The Russian Orthodox Church marks 300 years of its presence in the British Isles in 2016.
In December, 1716 divine services started to be celebrated in the church of the Dormition of the Mother of God in London, which was established by the Russian Embassy for the Russian citizens who regularly visited England due to the development of business and diplomatic relationships between the two Empires. From that time Russian Orthodoxy began to spread across Great Britain and Ireland.
In his Christmas message, Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh said, "I call upon our compatriots and all whose church life has its origin in the Russian Church to mark this significant date by the strengthening of our unity. With deep gratitude I greet all those who endeavour to preserve the Orthodox traditions which we have inherited from our predecessors and spiritual teachers."
Exhibitions, presentations, seminars, conferences, icon exhibitions, concerts and performances of church choirs relating to the event are planned during the Jubilee year. The consecration of the Dormition Cathedral of the Sourozh Diocese in London will be the culmination of the celebrations. It will take place in October this year after the major refurbishment is completed, 60 years after the first consecration of Cathedral in the Orthodox tradition.
"I hope that our Jubilee will give a spiritual impulse to the reconciliation and strengthening of the unity of the different ecclesiastical jurisdictions which feel themselves to be heirs of the common tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church, which found shelter for its children in the British Isles 300 years ago", - Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh noted in his message to the faithful.