The St. Stephen the Great Charitable
charitable trust (REG. NO. 1109008) is named for Stephen, who reposed in the Lord on [[July 2]], 1504 at an old age. By the grace of God, the Trust seeks to emulate his life in the 21st Century struggle for the True Faith of the Holy Orthodox Church. This struggle for the Faith is being waged primarily by the acquisition of the “redundant�? [[church]] buildings of the Church of England. In this, its second year, the trust has succeeded in acquiring fee title to its second magnificent church building (both are listed buildings). In the years to come, it aspires to acquire at least 45 more. More importantly, a [[parish]] is being established in each of these churches. The Trust seeks to facilitate this through financial assistance, guarantees and the like.
As a private foundation formed by [[laity]], the Trust does not function officially within the church; however, its charter forever binds it to the Orthodox Church. Its formation received the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph Pop, a presiding hierarch of the Orthodox Church, who served as one of its initial trustees.
The Trust has not undertaken any organized fund-raising activities or appeals. It operates without a paid administrator or staff, and with only a small endowment which is supplemented by the faithfulness of individuals who are interested in its work. Anyone is welcome to contribute financially to the trust. Essentially, it deploys funds only to purchase
“redundant�? church buildings, and with the establishment of parishes.
The Trust also plays an active role in locating a [[priest]] for any church it acquires, since it only does the latter with a view to the establishment of a parish for regular worship under the amoforiam (or auspices) of an Orthodox [[bishop]]. The trust is not interested in acquiring a building for any other use, nor for simply holding it
“in inventory. �? Once a priest has been located, subject always to the blessing of his bishop, the Trust continues to be involved in helping establish the parish. Ideally, however, the Trust would seek to become uninvolved on a gradual basis, eventually conveying the church building itself to the parish which uses it, or to its diocese.
The two buildings currently owned by the Trust are valued in excess of £12,000,000, and are well located in or near the city centers of Poole,[http://www.orthodoxpoole.org.uk/joomla/] Dorset and Bradford, England. Pursuant to the Redundancy Scheme of the Pastoral Measures legislation, both church buildings were acquired from and with the approval of the Commissioners of the Church of England, as reflected by the Privy Council.The Trust’ charter also calls for the diffusion of Christian knowledge through the distribution of
“literature. �? Hence, establishing a bookstall is one of the first items of business upon re-opening a redundant church. The Trust is committed to the widest possible dissemination of Christian literature.
==St. Stephen the Great Charitable Trust's purpose==
The St. Stephen the Great Foundation seeks to make this
“Orthodox experience�? more widely known in Britain through:
Providing physical spaces of worship whose architectural features reflect something of the beauty of the eternal Kingdom of God