Venerable pastors, dear brothers and sisters!
Pascha truly opens the doors of Paradise to us. These doors are not to be found in some far–off imaginary place but close at hand - within the soul. Christ is risen and grants us His Divine Light, which enlightens every man that comes into the world. Let us open the doors of our souls, the hinges of which are lubricated with the oil of repentance. Let us marvel at this mysterious revelation, which is more valuable than any scientific discovery. Rejoicing in the revelation of the truth of the wonderful and life-giving action of God in us, we exclaim from the depths of hearts:
Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed!
In the sixth week of Great Lent, April 18-22, Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh together with several priests of the diocese made a short pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain of Athos. The pilgrims stayed at the Monastery of St Panteleimon, now splendidly restored after years of decline, and prayed at the services with the brethren of the monastery.
On Wednesday Vladyka and the accompanying clergy concelebrated the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, which was headed by Archbishop Theophylact of Piatigorsk and Cherkessk. Afterwards they visited the mill where St Silouan the Athonite performed his obedience for many years.
Journal No. 32
Message of his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill on dioceses and parishes abroad.
Diocese of Sourozh
Be part of the Sourozh diocese of the newly established parish of the Holy equal to the apostles Grand Duchess Olga in Peterborough, UK.
PAN-ORTHODOX VESPERS was celebrated at our Cathedral on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 20th at 6.00 pm in the presence of Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain, Archbishop Silouan of the British Isles and Ireland, Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh, and other hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the Orthodox dioceses in the UK.
Many people came at have been welcomed at this annual celebration of our unity in the Orthodox Faith.
Today in the parish school, the Cathedral hosted a celebration of Maslenitsa. After lessons, during their games, children were visited by Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh and congratulated on the upcoming Great Lent. Children told how they understand the meaning of the fasting. On the question of the Bishop, how begins fast, the children did not hesitate to answer: Forgiveness! The Archbishop mentioned a good family atmosphere among the pupils, teachers and parents. Together, at the table with pancakes and cakes, they shared the joy of approaching the spiritual spring - the Great Lent.
On Saturday 27 February at the Cathedral of St. George in London (Antiochian Patriarchate) was held the rite of Enthronement of Metropolitan Silouan of the British Isles and Ireland to his Cathedra.
The celebration was attended by five bishops of the Patriarchate of Antioch: Their Eminences Saba of Bosra, Al Horan and Jabal al Arab; Basilios of Akkar; Efraim, Patriarchal Vicar; Ignatios of France, Western and Southern Europe; Isaac of Germany and Central Europe; the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Gregorios, the Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh. The Anglican Church was represented by the Bishop Jonathan Goodal of Ebbsfleet. Archbishop Nichols of Westminster (The Roman Catholic Church) was represented by Bishop Paul Hendricks. The East Syrian Church was represented by its head in Great Britain, Metropolitan Athanasius.
A group of believers of the Diocese of Sourozh from the Diocesan Region of Southern England made a pilgrimage to the shrines of Kent in Minster and Canterbury.
The Pilgrimage started with a visit to the beautiful stone cross which marks the approximate site of of the landing of Saint Augustine at Ebbsfleet and his first meeting with the King of Kent, Ethelbert, in AD597. This date is the beginning of the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Orthodox Christianity.
We then travelled to Minster where a Roman Catholic community of nuns live on the site of the ancient convent of Saint Mildred. We venerated this saint's relics and Father Stephen Platt served the Liturgy in the sister's chapel. We were very moved by the kindness and hospitality of the nuns.
On Thursday, Feb 17th, Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh was a guest of the Lord Mayor y Mayoress of London, Lord and Lady Mountevans, at the Archbishops and Bishops dinner at Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor.
On Sunday 14th February Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh celebrated the Divine Liturgy, dedicated to the Feast of the Presentation (Meeting) of the Lord at the Diocesan Parish of the Holy Apostles Ss Peter and Paul in Portsmouth.
Blatant persecution that Christians are in the middle East, led to the organization of the meeting between the primates of the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches that used this opportunity to speak up in their defense. Such opinion was voiced in conversation with the correspondent of TASS, the diocesan Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in Britain, Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh, speaking on held in Havana meeting between the Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis.
On February 12, 2016, the day of the commemoration of Three Holy Hierarchs and Ecumenical teachers, St Basil the Great, St Gregory the Theologian and St John Chrysostom, Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh served the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God in London. Concelebrating with the Archpastor were clerics of the Cathedral, Archpriest Maxim Nikolsky and Archpriest Joseph Skinner.
During the Liturgy, the Litany of Fervent Supplication was augmented with special petitions for His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, who had a meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis at the International airport of Havana, Cuba, on that day.
On the eve, a particle of the holy relics of the Apostle Barnabas of the 70 was brought to the Cathedral. Apostle Barnabas was Apostle Paul's companion and the founder of the Church of Cyprus. With the blessing of Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh, the All-night vigil to the Apostle was combined with the service to the Three Holy Hierarchs.
Throughout the day the faithful were granted an opportunity to venerate the relics and offer up their prayers near the honourable relics of the Аpostle.
Before the meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, Catholics and Orthodox in the United Kingdom as well the believers all over the world gather in prayer, well aware that through this epochal gesture it is offering to humanity – in this moment of severe tensions and conflicts – an extraordinary testimony, unique – of how it is possible to rediscover today – way of peace and unity. A testimony which, after all, by the will of God is placed in the journey of grace which both Churches are making.
This meeting doesn’t mean that problems between the two Churches have disappeared – they continue to exist and respectful diplomacy and theological commissions will continue to work in order to resolve them – but it marks a new beginning, concentrated on sharing the sufferings of entire peoples, and in particular of Christian communities in the Middle East, which ask help and solidarity and a preoccupation with the defense of Christian values.
A meeting, therefore, which is of historic significance, because it seals the encounter between the Heads of two Churches who have never met in history, who represent two cultural and spiritual traditions that for ages were considered in contrast, while they are complementary and are a chance of mutual enrichment, not only for themselves but for the whole of society in which they live and work.
For all these reasons, we are confident that this meeting will be of great social value also for nonbelievers, becoming a moment of rejoicing for respectful populations, as the Popes and the Patriarchs in history prayed for years during which they longed for this. But it will also require the work of ecclesiastical communities, to regain consciousness of what this would mean: a way to discover the true love granted by Christ, which eliminates every division and burns resentments, divisions, recrimination, misunderstandings and mutual sufferings.
We prayfully wish for the success of this forthcoming meeting.
+ Archbishop Antonio Mennini,
Apostolic Nuncio in Great Britain
+ Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh,
Diocesan Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain
On Thursday, Feb. 11th, a relic of the Holy Apostle Barnabas will be in the London Cathedral throughout the day.
On Thursday, Feb. 11th, around 9am, part of the holy relics of the holy Apostle BARNABAS will be brought to the London Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God of the Diocese of Sourozh. A moleben to the saint in the presence of his holy relic will be celebrated after the Divine Liturgy, around 11 am.
At 6pm the Vigil for the holy Apostle Barnabas will be celebrated together with the service for the Three Holy Hierarchs appointed by the typicon. The holy relic will remain in the Cathedral until 9 pm.
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations (DECR), held a press conference on February 5, 2016, at the DECR. The meeting with Russian and foreign mass media reporters was devoted to the Primatial visitation of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to Latin America, which will take place from February 11 to 22, 2016, His Holiness will visit the Republic of Cuba, Republic of Paraguay and Federative Republic of Brazil.
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.
Our St Elizabeth’s Community near Bodiam undertook a very important and long awaited pilgrimage to the holy places of Moscow connected with our heavenly patrons: the Holy Martyr Grand Princess Elizabeth and the Nun Barbara, together with all the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. more