Father Michael Harper Foundation
Thanksgiving Service for Fr. Michael Harper, August 21, 2010
An account of the Thanksgiving service held in St George’s Cathedral, London, for the life and
ministry of Father Michael Harper by Charles Whitehead.
St George’s Orthodox Cathedral was full for the Thanksgiving service, which opened with an
Orthodox Thanksgiving liturgy, (‘Molieben’) , with a choir beautifully led by Jeanne Harper. This was
followed by thanksgiving contributions from Fr. Jonathan Hemmings (UK: Antiochian Orthodox
Deanery), the Rev. Larry Christenson (USA), the Rev. Hans Weichbrodt (Sweden), Eija Kemppi
(Finland), the Rev. Don Brewin (UK: SOMA) and Charles Whitehead (UK: ICC). A splendid eulogy
was given by Father Tom Forrest (USA but mentioning his Irish origins!), and the service finished
with a song of praise and a blessing by Archpriest Fr.Samir Gholam of the Cathedral.
Later in the afternoon there was an informal reception for about 40 people at a hotel nearby. This
was mostly for people associated with Michael through ICC or SOMA, but other friends and relatives
were there also. Among those who contributed some reminiscences there were John Noble (UK),
Bishop Graham Dow (UK), Prof. William Kay (UK), Pastor Marcel Dietler (Switzerland), Evangelist,
Kalevi Lehtinen (Finland), Bob and Mary Smith (Canada), John Wyndham (SOMA Australia).
All these remembrances resulted in a thankful recognition and appreciation of all that Michael had
been enabled to initiate and sustain: so many expressions of renewal in the Holy Spirit in the course
of his nearly fifty year long ministry, both before and after his move to the Orthodox world. And in
all his activities, he was faithfully supported and helped by Jeanne, who also has her own music and
There was a short time of praise at the end of the reception and two prophecies were given:
You rightly celebrate a harvest today but there has also been a sowing of seed today – anything
that has stirred your heart, anything that has moved your spirit – let that also bear fruit. For that
seed to bear fruit there will need to be obedience; there will need to be faith; there will need to be
self-giving. Let the seed sown in you today also be fruitful.
You have heard that a door will open. You will not need to wonder where it is, for the handle will
glow like pure gold.
It was a very good event, with much thanksgiving for Fr. Michael, and also a wonderful
opportunity for many people to renew long-standing friendships and associations face to face. We
trust that the seeds from this harvest will indeed develop according to God’s plans, and bear fruit in
Fr Michael Harper Foundation
3 West View, Newnham Croft
Cambridge CB3 9JB, UK
Tel: +44 1223 362933