St Marks Church will never be the same. Abouna was an example to me and inspired me to want to be Christ-like. He taught me how to pray, fast, love, have hope and have faith. The image of Abouna Bishoy will forever be carved in my heart. I eternally thank you Abouna for all that you have done for me and my family. I hope I can learn from this beautiful gentle man, and try to carry on his work to make him proud of me. I will honor him always. Pray for me my brothers and sisters. I send my love to all the family- My mum, dad, sister and I are here for you always! Abouna Bishoy, pray for us always so that we can see you again.

Dr. Mena Michel Garas
It is really hard to describe what Abouna meant to me as a member of the youth congregation. He was a father figure to so many people but made each individual feel that he had a special relationship with them. He must have had to remember thousands upon thousands of names and faces and yet his love was so genuine and sincere that every single one felt like his only son or daughter. Despite all the trials and tribulations that he had to bear in his own life, I wonder how he slept at night carrying the struggles of an entire community. It is no secret that everyone that had a problem be it social, marital, financial or even legal would come to Abouna expecting a solution. How did he cope with these burdens? I certainly could not. Yet despite this, he maintained an extraordinary sense of humour and it is this that I will never forget. For all his purity and spirituality, you could sense by the mischievous look in his eyes that you were about to get a slap

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on the back or a word of comedy regarding your no-show as a deacon on Sunday. Even until the very end, when he was in severe pain, he asked the specialist Pain consultant in Kings College hospital to alleviate his pain just enough so that he could hit me on the back one last time! Everyone loved him. The intensive care nurse who has seen thousands of patients told me that she had never felt love for a patient as she did for Abouna. How appropriate that one of the nurses looking after him near the end was called Blessing? One thing is for sure. It is us that have been blessed to have had such a holy, pure and loving person in our lives and it is a comfort to me that he is now looking down on us protecting us and guiding our every move. He loved us on earth and he will love us in heaven and for that we should thank God and await the day when we will be reunited again.

Dr. Peter George
Abouna Bishoy was a rock on which St Mark’s church was built, a rock on which many of our lives have been founded, and a rock of support to the troubled. With the burden of so many on his shoulders, Abouna still had time for his congregation and would put everyone before himself often to the detriment of his health. With a contagious smile that radiated so strongly, Abouna taught us the meaning of Christianity. How one man can have had such a huge impact on so many lives speaks volumes. We will miss Abouna greatly but can be consoled by the fact that we have been touched by a great man.

Paul George.

A Man of Ministry
By : David Boutros
Abona Bishoy loved the Lord, loved the church and loved his children and he served the Lord in St Mark’s and in our lives, his children, with all his heart. What I always found so powerful was how this love was channelled as an immense love for the sacraments. To those who came to him burdened with troubles he would often say “put this before the sacrifice on the altar”. He lived this and was often on his knees before the Body of our Lord in tears interceding for His church and His children. He worked for his children tirelessly establishing the conferences and working for the youth meetings. In one of the Friday meetings (04.07.2003) he answered a series of interview questions which give a good insight to these spiritual drivers. Q. What characteristic of God would you consider that you have fallen in love with? A. Redemption & satisfaction through Jesus Christ. Q. How has St. Mark's church changed in the last 25 years? A. It started with just a few families about 40, now we have documented a total of over a 1000 families. Since 1994 onwards there has been an increase in youth activities especially conferences and meetings. Q. What is your favourite verse from the bible and why? A. I depend on the verses where Our Lord Jesus Christ shows his love, shows his promises and shows what he has done for us. This teaches us to realise that he is far stronger than us especially John 3:16 where the Father offered His Son to us. Q. How did you become a priest? A. I loved church as a kid and even used to pretend to give the Holy Communion to my family. I was influenced by my teachers, the pope and the clergy; this caused my love to increase. I was invited 5 times to be a priest but rejected as I felt it wasn’t from God. Therefore I set certain criteria which must be fulfilled prior to acceptance of the role as a priest which were; my happiness, the happiness of my wife, the happiness of my father of confession, my father’s happiness and finally my bosses’ acceptance of my departure.

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Q. What is your favourite church hymn?. A.. Je nai nan (Have mercy) and the hymns of Holy Week Q. Who is your favourite character from the Old Testament? Abraham. As he received a promise about a son, yet he didn’t lose faith despite waiting till he was 100yrs old and physically incapable of bearing children before the promise became true. We should learn to have this same powerful faith. Q.Who is your favourite character from the New Testament? A. Our Lord Jesus Christ. Q. Who is your favourite saint? A. St Mary. Q. What is your vision for the church in the next 10 years? A. A special concern for the youth, hence the appointment of Abouna Thomas, and the handing down of responsibility from the current leaders to the current youth-to ensure a steady supply of support for the upcoming youth. Abona Bishoy was totally dedicated to his service and his service was perfectly defined by H.H. Pope Shenouda’s definition of church ministry: “The Church transfers the great salvation that Christ presented on the cross, by the work of the Holy Spirit in her, to the people. This takes place through three ways: the ministry of the sacraments, the ministry of the Word, and the ministry of reconciliation and pastoring.” May his prayers for the church and its children always continue before his beloved Lord.

Our dear Father, Abouna Bishoy Boushra
When I was asked to write something for the memorial book, I instantly said yes without question. However, when putting pen to paper, I found it very difficult as there is so much to write about you of how much of a fatherly figure, friend and support you have been to us. Abouna, there have been many hurdles that we have faced in our lives, the most tragic being mum’s moving to her new home with our Lord. You amongst many others knew what an intense and difficult period in our lives that was and at times still is. However, the day after she went to heaven, and arrangements were being made for the funeral, you called me from America, whilst undergoing tests and treatment, and said, “….Manal, my daughter, you MUST postpone the funeral and I MUST be there……I am your FATHER and have to be there with my daughters on this day….”. You were due to stay there for another couple of weeks. However because of your unique love and tenderness you came early and indeed led the funeral. Both Neveen and I felt extremely comforted that our friend and father were there by our side on the day where we needed him most. The Lord truly knew our hurt was great and yet He sent his son to be with us. During this difficult period, there were times when I would give you headache and question you, “Abouna, why….why did it happen to her, someone who kept the faith and fought strong and yet lost?” You looked at me and smiled which was one of your many trademarks, and simply said “Why not?” I of course was not impressed with the answer, as you could tell from my confused look!! You not only smiled but you laughed at me, (again as you always did, which highly embarrassed me many times!!) “Ya binty, you are right, mama did go through suffering and pain and had strong faith and because of that, she is now victorious in heaven.” It took a while for it to sink in and I then smiled and you hugged me. This last statement, I hear myself echo too many others, including your 3 beautiful legacies, John, Sherry and Mark. Indeed the legacies you have left each depict you in their own way. They have even more power in heaven as they now have you, their personal saint to continually pray for them without having the many distractions that this world provides.

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John, Sherry and Mark, our dear brothers and sister, remember you haven’t lost him; in fact you have gained a greater family in heaven and your own personal saint. Just continually look up to the heavens at time of need and you will feel him next to you saying his famous sentence, “Jesus is with you.” Yes those last few days that Abouna suffered on earth were extremely difficult for you, and indeed all of us who were there with you, however know that he is free and at peace and is now shining, praying and of course smiling more than ever, and waiting for you to join him with our Father in Paradise. Abouna, it has been an absolute honour to have been part of your beautiful family and thank you for always being there for us and making us smile. P.S. Say a massive hello to mum from us By : Manal and Neveen Fouad

A Message to Abouna Bishoy
My sweet Abouna Bishoy. My words could never fully describe how I see him in my mind. Despite his illness, the great distances he had to travel and the many commitments he had, as well as looking after his own family who loved his company greatly, Abouna Bishoy did not have the word “no” in his vocabulary. Whatever you asked of him, if it would be to the glory of God, he was willing to help. When he walked into a room he had an incredible ability to make everyone there feel as if they were the only person who mattered. His cheerful countenance could easily evoke a smile from every person his shadow passed. Above all, I will forever remember his love that had no limits. In him we see Jesus’ words of the sermon of the mount fulfilled… “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you, do not turn him away.” From : Joanna Botros We would like to send our sincere condolences to all our Coptic Orthodox Churches all over the world, to His wonderful wife Nabila and His sons and daughters, to Fr. Antonious Thabet and all the congregations of St. Mark's Church and to everyone have get to know our Saint Fr. Bishoy. Heaven gained a Saint but our Church lost Fr. Bishoy. Our Saint suffered a great deal of pain however He never complained, He was always happy and the smile always on His face. We ask Him to intercede on our behalf and pray for and remember us before the Throne of Grace. From Maurice, Marcelle, Steven & Andrew Elnazir (Canada) Although it's been many years since I have last interacted with Fr. Bishoy, his voice still rings in my ears. After almost 13 years since moving from his guidance to live in Florida, I still consider St. Mark's my home church in many ways. Maybe part of it comes from my being baptized by Fr. Bishoy and playing as a group of friends that included Mark. Those memories I will have forever. On behalf of my father Samir, my mother Soad (Susu), and my brother Hany, we'd like to express our sincere condolences to the beloved Aunt Nabila, and our brothers and sister John, Sheri, and Mark. May the Lord be with you and strengthen you through the days to come; but also remember to rejoice as we all remind ourselves that our Father Bishoy is now in a place where suffering and pain doesn't exist and he looks down smiling on us and interceding for us. I wish to extend my condolences to my church family - those who know me, and those who don't; and of course Fr. Antonious Thabet - a long time partner in service with Fr. Bishoy. From Jimmy Edward - FL, USA.

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Memories from the Boulos Family about Abouna Bishoy
By: Dr. Girgis Boushra Boulos Writing on behalf of a combined force of 8 children, all of whom are half English, their parents and grandparents, Abouna Bishoy was at the receiving end of a tirade of disgruntlement from this gang whenever he tried to please the older congregation and outweigh the English component of the service by the Arabic one. He never lost his smile nor his patience. He was similarly bombarded with our complaints when his sermons and services went on a bit too long for our liking. Yet one of his unforgettable smiles and we were all back for more the following week. Little did we understand the extreme pain and agony he was going through in every service: here was a patient with liver ailure, kidney complications, crumbling spine and impending heart attack serving the Lord and our spiritual well being to the utmost, never complaining, never refusing a request for help, never preferring his comfort to the need of one of his children. Simply a matter of few weeks before his death he was the first to visit the family on the loss of our father and grandfather, Bushra Boulos. We said we were angry with God and as he was God's representative, we were going to take it out on him. His comforting words were a soothing nectar to our grieving hearts. He had that unique gift of peace which he imparted on others at the time of most need. The children who grew up with him as their priest describe his oh, so incredible kindness and pleasantness which were so saint like that he became a role model for dealing with diversities for all of them. They all thought it very funny when he confessed to being a sinner: he used to do 90 miles per hour on the motorway to catch up with all his commitments! He asked the Lord for forgiveness for breaking the law and was spared the speed cameras. Pope Shenouda and all the Bishops and priests will probably be able to write books on Abouna Bishoy's saintliness. We are only grateful to have been touched by him and his saintly life and take comfort in knowing that he continues his pastorship for us from within the Kingdom now. We treasure a picture of Pope Kirolos VI he gave us as a present on his last visit to Reading and take to heart his quote " Be totally, totally assured and do not worry about anything much, but leave the matter to the One in whose Hand the matter is". Aksios Abouna Bishoy.

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Photographs

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