Archpriest Andrew Phillips was born in 1956 into a family that has lived for centuries on the Essex-Suffolk border in the East of England. He began teaching himself Russian when he was twelve. Following early experience confirmed by reading, he was finally allowed to join the Russian Orthodox Church in 1975. After obtaining an M.A. in Russian in Oxford and working in Greece, he went on to study Russian Orthodox theology in Paris. In 1988 he wrote a first book about the Church in early England and this was followed by five other books on Orthodox themes. After many years spent serving the Russian Orthodox Church in France, Portugal and then England, as senior priest of the Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland of the Church Outside Russia he has since 2008 been rector of the multinational St John of Shanghai Orthodox Church in Colchester, which he founded. Located in his native town, this is the centre of the East of England Orthodox Church trust, which is under the Church Outside Russia and includes a church in Norwich and a community in Bury St Edmunds.
Married with six adult children, serving in one of the largest Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe and working to establish missions from it throughout the East of England, where he travels extensively to isolated families and visits Orthodox in prisons, he also teaches, translates, broadcasts and writes for the website www.orthodoxengland.org.uk, where he especially promotes the veneration of the saints of Western Europe. His work strives to reflect in English the integral Russian Orthodox view of the world. He follows the restoration of Church life in Russia very closely and is a frequent visitor to the Russian Lands. Some of what he writes has been translated and published on websites and in booklet form in Russia and several other countries. He is a member of the Patriarchal Commission for the Diaspora, the representative for Western Europe of the Missionary Department of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, a member of its Diocesan Ecclesiastical Court and of the Theological Committee of the Orthodox Bishops in the British Isles and Ireland.