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Preparation for Theophany

The Icon of Theophany
The Icon of Theophany
The Icon of Theophany

"The waters of the Jordan are sanctified, and together with them all the waters of creation, the very nature of water. Water is given the power to cleanse not only the body, but also man's whole soul, and to regenerate the whole man into a new life through Baptism...Let us open our hearts and souls to receive Him and with faith cry from the depths of our souls: "Great art Thou, O Lord, and marvelous are Thy works, and there is no word which sufficeth Thy wonders!"

From St John Maximovich, Sermon on the Holy Day of Theophany.

The Great Feast of Theophany is celebrated on the 19th January. We should all try to attend the services if we can.

Cathedral of the Mother of God and the Royal Martyrs of Russia, Chiswick 

Wed. 18th Jan : Vigil at 18:15 Thurs. 19th Jan : Divine Liturgy & Great Blessiing of the Waters at 09:00

Church of The Mother of God, Joy of All who Sorrow, Mettingham, Suffolk.

Wed 18th Jan: Vigil at 19:30. Thurs 19th Jan : Divine Liturgy & Blessing of the Waters

The Parish of St John of Shanghai, Colchester,

Wed 18th Jan: Vigil 17:30. Thurs 19th Jan : Divine Liturgy 10:00. Blessing of the Waters: 11:45

 The Parish of St Elisabeth the New Martyr, Wallasey, Merseyside.

Divine Liturgy and Great Blessing of the Waters at 10:00


The Fund for Assistance
The Fund for Assistance
The Fund for Assistance

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Bishop Nicholai
Bishop Nicholai
Bishop Nicholai
Metropolitan Hilarion
Metropolitan Hilarion
Metropolitan Hilarion
The Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR)

There has been a Russian Church in London for about 300 years, After the Russian Revolution the Imperial Embassy Chapel was closed and a new home was sought for the parish. It became a diocese in 1929 when Archmandrite Nicholas Karpov was consecrated as Bishop of London and took up residence in the UK.In 1932 he reposed in the Lord whilst visiting the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (Karlovtski Synod) in the then Kingdom of Serbia. The next bishop to reside in London and have oversight of the parishes in the United Kingdom was the ever-memorable Archbishop Nikodem (Nagaieff), who was bishop in London from 1954 until his death in 1976, at the age of 93. Initially, Bishop Nikodem was a suffragan bishop under the ompohor of Archbishop John (glorified in 1994 as Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco) who, from 1953 to 1962, was Archbishop of Brussels and Western Europe. The next bishop to reside in London was Bishop Constantine (Jessensky) of blessed memory who retired in 1986. In the same year, Archbishop Mark was appointed as ruling hierarch for London and Great Britain. The Cathedral parish moved to its present location in Chiswick, West London, in 1990, having previously been at Emperor's Gate, London SW7. For a more detailed history see "Embassy, Emigrants, and Englishmen" by Fr Christopher Birchall, published by Holy Trinity Press, Jordanville in 2014. Archbishop Mark retired as Ruling Bishop of the British Diocese on the 8th December 2016 at the Synod meeting in New York. The First Hierarch of the Russian Church outside Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion, is now the current Ruling Bishop.

The two parts of the Russian Church remained divided for many decades but came together in the Act of Canonical Communion in May 2007. ROCOR remains self governing with its own Synod of Bishops which normally meets in New York. Its First Hierarch is Metropolitan Hilarion. ROCOR has witnessed to the traditions it inherited from before the Russian Revolution. It has, and continues to have, a vibrant missionary spirit, and seeks to both support Russian Orthodox Christians outside Russia and to spread the Gospel of Christ to the peoples of a wide range of countries.



Metropolitan Hilarion to visit the UK

Metropolitan Hilarion
Metropolitan Hilarion
Metropolitan Hilarion

His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion will be visiting his Diocese from 21st to the 31st of January 2017. His flights are now confirmed. He will be meeting all his clergy on Saturday 28th January at 12:00 noon after a Hierarchal Liturgy in the Cathedral. He will be available to meet parishioners and council members from the London Parish  from the afternoon of Thursday 26th January to the morning of 31st January. He will also meet parishioners from Cheltenham and Cardiff at St Elisabeth's on Sunday 22nd January . The Annual General Meeting of the Cathedral Parish will follow the Hierarchal Liturgy and Trapeza on Sunday 29th January. Cathedral Trustee and Parish Council delegates will meet the Metropolitan now on Thursday 26th January. He will be visiting all his Parishes in Merseyside and East Anglia  in the first part of his visit before he comes to London .  

Saturday 21st January       Flight from NYC to Gatwick and travel to Merseyside. Interview with BBC Radio Merseyside at 15:30

Sunday 22nd January        Heirarchal Liturgy at St Elisabeth the New Martyr, Wallasey

Monday 23rd January        Travel to Suffolk and Vigil at Mettingham

Tuesday 24th January        Heirarchal Liturgy at The Church of the Mother of God, Joy of those who Sorrow, Mettinghham

Wednesday 25th January   Colchester and Clacton,

Thursday 26th January        Hierarchal Liturgy at St John of Shanghai, Colchester and travel to London Cathedral

Friday 27th January             London Cathedral

Saturday 28th January         Hierarchal Liturgy 09:00; Clergy meeting 12:00, Hierarchal Vigil  London Cathedral

Sunday 29th January           Hierarchal Liturgy, Trapeza and Cathedral Parish AGM London Cathedral

Monday 30th January          London Cathedral. Lunch at Ennismore Gardens with Archbishop Elisey

Tuesday 31st January         Hierarchal Liturgy at the London Cathedral and return to NYC

Should you wish to make an appointment with Vladika when he is in the UK it is best to do this through Fr Paul.

He can be contacted at and Fr Paul will forward any requests to the Metropolitan copying in his hosts in the UK.

His time is very limited.

Further details have now been added (15.01/17) and will be regularly updated.

Click here for a full schedule of the Metropolitan's visit.

His 'Pay as you go' phone number.for the duration of his visit will be 07769 586583. It recieves texts only. 

He is accompanied by Protodeacon Denis Lvov. He hopes to visit all his parishes during these two visits. He intends to visit again in March for the Diocesan Assembly and the Great Unction Service. March 25th is the provisional date for this. Please keep checking this site for further information. It is proposed to have the Great Consecration of our Cathedral  on or around the 21st September 2017.

Bishop Irinei (Steenburg) of Sacramento will be visiting to UK and will be in London on the weekend of the 28th and 29th January and will be serving in our Cathedral with the Metropolitan from Friday 27th through to the morning of the 30th January. He will be attending many of the events on the itinerary above.

News from around the diocese

The Patriarchal Visit in October
The Patriarchal Visit in October
The Patriarchal Visit in October
Our Cathedral
Our Cathedral
Our Cathedral
Pilgrims at St Elisabeth's
Pilgrims at St Elisabeth's
Pilgrims at St Elisabeth's


Advanced notices...please let Fr Paul know of any news on

  • The Metropolitan will serve  Hierachal Liturgies at St Elisabeth's, Wallasey at 10:00 on Sunday 22nd January, Mettingham at 10:30 on Tuesday 24th January, Colchester at 10:00 on Thursday 26th January and the London Cathedral on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January. He will serve a final Hierarchal Liturgy at the Cathedral on Tuesday 31st January before travelling to the Airport. 
  • Morning and Evening Prayers have been added to this site to enable the faithful to access these traditional prayers where ever they are. Further prayers will be added to this site. The Typika for Sundays served by a Reader can be seen  at 
  • The next Diocesan Assembly is likely to take place on Saturday 25th March 2017 at the London Cathedral. The date will be confirmed as soon as possible to ensure that this can be combined with the Great Unction Service.
  • The date for the Diocesan Pilgrimage to St Albans will be on May 13th  2017. This will be an opportunity of our clergy to serve together and our parishes to meet up with each other. Details will follow shortly. Please keep checking the site for further details. The date has now been confirmed. An icon of St Alban has been commissioned for the occasion to be painted by Katya Vandromme who has just completed her diploma in Iconography. It is hoped that the pilgrimage might coincide with the visit of the Myhrr Streaming Icon of the Mother of God from Hawaii. The icon will be visiting our diocese and various parishes in Great Britain and Ireland next May. The exact dates are to be confirmed.
  • The next  Liturgies at the Parish of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, Cardiff will be at 09:30 on a Saturday 21st of January served by Fr Vitaly. For more details please see
  • The next liturgy at the parish of St Vladimir in Cheltenham will be on Saturday 21st January served by Fr Patrick. The parish has a very lively facebook page which is always worth a visit at the parish facebook page. For more details of services please see here.
  • For services  in the Parish of St John of Shanghai, Belfast check on the Belfast Parish Website. Father Paul remains acting Rector until Fr John is settled. Fr John will serve the next Liturgy on Sunday 29th January 2017. Please note that the parish has moved into a smaller chapel in the church hall complex  just near their former church. The post code remains the same.
  • Fr Peter will serve the next Liturgy at St Colman's Stradbally  in February 2017. The exact arrangements will be announced shortly.
  • The Russian Orthodox Parish of St Alexander Nevsky has now opened in Norwich. It now has its own website at  The next Liturgy will be on Saturday 11th February at 10:00.
  • The Diocesan Website is blessed to be used to advertise and develop pilgrimages both here in the United Kingdom and abroad. Please let Fr Paul know if you have any plans.
  • A pilgrimage to the Shrine of St Werburgh in Chester is being planned by the Parish of St Elisabeth, Wallasey in Merseyside. This will be on Saturday 18th February 2017. This has now been confirmed with the authorities at Chester Cathedral.  It is hoped that this may become an annual event.  Further details will appear shortly.
  • The Parish of St Elisabeth the New Martyr, Wallasey.  Father Paul now records the Sunday readings and sermons. These can be listened to here.




St Philip of Moscow
St Philip of Moscow
St Philip of Moscow
St Philip of Moscow 09/22 January


St Philip of Moscow is commemorated at every Liturgy of the Russian Church in the Proscomede. He was born into one of the most influential families of Russia as Theodore Kolychev in about 1508. He was part of the Tsar's court until he renounced the world in 1538 and entered Solovki Monastery in the White Sea in Northern Russia. He deliberately embraced the most humble tasks in order to disguise his aristocratic origins. "He chopped wood, dug soil in the gardens and carried rocks and manure on his shoulders." In 1540 he was tonsured as the Monk Philip but continued to perform the most menial of tasks for the monastery. After some time, he went into the forests in seclusion until 1548 when he was ordained priest and given the rank of Hegumen. He was Abbot of Solovki for 18 remarkable years which saw the facilities in Solovki greatly improved. Then, in 1566, he was called by Tsar Ivan the Terrible to take his white Klobuk  as Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia. He always considered this to be a martyr's crown. He attempted to restrain the excesses of Ivan the Terrible. However, in 1569, the Tsar became suspicious of Philip and enraged that he had criticised and refused to bless the Tsar for his murderous punishment of Novrogod. Tsar Ivan had him imprisoned in the Otrok Monastery in Tver. His last visitors were murdered the next day and he himself was deposed and then strangled by order of the Tsar. Initially, he was buried in the monastery where he died but his relics were moved to Solovki in the late 16th Century and later in 1660 to Moscow. Though the date of his death is December 23rd, his feast is kept on January 9th being the day that he was proclaimed a saint by Patriarch Nikon and his relics were first venerated in Moscow. There is a subtstantial relic of St Philip in Solovki which returned to the monastery after it was returned to the Church in 1991.

Today's Calendar

This website is published with the blessing of his Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion. First Hierarch of The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and Ruling Hierarch of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR)

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