Pr-401-6157-16-AM-sa. New York November 26/December 9, 2016
To the clergy and faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
in the United Kingdom and Ireland
Dear in Christ reverend fathers, brothers and sisters, parishioners of the diocese of Great Britain and Ireland
The Holy Synod of Bishops of our Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia during our session on December 8, 2016, has relieved me of my obligations as ruling bishop of the diocese of Great Britain and Ireland. Therefore, I am writing this letter in order to thank all of you for your continued support during the past 30 years and ask for your prayers for my further efforts in ruling the diocese of Germany and continue my obligations as overseer of our convents and properties in the Holy Land. At the same time, I ask forgiveness of all for anything I may have said or done in these years that may have hurt or aggravated you. I particularly regret that my lack of pastoral oversight made two monastic communities in England turn their back at their mother who have birth to them — our Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. I extend my gratitude to those who have helped me build temples in the hearts of our faithful and to leave for future generations the only purpose built church in the tradition of Russian Orthodox architecture in the British Isles. I will certainly keep you all in my prayers.
The first hierarch of our Church, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Hilarion, will be your ruling bishop from now on. You may address him in all matters concerning your church life. He only, after the patriarch, is to be commemorated in your services as metropolitan of East America and New York and first hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. He will make an effort to visit you in January.
May God bless you!
In the love of Christ I remain Yours