« Annual Conference of the Diocese of Sourozh was held on June 8-10, 2018 »

From 8 to 10 June 2018, the Annual Conference of the Diocese of Sourozh was held under the chairmanship of His Grace Bishop Matthew of Sourozh.

The Conference of the Diocese of Sourozh is an annual gathering of the clergy and laity of Great Britain, Ireland and guests from abroad. The tradition of holding a conference of this format was laid in the 70s of the twentieth century by the ever-memorable Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Surozh. Well-known speakers from Russia, Great Britain and other countries are invited to the conference.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Royal Passion-Bearers, the Emperor Nicholas II and his family, who were among the first to suffer for Christ in the assembly of new martyrs and confessors, as well as the beginning of an era of unprecedented persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church. The example of sacrificial martyrdom, which attests to the Christian faith at the cost of one's own life, is repeated from the first days of the Church and continues up to our time.

A reliquary with a relic of the Venerable Seraphim of Sarov the Wonderworker was brought from London in time for the opening of the conference. By the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Metropolitan Georgy of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas, and Bishop Matthew of Sourozh, the holy relic had been brought to London the day before from the Holy Trinity Seraphim-Diveevsky Monastery. A moleben was served before the relic of St. Seraphim before the conference began.

After the opening of the conference by His Grace Bishop Matthew, Archpriest Maxim Nikolsky and Jeanne Knights presented a translation into English of the work by the Holy Martyr Metropolitan Seraphim (Chichagov) -  "Chronicle of the Seraphim-Diveevsky Monastery."

The conference raised issues of the relationship between martyrdom and Christian mission. During the conference, under the direction of Archpriest Stephen Platt, Rector of St. Nicholas Church in Oxford, a special thematic program for children was organized.

Main reports at the conference were made by Archpriest Mikhail Dudko, Rector of the Church of St. Innocent, Metropolitan of Moscow in Beskudnikov (Moscow), Archpriest Kirill Kaleda, Archpriest Andrew Louth, Rector of the parish of St Cuthbert and St Bede in Durham, Archpriest Paul Elliott, Rector of the parish of princess Elizabeth in Wallassey (ROCOR), and  A.L. Beglov (Ph.D. (Hist.)), senior researcher at the Center for the History of Religion and the Church at the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Working groups and round tables were held: Archpriest Maxim Nikolsky and Jeanne Knights - "St Seraphim and the Chronicle of the Seraphim-Diveevsky Monastery", Archpriest Michael Dudko - "Confessors of the second half of the twentieth century in the USSR", Archpriest Kirill Kaleda - "The significance of the New Martyrs' , Archpriest Alexander Dyaghilev - "The Family Life of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers and Our Family Life", A.L. Beglov - "The Council of 1918 and Its Significance Today", L.S. Chakovskaya - "How to communicate the experience of new martyrs to the younger generation - Practical observations",  Adrian Dean - "Parish Accounting."

On Saturday morning a moleben was served before the relic of St. Seraphim of Sarov and "Eternal Memory" was proclaimed to ever-memorable Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom), founder of the Sourozh diocese, and to his spiritual child and disciple, Archpriest Sergei Ovsyannikov.  On the same day, His Grace Bishop Matthew headed the All-Night Vigil. 

On Sunday morning, His Eminence Bishop Matthew, together with the Cathedral and guest Clergy, celebrated the Divine Liturgy.

After the closing of the conference, a pilgrimage took place to St. Albans Cathedral, where the Right Reverend Bishop Matthew of Sourozh headed a prayer service to St Alban, Protomartyr of Britain (+304), by the tomb and holy relic of the saint of God.

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