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Tribute to Dr Helmy Guirguis, Founder and Chair of the UK Copts Association and international champion for Coptic Christians, who departed on 31 January 2015, by His Grace Bishop Angaelos

Dr Helmy Guirguis was the father of Coptic Activism in Britain and Europe, and in some ways around the world. He has served faithfully as an advocate for over thirty years and has been a strong and wise ally for the past twenty as we have worked side by side on many issues that have touched the Coptic community in Egypt and Britain.

Dr Guirguis is one of the first Coptic Christians outside Egypt to have pioneered and championed advocacy, and has always spoken powerfully and effectively with graciousness and dignity. As a result, he has been respected and heard by many prominent decision and policy makers in Britain, Brussels, and around the world. He will always be remembered for his ability to provide a natural and seamless combination of gentle diplomacy and powerful advocacy, and has left a legacy that we are all inspired by and aspire to.

Helmy had been unstoppable in his struggle with illness for over two decades, most recently experiencing a variety of medical complications, yet had remained strong throughout.

In conjunction with the UK Copts Association, which Helmy founded and headed, and both the Coptic and Egyptian medical societies, we are arranging a gathering in the coming weeks to remember, give thanks for, and celebrate the life of this great advocate.

Our prayers are with his wonderful family, community and friends, that we all be comforted in the expectation of our beloved and respected Helmy receiving that wonderful commendation from our Lord and Chief Advocate Himself, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matthew 25:21)

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