The Diocese of Great. Britain and Ireland

Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

        GENERAL PROVISIONS

·         The Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland forms part of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR), which is part of the Russian Orthodox Church.

·         The Diocese is headed by the Diocesan Hierarch appointed by the Synod of Bishops of The Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR).

·         The Diocese operates in accordance with the Statutes of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia adopted by the Synod of Bishops and in accord with the Act of Canonical Communion (May 2007) with the Moscow Patriarchate.

·         The Diocese is subject to the local jurisdictions of the states within which they operate.

·         The Diocese, being a religious organisation, may own, use free of charge or otherwise exercise its proprietary rights over its property. The Diocese shall be responsible for its obligations with respect to its property. The Diocese may in its own name acquire and exercise proprietary rights.

·         The Diocese may hold accounts with banks and other credit institutions.

·         The Diocese is under the spiritual guidance of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia but is accountable to Synod of Bishops of The Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR) in its religious and administrative activities.

·         The Diocese shall not participate in political parties and movements, and shall not provide them with financial or any other assistance and support.

·         The Diocese shall have the right to liaise with local authorities with respect to the matters, which may affect its activities.

·         The Diocese shall have its own headed paper and a seal bearing its full name and religious symbols. The form of the seal is subject to the approval of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia. 

·         The full name of the Diocese is: “The Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR)”.

·         The postal address of the Diocese is located at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, 57 Harvard Road, London W4 4ED United Kingdom.

·         The Diocese shall use its full name stipulated by this Statute for the purposes of carrying out its statutory activities.

·         The faith of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR) is Orthodox Christianity.

·         The Diocese does not enter into ecumenical or inter -faith activities which contravene the canons of the Orthodox Church

 A           GOALS, OBJECTIVES AND TYPES OF ACTIVITIES

·         In order to promote the right to freedom of religion and to advance the Orthodox Christian faith, the Diocese carries out the following activities: church services, sacraments, devotions, sacred processions and ceremonies in churches, chapels and other church buildings and in the areas adjacent to them, in other locations provided for such purposes, in places of religious worship (pilgrimage), in the locations of organisations created by the Diocese or other religious organisations of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR), in cemeteries and other similar locations, as well as in residential premises. 

·         church services, sacraments, devotions, sacred processions and ceremonies outside church buildings, places of religious veneration (pilgrimage) or other locations provided for such purposes shall be carried out in compliance with local planning regulations, permissions and by-laws;

·         church services, sacraments and devotions in medical institutions and hospitals, orphanages, old peoples’ homes and residential facilities for disabled people, Her Majesty’s prisons and/or places of detention shall be carried out upon the request of their residents and subject to the consent of their administration;

·         church services, sacraments, devotions in military units and on ships or at memorials to fallen servicemen and women are subject to the requirements of military regulations and local by- laws;

·         promotion of the Orthodox Christian Faith and its teachings to people directly or through the media, including its own media or web-based resources;

·         missionary activity to those who have no faith or who express an interest in or sympathy with the Holy Orthodox Church;

·         charitable activity, including the support of clergy and parishes through the Fund for Assistance as well as the care of refugees and displaced people, orphans and abandoned children, old and disabled people;

·         religious education and upbringing, teaching religion to young people;

·         organising pilgrimages, entertaining religious delegations and representatives of various jurisdictions of the Holy Orthodox Church,  holding national or international religious conferences, forums and seminars;

·         production, acquisition and distribution of religious literature (including liturgical books), audio and video material and other religious items;

·         export, import and sale of religious literature (including liturgical books and services), audio and video material and other religious items;

·         publishing and printing, including online web – based material and general distribution of other sources of information about the Holy Orthodox Faith including television and radio broadcasting and provision of communication services;

·         involvement in design, construction and restoration of religious buildings in accordance with local planning permission and By- Laws for the use of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR);

·         any other activity in compliance with the rules and traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and national legislation.

·         In order to carry out activities which require a license, the Diocese shall obtain the appropriate licenses in accordance with the laws of the United Kingdom and Ireland and in compliance to its local authorities;

·         The Diocese may request financial and other assistance from government bodies for the restoration, maintenance and protection of buildings and other facilities of cultural and historical value, for providing general education in educational institutions established by the Diocese and other religious organisations of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia within the Diocese, for carrying out charitable activity and for the implementation of projects and the organisation of events of social and educational importance.

·         The Diocese shall have the right to teach the fundamentals of the Holy Orthodox Faith in its own schools and also to pupils/ students in government or private educational institutions subject to the relevant request from the parents or authorities and in the manner prescribed by law.

·         The Diocese may submit proposals to the local planning authorities with respect to establishing Orthodox graves within municipal cemeteries.

 B       THE DIOCESE             

·         The Diocese operates within territorial limits determined by the boundaries of the United Kingdom and Ireland. 

·         The Diocesan Statutes have been accepted by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. (ROCOR)

             

·          C       STRUCTURE AND ADMINISTRATION

 

·         The Diocese may consist of canonical parishes, monasteries, convents, spiritual educational institutions, brotherhoods, sisterhoods, missions and cells or chapels in occasional use.

·         The Diocese may create and operate religious organisations to promote the Orthodox Faith and further the aims of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.

·         The supreme governing body of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland is the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR) blessed by the Patriarch of Moscow to order and govern the dioceses under its care. 

·         The Diocesan Hierarch is the head of the Diocese and the Diocesan Assembly and appoints the members of the Diocesan Spiritual Court.

·         The Diocesan Assembly is the permanently operating executive body of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland.

D        DIOCESAN HIERARCH

·         The Diocesan Hierarch shall be appointed or selected by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR)

·         The Diocesan Hierarch is the head (the sole administrative body) of the Diocese who governs and administers the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR).

·         The Diocesan Hierarch, by virtue of his office and his rank, shall chair the Diocesan Assembly.                

·         The Diocesan Hierarch has the following statutory powers and responsibilities:

1.    to ensure that the Diocesan Parishes and other canonical organisations perform church services and other devotions properly and in compliance with Church order;

2.    to convene and to conduct meetings of the Diocesan Assembly;

3.    to veto any resolutions of the Diocesan Assembly with the right of subsequent referral of disputed matters to the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR);

4.    to carry out general governance and supervision of the Diocesan parishes and other Canonical organisations within the territory of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR);

5.    to sign and approve the statutes of the Diocesan Parishes and Canonical organisations and to confirm the affiliation of institutions such as schools or missions to the Diocese;

6.    to appoint or remove from office the rectors and clergy of the parishes of the Diocese, to supervise and monitor their activities, to submit to the approval of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR) candidates for rectors of religious educational institutions and superiors of monasteries of the Diocese and to refer candidates to be admitted to religious educational institutions;

7.     to appeal to the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR) for requests for the worthy clergy and laity to be presented with church awards in accordance with the established procedure;

8.    to approve and proclaim the decisions of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR) and the decisions of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church and the patriarch of Moscow and all Russia;

9.    to establish the Diocesan Spiritual Court and to approve its decisions;

10.  to exercise pastoral discipline over clergy and laity; to refer relevant cases to the Spiritual Court;

11.  to give blessing to construction, refurbishment, restoration and reconstruction of church buildings, chapels and other religious buildings within the Diocese and/or belonging to the Diocesan parishes;

12.  to attend the Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assembly of Great Britain and Ireland and represent the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR) within that assembly;                    

13.   to represent the Russian Orthodox Church before the relevant government organisations and local authorities with regards to matters related to the activities of the Diocese;

14.  to manage and control the property and the funds of the Diocese in accordance with these Statutes;

15.  to enter into transactions on behalf of the Diocese including entering into agreements, granting powers of attorney, opening bank accounts, to have the right of first signature on documents;

16.  to employ and dismiss the employees of the Diocese in accordance with relevant civil legislation;

17.  to exercise control over the religious, administrative, financial and economic activities of Diocesan Parishes and Canonical organisations;

 

·         The Diocesan Hierarch shall report to the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR)

E        THE DIOCESAN ASSEMBLY

·         The Diocesan Assembly is chaired by the Diocesan Hierarch;

·         The Diocesan Hierarch shall appoint the Assembly which consists (ex officio) of the clergy of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR), and lay representatives resident in the territory of the Diocese.

·         The Diocesan Hierarch is the Chairman of the Diocesan Assembly.

·         The Diocesan Hierarch shall appoint a Chancellor from amongst the clergy of the Diocese whose constitutional duty is to uphold the legal status of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR).

·         The Diocesan Hierarch shall appoint a Secretary/Treasurer of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR) from amongst the laity of the Diocese.

·         The most senior cleric of the Diocese may preside over the meeting of the Diocesan Assembly with the blessing and instruction of the Diocesan Hierarch.

·         The decisions of the Diocesan Assembly shall be passed by the simple majority of votes. In the event of a tied vote, the Chairman shall have the casting vote.

·         The Diocesan Assembly shall be convened at least once a year by the Diocesan Hierarch at his discretion.

·         It shall be the duty of the Chancellor of the Diocese to publish the Annual Report on the Diocesan website and submit it to the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR).

·         In the event of the vacancy of the Diocesan Hierarch,  it is the duty the Chancellor of the Diocese to ensure the Canonical continuity of the Diocese and receive the temporary arrangements for Episcopal oversight from the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR),

·         In the event of the vacancy of the Diocesan Hierarch, it shall be the duty of the senior cleric of the Diocese to chair a meeting of the Diocesan Assembly convened by the Chancellor of the Diocese with the blessing of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR) to discuss the arrangements that the Synod of Bishops intend to provide the Diocese in terms of Episcopal oversight and the replacement of the Diocesan Hierarch.

·         The powers and authorities of the Diocesan Assembly shall include:

1.    The appointment of delegates to the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.

2.    Receive reports from the Diocesan Hierarch concerning Patriarchal, Synodical and Diocesan matters.

3.    Receive reports from the Diocesan Hierarch concerning the Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assembly of Great Britain and Ireland 

4.    Receive reports from the Parishes and Canonical organisations of the Diocese:

5.    Receive financial reports from the Secretary/ Treasurer of the Diocese:

6.    Receive any reports from the Spiritual Court

7.    Discuss any matters brought to its attention by the Diocesan Hierarch or by members of the assembly.

8.    Decrees of the Diocesan Assembly shall be signed and sealed by the Diocesan Hierarch and recorded by the Chancellor of the Diocese; 

F        THE PROPERTY AND FINANCIAL ASSETS OF THE DIOCESE

·         The sources of financial assets of the Diocese are listed below:

1.    donations given in connection with church services, sacraments and devotions;

2.    donations obtained from distribution of religious items and literature (books, magazines, newspapers, audio-and video records, disks etc);

3.    other donations given by local and foreign individuals and legal entities;

4.    income from the activity of the organisations established by the Diocese:

5.    contributions or dues from the Parishes of the Diocese and Canonical organisations in the amount approved by the Diocesan Hierarch:

6.    any other income not prohibited by law including income from securities and bank deposits.

 

·         The financial assets of the Diocese shall be managed and controlled by the Diocesan Hierarch.

·         The Diocese will have a “Treasurers bank account” with a number of signatories appointed by the Diocesan Hierarch and reported to the Diocesan Assembly by the Secretary / Treasurer of the Diocese.

·         Income from the business activity of the Diocese shall be used to achieve its goals and objectives.

·         The Diocese may use its funds to make charitable donations to its parishes and canonical organisations or to charities of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR) or individuals in need.

·         The Diocese may possess land or vehicles to carry out its activity.

·         The Diocese may be granted the title or the right of use of religious buildings, structures and other items of real property owned by church organisations or local administrative authorities intended for conducting religious services and any other devotions and ceremonies, for religious education and other religious activity.

·         Real and movable property to which the Diocese and the its parishes and canonical organisations have the right of ownership or any other proprietary right shall be regarded as property relating to the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR).

·         The Diocese shall keep its accounts and conduct its canonical, administrative, financial and business activity with reference to its accountability to the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia who order the Diocese.

·         No property of the Diocese and its parishes shall be acquired or disposed of without the preliminary blessing of the Diocesan Hierarch. 

·         In the event of the dissolution of the Diocese, the future of the Diocesan property to which it has the right of ownership, shall be decided by the Synod of Bishops of The Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia in accordance with the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church and in accordance with the law of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland.

·         The Treasurer of the Diocese shall keep account of cash, donations and other income belonging to the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR). 

F         FINAL PROVISIONS

·         The Clergy and officers of the Diocese shall hold a current, enhanced DBS and have police clearance to work with young people and / or vulnerable adults,

·         The clergy and officers of the Diocese will be disciplined by the Diocesan Hierarch if their behaviour brings the Diocese into disrepute.

·         All documentation concerning the clergy and officers of the Diocese shall be kept by the Diocesan Chancellor.

·         The dissolution of the Diocese shall be subject to the decision of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.

·         The Diocesan Statutes shall be approved by the signature and seal of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.

This statute was received by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) on the 08/12/15 in New York and ratified by the Diocesan Assembly of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR) at its meeting on April 16th 2016 in London. This statute is approved by the First Hierarch of The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). 

 Signed this day of our Lord ... /… / 2016                                                                                                                               Signed this day of our Lord   … /… /   2016                               

        ……………………………………………..                                                                                     ………………………………………………

        Mark, Archbishop of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR)                                                                                                   Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian  Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR)

          And there unto I affix my seal     And there unto I affix my seal