Daily Archives: July 3, 2015

Our Hope for a Russian Orthodox Church in Norwich (Update 3)

£50,000 Reached in One Month! Thank you!

On Friday 8 May, Fr Andrew saw on the rightmove website a leasehold property for sale for £50,000 in Norwich at 134, Oak Street. In fact it actually measures 88 square metres externally (not 60 square metres) and is at present used as offices and rooms for a cultural centre. It has electricity, heating and water and is in very good condition. It is so cheap because it is leasehold, in other words, you have to pay £100 in rent per month for the ground it is built on. This amount is fixed until 2032. The lease itself is even longer – it lasts until 2047.

On Wednesday 13 May we organized a visit to these premises, attended by 9 Orthodox.

By Friday 15 May, Orthodox in Norwich had generously promised to donate £5,250.

On Monday 18 May Fr Andrew received Archbishop Mark’s blessing to buy the building if possible, meaning we could start obtaining pledges to donate.

On Thursday 21 May we heard from the surveyor that it would cost £3,000-£5,000 to knock down the internal walls and make good the floor and ceiling, so we could use this building as a church. This was lower than Fr Andrew had estimated.

On Wednesday 27 May we heard that our offer of £42,500 had been accepted. However, since conversion and furnishing costs will come to £12,500, this meant that we would need £55,000 in all.

On Friday 29 May we submitted the planning application for change of use from offices to a place of worship. This would take 6-8 weeks but should result in a positive answer.

On Wednesday 3 June we launched a public internet appeal for the remaining funds, given that £5,250 had already been pledged.

By Friday 3 July, four weeks after the appeal launch, total gifts and pledges had reached £50,000. Can you help us reach our target of £55,000, only £5,000 away?

All donations, when required later this year in August, will be made to our charitable trust: East of England Orthodox Church (Registered Charity No 1081707). But please remember that we prefer pledges to actual donations for now. To make a pledge, please inform us at this address: frandrew_anglorus@yahoo.co.uk. May God bless you for considering the Russian Orthodox Community in Norwich in your almsgiving.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

2 July 2015

Diaspora Deviations

Orthodoxy is the Christian Faith, as defined by the Seven Universal Councils of the Church. It is the Trinitarian Faith, insistent on two fundamental dogmas: the Incarnation of Christ and the Procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and sent to humanity as a result of the Life, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension of Christ-God. However, in the Diaspora, and elsewhere on the fringes, we can find two deviations from Orthodoxy, the first denying the Incarnation, the second denying the Holy Spirit. They can both be summarized by the word ‘Halfodoxy’.

The form that denies the Incarnation of Christ can be called Pan-Orthodoxy or, in England, ‘Anglo-Orthodoxy’. Pan-Orthodoxy is a disincarnate, degutted, liberal, modernist, renovationist, ecumenist religion that is conformist to the local Establishment. It can also be found under the form of an emasculated pietism and gurusim, with a heavily backbiting homosexual or even pedophile element. It is particularly contemptuous of pregnant mothers and children, as this disproves the Incarnation.

The form that denies the grace of the Holy Spirit and that therefore we are all everywhere called to baptize the pagan world, if it is willing, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, can be called Ethno-Orthodoxy. This means normative nominalism, flag-waving and churches reduced to ethnic clubs and cliques, talking shops, not doing shops. It is openly racist, narrow-minded and parochial (1). It can easily be manipulated by Establishments and is very fond of money.

At some time in the future both these forms will have disappeared, either because of persecution or else the Orthodox Emperor will have been restored and he through faithful bishops will cleanse the Church of such froth. Those who adhere to and even promote (!) and justify (!) such Halfodoxy should be warned. They do not have much longer to live. The time is coming – and it is later than you think – when you will be swept away by Christ and by the Holy Spirit. Reality is about to intervene and cleanse the world of such fantasies.


1. One of the many, many personal experiences of this was in 1986 in Paris with Archbishop George (Wagner). He severely reprimanded me (to put it mildly) for naming my fourth child ‘Edward’, a name that was neither Russian nor Greek. His primitive and ignorant racism led at about the same time to the defection of the Peckstadt clan and the prosperous Ghent parish, which he told me he detested, to the Greek Church. One of its sons is today Metropolitan of Belgium and Luxembourg. However, he also lost a flood of other clergy and faithful for the same reason, such as Fr Georges (Leroi), Fr Daniel (Baeyens), Fr Nikolai Soldatenkoff and soon after ourselves, which opened the floodgates to the end of the Rue Daru jurisdiction. This is called ecclesiastical suicide. Fr Daniel (Baeyens) insisted that Archbishop George was doing it deliberately on orders from the Phanar, which did not want Non-Greeks in its jurisdiction.

A Parable (Part One)

There was once an Emperor called Europe, whose father, Emperor Nero, had been especially wicked. However, thanks to Emperor Europe’s marriage to the Good Empress called Orthodoxy, who was a beautiful and noble lady, Emperor Europe began to forget about his wicked father and his evil deeds. Emperor Europe did many fine things and it seemed as though the evils of Emperor Nero were a thing of the past.

All went well at the beginning of their marriage until one day Emperor Europe began thinking about how rich and powerful his father, Emperor Nero, had been. He thought about he too could become just as rich and powerful. He was supported in this by a prostitute he had met. She seemed to be very beautiful and her name was Secularism. She told him that if only Emperor Europe would marry her, she would make him the richest and most powerful Emperor in the world and that he would rule over all the countries in the world.

Some say that Emperor Europe went mad. Others that a demon entered into him. Others say that it was all genetics – the repressed bad genes from his father had been triggered by his association with Secularism. In any case he did the most outrageous thing: he exiled Empress Orthodoxy to the east and a vast and empty land of forests and steppes and married Secularism, making her his new Empress.

Then the wicked Emperor, directed by the wicked Empress, began re-introducing all the customs of his wicked father, changing the faith, even claiming that God proceeded from him, putting up statues, forcing the priests to shave and making them eat biscuits in church. And then, incredibly, he, yes he!, accused Empress Orthodoxy of being unfaithful to him! Empress Secularism, who was an exceedingly jealous woman, was very happy.

Meanwhile, however, the vast land of Empress Orthodoxy had become powerful and influential, freeing peoples around the world who had been massacred, invaded, occupied and cruelly exploited by the wicked Emperor Europe and the wicked Empress Secularism. The wicked Emperor and his Empress were very jealous and sent armies of all the wicked men of European Empire to invade their land.

First General Teuton went and he was followed by General Pole. But they both failed. Then they sent General Napoleon, a little later General Crimea and then General Kaiser, They too failed, So then they sent General Revolution. Although General Revolution managed to kill Emperor Orthodoxy using wicked men, he did not manage to kill Empress Orthodoxy. So Emperor Europe sent General Hitler, but he too failed miserably, even though he did great harm, causing massacres and destruction.

After some years Emperor Europe and Empress Secularism had two sons, whom they called Eurosodom and Gomorrhica. It was at that time that, urged on by their sons, they decided to invade the land of Empress Orthodoxy again. This time, before invading, they decided to tell as many lies as possible about the Good Empress Orthodoxy, just as they had at the beginning, and accuse her of being unfaithful, servile, drunken, corrupt, cruel, barbaric, despotic, violent, uncivilized, ugly, evil and even mentally ill! They were of course talking about themselves in every detail, but many silly people fell for these wicked lies. This all happened in the year 2014.

(Part Two of this Parable will appear later – before the end of the world).

Why Shanghai Theology Will Conquer the World

(First published in Orthodox Life, Spring 2015)


Recently a visitor from another Local Church asked if he could leave some booklets about degrees in academic theology in the church shop. I told him that it was not worth leaving them here, for, however interesting, none of our people studies academic theology, rather we try and live theology. At the Last Judgement, it will be no good answering the Just Judge that, ‘I have a Masters in Theology from X or I have a Doctorate in Patristics from Y’. We hope to hear these words: ‘Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; Naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me’ (Matt. 25, 34-36).

Of course, academic theology has its place and its uses and its schools: Paris, Oxford, Heidelberg, Cambridge, Rome, Fordham etc. But the real theology of the Church is a lived theology, for it is founded on spiritual experience and not on booklore and the abstract thoughts of the cold brain, on the experience of the inner heart warmed by grace, expressed above all in deeds – though those can also be found expressed in words, especially in the Lives of Saints. Real theology does not have ‘schools’, but centres, which are in monasteries, hermitages, cathedrals and parishes such as: Carthage, Cappadocia, the Thebaid, Milan, Lerins, the Studion, Mt Athos, Rila, Suceava, Radonezh, Valaam, Optina, Pochaev (of which Jordanville is a skete or offshoot), Zhicha, Chelije….and one of the most recent – Shanghai.

True, when asked about the spiritual leadership of ROCOR, we may think of individuals like Metr Antony of Kiev, Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), Archbishop Averky, Metropolitan Philaret, Ivan Andreyev and others. However, above all of them stands one who is recognized worldwide not only as an Orthodox thinker, writer and inspirer, but also as a universal saint: St John of Shanghai. His writings, sermons, articles and decrees show the three essential elements of his spiritual leadership, which are not so often found in academic theology. If secular leadership combines single-mindedness with ruthlessness, spiritual leadership, like that of St John, is based on the four attributes of the Church, something far greater than himself but in which he participates: Unity, Holiness, Catholicity and Apostolicity.

Unity and Catholicity

As indicated by the very word ‘Shanghai’, St John’s life and theology – for the two things are the same among real theologians – shows Unity and Catholicity. In other words, St John’s influence was global, showing unity in diversity. He lived in many countries in Eastern Europe, China, the Philippines, Western Europe, North Africa, North America, his parents reposing in South America, and he had and has many spiritual children in Australia. So this Little Russian saint became a Great Global saint, a saint for all peoples. St John showed great openness, allowing a Western rite, when there was still such a thing before Vatican II, he preached, not provincially and parochially, not in a racially exclusive way which means spiritual death, but preached to all before the end. Unity and Catholicity mean that Shanghai theology is Global theology.

Holiness and Apostolicity

The Holiness of Shanghai theology is in its following of the Tradition in its integrity, without the compromises of either extreme, following the golden mean. For the Tradition means the presence of the Holy Spirit Who is the source of the Tradition. And whoever says the Tradition means the Apostles who first received the Holy Spirit, by Whom the Church was founded on the day of Pentecost. Those who stand in the Tradition follow the mainstream and do not find themselves in the dead ends of the fringes of the Church, in one extreme or another, in sects and cults. And those who follow the Tradition do not abandon the Faith, but look for the restoration of the Church and its influence over the State with the restoration of Tsardom. Holiness and Apostolicity mean that Shanghai theology is Eternal Theology.


One of the many disciples of ‘Shanghai theology’, the Californian Hieromonk Seraphim, wrote of this theology in his ‘God’s Revelation to the Human Heart’:

‘Why is the truth, it would seem, revealed to some and not to others? Is there a special organ for receiving revelation from God? Yes, although usually we close it and do not let it open up: God’s revelation is given to something called a loving heart’.

And here we come to the secret of Shanghai theology, the theology of the Church. It is immortal because it comes from the immortal heart, warmed by the love of God through the Holy Spirit. Thus, it deals with the matters of the Eternal Word of God. That is why academic theology, based on the mortal human brain, is forgotten after the fashion for it has passed, whereas real theology is eternal, for it expresses the Eternal One. At the end of this world, when all the libraries of the planet have burned down, what will remain? Shanghai theology.