His Grace Irenei, formerly Bishop of Sacramento, was appointed by the Holy Synod to assist the First Hierarch in the administration of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland from 2017-2018, and on 20th September 2018 was appointed Bishop of Richmond and Western Europe, regular Ruling Bishop of our Diocese and the Diocese of Western Europe. For the conclusion of 2018 and the first part of 2019 he continues to be resident in the see of his previous vicarial service (the Diocese of Western America), visiting our Diocese as often as possible, as preparations are concluded for his move to the UK in 2019.
Bishop Irenei is the Synodal Secretary for Inter-Orthodox Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and in this capacity is a regular member of the Holy Synod. His has also served as the Dean for Monastic Life of the Western American Diocese of the ROCOR (appointed 2012); a member of the Education Department of the ROCOR (appointed 2014); and of the Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission of the Moscow Patriarchate (appointed 2016). In 2012, the new Sts. Cyril & Athanasius Institute for Orthodox Studies began operation with the blessing of the Holy Synod, with then-Archimandrite Irenei as its director, and which he operated until the time of his episcopal consecration (thereafter handing it over to a permanent administration). From 2012-2018 he served on the Secretariat of the Assembly of Bishops of the United States, and worked in close cooperation with hierarchs of the ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate in matters relating to the Episcopal Assemblies and other inter-Orthodox contexts. From 2014, then-Archimandrite Irenei assisted in the founding of the new men’s monastery in Sonora, California, dedicated to the memory of St Silouan of Mt Athos, and at the official foundation of the monastery on the Saint’s feast day in 2015 was appointed its Abbot, which role he retains.
Bishop Irenei served for seven years as an Archimandrite at St Tikhon's Church in San Francisco: the former home and orphanage of St John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, and was consecrated to the Episcopacy before the relics of St John on the feast of the Theotokos, 'Joy of All Who Sorrow.' In his academic life Bishop Irenei has focused chiefly on the theology and spirituality of the Holy Fathers, together with Orthodox liturgics and ecclesiology; and in parish life he has been particularly dedicated to youth in the Church, to his role as a Confessor, and to the spiritual and liturgical formation of parish life.
|'Camels in Needles and Rich People in Heaven' - 09/12/2018|
A reflection on approaching the Nativity of Christ and the nature of self-sacrifice.
|'Primacy and Identity': A Response to ‘First Without Equals’ and the Tragedy of Deficient Ecclesiology - 20/11/2018|
A study by Bishop Irenei of the theological and ecclesiological problems undergirding some of the challenges in contemporary pan-Orthodox relations.
|'Beauty Will Save the World': A text by Bishop Irenei - 20/10/2018|
An article on the famous phrase, on beauty as the intermingling of joy and sorrow, and how this should inspire us in the Spiritual life and trials of our day.
|'Speaking with the Voice of the Church': An Interview with Bishop Irenei - 16/07/2015|
An interview with Pravoslavie.ru on living as an Orthodox Christian in the midst of modern society.
The following is a chronological listing of Hierarchs who have had oversight of the flock of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
(b. 10/04/1868, d. 8/4/1946)
From 1921-1927 served as the first Diocesan Bishop for Western Europe, which included London and Great Britain.
(b. 23/8/1879, d. 18/2/1959)
From 1926-1927 served as Archbishop in London (with the title 'Archbishop of Finland'); from 1927-1929 as Rector of the London parish; from 1932-1946 as Diocesan Bishop for Western Europe (including Great Britain); retired in 1949.
(b. 1890, d. 11/10/1932)
From 1928-1932 served as Rector of the Cathedral Parish; and from 1929-1932 as Bishop of London.
(b. 1906, d. 10/11/1986)
In 1951 appointed as Bishop of Preston & The Hague; then Diocesan Bishop for Western Europe (including Great Britain); later Archbishop of Vienna and Austria.
(b. 28/4/1883, d. 17/10/1976)
From 1952-1976 served as Rector of the Cathedral Parish, from 1954 onward as Bishop; from 1964 as Diocesan Bishop for the Diocese in Great Britain; from 1968 as Archbishop.
(b. 4.6.1896, d. 2/7/1966)
From 1953-1962 served as Archbishop of Brussels and Western Europe (which included Great Britain); later Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America (1962-1966); glorified in 1994.
(b. 30/11/1910, d. 2/10/1993)
From 1962-1964, and again 1976-1981, served as Diocesan Bishop for London and Great Britain.
(b. 30/5/1907, d. 31/5/1996)
From 1981-1986 served as Rector of the Cathedral Parish, as well as Diocesan Bishop for London and Great Britain.
From 1986-2016 served as Diocesan Bishop for Great Britain and Ireland, in addition to his first Diocese of Germany.
From 2016-2018 served as Diocesan Bishop following the retirement from Great Britain and Ireland of Archbishop Mark.
From 2016 Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento; from 2017 served as Administrator of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland, and from 2018 as Diocesan Bishop for the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland and the Diocese of Western Europe.
Bishop Irenei's pemanent move to England as resident Bishop for Great Britain and Western Europe is planned to take place in 2019, pending the finalisation of practical arrangements. In the meantime, his calendar — which focusses on the completion of his service in the Western American Diocese — is as follows:
- 3-4: Holy Ascension Church, Sacramento, CA
- Feast of the Theotokos ‘Joy of All Who Sorrow’:
- 5-6: Holy Virgin Cathedral, San Francisco, CA
- 10: Mare Island Memorial Panikhida, CA
- 10-11: Holy Ascension Church, Sacramento, CA
- 12-15: Pastoral Conference of the Western American Diocese, Seattle, CA
- 17-18: Holy Ascension Church, Sacramento, CA
- 24-25: Holy Archangels Church, Phoenix, AZ
- 26-19: St Paisius Women's Monastery, Safford, AZ
- 1-2: Holy Ascension Church, Sacramento, CA
- Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple (Tue.):
- 3-4: Holy Ascension Church, Sacramento, CA
- 6-10: Regular Meeting of the Holy Synod of Bishops, New York, NY
- 15-16: Holy Ascension Church, Sacramento, CA
- 17-23: Moscow, Russia
- 24-29: St Herman's West Youth Conference, Placerville, CA
- 29-30: Holy Ascension Church, Sacramento, CA
- Apr 23 - 15 May: Holy Week and Paschal visit to the Dicoese of Great Britain and Ireland