46 years ago, in 1974, after six years of waiting, I was at last able to move to a town which had a Russian Orthodox church: at that time there were only two permanent Russian Orthodox churches and four chapels in the whole of England. Later I worked in Greece and studied at seminary in Paris. Exactly 39 years ago I was tonsured reader by Metropolitan Antony Bloom at the Ennismore Gardens Cathedral in Knightsbridge. In the last 35 years since being ordained deacon at St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris on 27 January 1985, God has allowed me to serve His Church in many countries in Western Europe, in France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Portugal, by the grace of God setting up the first ever Russian Orthodox church in Lisbon and then some the first ever churches and communities in Eastern England.
Thus, this church began in tiny temporary premises in Felixstowe, which then moved to my native town of Colchester, as soon as I had raised the funds to buy the first suitable property which appeared, here in Colchester. I then did the same in Norwich, raising the funds to buy, convert and equip premises. I have also served and serve in Bury St Edmunds and Wisbech and made missionary travels all over Eastern England, including to Kent and Yorkshire. Others have been brought back into our Church in the East of England from suspension and schism, notably a reader and two priests, and I have also obtained three new priests for our Diocese, Fr Ion here, Fr Spasimir for Norwich, Fr Yaroslav for London and, God willing, very soon a fourth for our church here. After 22 years of struggle, I was honoured when the Synod awarded me the gold cross for this tenacity in the face of every discouragement.
However, the most important thing done in these 35 years was to ask our Synod in New York to send Bishop Irenei to this Diocese. This is now united with my own Western European Diocese, where our St John was Archbishop and where I was ordained by his spiritual son, Archbishop Antony of Geneva. Our Diocese had previously had no resident bishop for 34 years and the previous bishops had been ill. Moreover, Bishop Irenei has the title which I had long wanted to see for a bishop in this country, ‘of London’. Thus, the heritage of St John, who left us nearly sixty years ago in 1962, is being restored by the grace of God. Our Diocese will survive, despite all the huge difficulties it has been through since the late 1960s, when nearly everyone thought it was going to die out. Now in 2020, the centenary year of our Church Outside Russia, I thank God for everything, as He has done all these things using us all as His instruments. Glory to God for all things!
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
The Baptism of the Lord, 19 January 2020
The foundation of a US-run fake Church in the Ukraine, in fact just another renovationist organism, by Greek bishops in Istanbul has created a global schism in the Orthodox Church, with a small minority of nationalist Greeks falling away from the Orthodox Church. The time of cleansing has come. Those who prefer their nation to Christ are falling away visibly, whether in the Ukraine, in Greece, in Romania, in Georgia, in Serbia and wherever it may be.
It all began with the attempted imposition by violence of ecumenism and then the secular calendar on us Christians 100 years ago. Then they introduced liturgical modernism and then pews and chairs into the churches (the weak in faith cannot even stand for Christ) and finally they began homosexualising the episcopate.
All must now ask themselves: Are you with the Church of God or against? Clearly those bishops and priests who prefer to obey their local atheist US ambassador, and not Christ, are against God and have now fallen away from communion with the Church. This schism is now worldwide, with up to 1% of the world’s 220 million Orthodox Christians falling away from the Church. What is the situation after a year of this Greek schism?
The Russian Church has now sent priests to Turkey to look after genuine Orthodox there. May the Patriarchate in Moscow have the courage to set up an Orthodox Exarchate for Turkey and begin missionary work there.
The Orthodox in the New World Diasporas (The Americas, Australia and Western Europe) are now splitting into Orthodox and schismatics, with all those under Constantinople falling away from communion into its nationalist, semi-Uniat LGBT heresy.
In Greece the persecution is now severe, with bishops and even priests visited by agents of the American Embassy in Athens and threatened with violence, destitution and suspension. One Russian bishop is receiving a letter every day from priests in various parts of Greece who wish to leave the apostate hierarchy in Athens, who are under the jackboot of the atheist US Embassy. Where is the hierarchy’s spirit of the martyrs? Most are now totally discredited, for a mess of US pottage they have sold their souls.
The Russian parishes in Africa have withdrawn from the irresponsible and schismatic Patriarch in Egypt, (whose claim to the whole of Africa only goes back to the 1920s). May the Patriarchate in Moscow have the courage to set up an Orthodox Exarchate for Africa and its native Orthodox and begin missionary work there.
The US Embassy in Montenegro has fomented a schism there through its puppet mafia regime. Montenegro is the Serbian Church’s Ukraine. The tactics of persecution and intimidation run by the US elite are the same everywhere. Not very intelligent, they have only a one-track mind for its operations. For the US State Department the whole world is just its banana republic and the Church of God is just another organization to be corrupted by local mafias. But God is not mocked, as that State Department will soon see.
The Evil Empire, called the USA, was already under its previous dictator Obama assassinating anyone anywhere in the world from its drones. The present regime in Washington is only continuing this murderous policy. No-one is safe and now a war could start with Iran.
Are we pessimistic? No! Not in the least! For God is with us!
The Christian Christmas, 25 December 2019 / 7 January 2020