The Diocesan Jubilee Congress, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of Sourozh, took place from 8th to 10th June 2012.
The Congress aimed to reflect on the historical heritage of the Diocese of Sourozh, consider the problems it faces at present, and discuss its future development.
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the jubilee event was attended by Archbishop Mark of Yegorievsk, Head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Administration of Institutions Abroad. Clergy and lay people, representatives of the parishes and communities of the Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in the UK and Ireland took part in the Congress.
The theme of the Jubilee Congress was ‘Councils and Conciliarity’. Conciliarity, as an assembly of believers around Christ, present in the Eucharist, unites the Diocese of Sourozh, originally inspired by preaching and personal example of its first ruling bishop Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom).
The participants of the Congress marked in their talks that the desire to remain faithful to the Mother-Church has always been characteristic of the members of the Diocese, who, at the same time, welcome everyone wishing to become Orthodox.
In spite of difficulties the Diocese of Sourozh experienced in the past, normal Diocesan life has now been restored and the structure of the Diocese organised. The number of parishes and communities is increasing together with the number of clergy and parishioners, and diocesan activity is expanding.
Archbishop Mark of Yegorievsk, Priest Andrew Louth, and Archpriest Steven Platt presented reports on ‘Councils and Conciliarity’, 'Community and person', and 'Clergy and laity'. Archpriest Maxim Nikolsky talked about the history of the Diocese of Sourozh. Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh presented the jubilee address 'Diocese of Sourozh: past, present and future’.
The participants of the Congress watched a trailer of the film about the Diocese of Sourozh, prepared for the Jubilee of the Diocese and attended workshops on various actual problems. Children had their own programme.
S.V. Chapnin, executive editor of the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, was guest of the Congress. He held one of the workshop about the work of the Inter-Counsil Presence.
Every day the participants of the Congress gathered for common church prayer culminating with the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Archbishops Mark of Yegorievsk, Elisey of Sourozh, and Anatoly of Kerch, together with the clergy of the diocese.