Father Antonious Thabet
Father Antonious was born on 23 April 1938 in Alexandria, Egypt. He started teaching in Sunday school at the age of 16 whilst serving in the churches of Archangel Michael in Gorbal, Saint Mary in Meharam Beh and Saint Mina in Elmandara, all of which are in Alexandria.
In 1962, Fr Antonious began a group of Sunday School teachers who worked closely with Bishop Shenouda (His Holiness the late Pope Shenouda III). This group organised conferences and met regularly in Alexandria. Fr Antonious became the secretary of this group.
Fr Antonious was ordained priest in St Mark’s Cathedral, Alexandria on 21 January 1973, and became secretary of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III. On 26 June 1975, he was ordained Hegumen and was appointed as the Pope’s representative (Ar: "Wekeel") of the Coptic churches in Alexandria.
On 1 August 1980, Fr Antonious was called to serve in Saint Mark’s Church in London. Whilst serving in Saint Mark’s, in 1981 he started to travel to Birmingham, Manchester, Ireland and Glasgow to pray the Holy Liturgy for the small group of Copts living there. This formed the seed for Coptic churches which were later established in these locations. He also travelled to Denmark, Switzerland, Marsillia and Greece to pray Holy liturgies for the congregation there; these places also later they established Coptic churches.