For some 40 years between the 1960s and the end of the twentieth century, some two thousand Anglicans joined certain parishes of the Orthodox Churches in England – mainly those under the then Parisian ‘Sourozh Diocese’. Together with a small number of ordinary (Non-Anglican) English people, they joined the Church for many reasons. Some of us, perhaps especially the Non-Anglicans, joined because we were sincerely seeking, not being influenced by any personality, but called by Christ to help rebuild His Church in the Western desert. For us, the Orthodox Church was and is the only Church, our spiritual home, to which we had come after realizing that this is God’s Will for us and our souls will die without spiritual food, that is, outside the Church. We have lasted and not lapsed because for us, belonging to the Church has always been a matter of spiritual survival, although and because we have been voices crying in the anti-Orthodox and so secularist wilderness.
However, some did not last but lapsed, for it seems that they were not attached to the Orthodox Church and Faith. Dissatisfied with the ever-changing and ever-new fads of Anglicanism, they attached themselves only to some personality or intellectual philosophy, and not to the Church Herself. Some were perhaps received by marginal figures who, without support from Churched Orthodox, needed to build personality cults for themselves among the naïve, ill-prepared, uninstructed or deluded. In other words, attraction operated for negative reasons, by being against something else, and some never accepted the Church as She is. Deluded by anti-Incarnational fantasies, sometimes of Hindu or Buddhist origin, Russian fakirs and charlatans and secondary and superficial attractions, some remained ‘converts’, not actually becoming Orthodox because of their baggage. They joined the Church, but did not become and live as Orthodox Christians.
The fundamental error of such ‘converts’, as they often liked to call themselves, consisted in not first separating themselves from the 900 + years of the anti-Orthodox and therefore also anti-English, Norman-founded British Establishment. This included its Anglican extension under the syphilitic Tudor tyrant Henry VIII and his followers, not least his murderous ‘theologian’ daughter Elizabeth, the genocidal Cromwell and then various other mercantile Dutch, German and ‘British’ Protestant Imperialists with their ‘Rule Britannia’ jingoism that invaded and enslaved the world. In no way therefore were they able to adopt the Orthodox Faith, for they had not first cleansed their minds and souls from the Anti-Orthodoxy, which they had been conditioned and deluded into thinking of as ‘Western Christianity’. Not having first made room in their minds and souls for the Orthodox Church, the only authentic Western or any other Christianity, they could not last and so lapsed.
Unwilling and so unable to live according to the Orthodox way of life and the Orthodox view of the world and so to think naturally in an Orthodox way, many lapsed completely, some returned to Anglicanism, and others lapsed into a fringe ‘Anglican Orthodoxy’. This inability and unwillingness to integrate meant that these latter tended to form exclusive cliques and convert clubs, which made their church into a ‘Halfodox’ hobby, Anglicanism with icons. Thus, some allowed the baggage which they had brought with them into the Church to define their lives and block possible spiritual growth and understanding. This was because their Western-founded Norman Establishment has always called us, the people, ‘Anglo-Saxons’ or ‘plebs’, although we have always called ourselves simply ‘English’. Their alien Norman Establishment has always patronisingly despised us natives and all who ‘go native’, that is, all who are Orthodox Christians in mind and heart, who are foreign to them.
With this mentality of Establishment condescension and pride towards us English, they also rejected the Orthodox people, with our unintellectual and unphilosophical simplicity and uncomplicated and unmoralizing piety. Thus, some refused in their imagined racial ‘superiority’ and intellectual theorizing to ‘go native’. Between about 2000 and 2010, with Anglicanism altogether disappearing into the New Age blur, few Anglicans asked to be received into the Church, while the by then ageing converts from the last century began to isolate themselves and die out. In recent years, however, a new period has begun. Some ordinary (Non-Anglican) English people from the vast majority have begun to join the Orthodox Church. Like the few Non-Anglicans among those who had preceded them, they have had little difficulty in renouncing the Norman-founded British Establishment and its corrupted culture, because they have in any case never even belonged to it.
Thus, unlike some who had preceded them, they have never been tempted to put British Establishment culture above Christ, so betraying Christ, His Church and also His Orthodox England. For this reason they can begin to develop a real English Orthodox culture. Far more importantly, what has happened in England is only an example of the wider situation all over Western Europe. The betrayal of Western Europe by its Christophobic elite, making it into a wayward, schismatic and isolated province through heresy in 1054 and then apostasy, the betrayal of the real England, Orthodox England, finally destroyed in 1066, the repeated Western betrayals of the Christian Emperors and invasions of the multinational Christian Empire between 1204 and 1917, these are what real Orthodox in Europe reject. What we accept is the end of the old compromised ‘Euro-Orthodoxy’ of the philosophers and the beginning of the real Orthodoxy of the saints of Europe, the Restoration of Europe.
The choice for Christophobic and so Russophobic Europe today is fast becoming Apocalypse or Repentance. Europe, on its suicidal death-bed, caught between self-invented Secularism and self-imposed Islamism, has a last chance. If the peoples of Europe can yet throw off the degeneration of their millennial brainwashing, they can still learn that the truth will set them free from stepping lemming-like off the precipice into the abyss. If they can accept that their elites have deluded them into thinking that they are ‘free’, by being enslaved to the elites’ millennial secularist ideology, regardless of whether it is called Roman Catholic, Scholastic, Protestant, Anglican, Conservative, Socialist, Communist, Democratic, Liberal, Agnostic, Atheist, Post-Modernist, then suicide can be averted. If they can accept that their roots are only in the Tradition, Orthodox Christianity, the Church of God, and not in any latecomer manmade religion, then Repentance even at this late hour is still possible.
Q: What is your deepest childhood impression?
A: My first memories go back to when I was two and a half, but I always felt in childhood that I was in Paradise and that God was just beyond the horizon, not far away at all. That was my first and deepest impression. That is why I have always wanted to re-enter my childhood, or at least, its spirit.
Q: Who were the people you met who impressed you the most?
A: First of all, there were all those of my parents’ generation, who had been through World War II, and of my grandparents’ generation, who had been through World War I. I heard so many stories from them, stories which you never read in the books or see in propaganda films.
Q: What did you understand from their stories?
A: I understood that World War II in Europe had actually been a continuation of the still unfinished World War I. I understood even then that that War had actually been a series of different wars. Later, as an adult, I understood in detail that in the Pacific there had been a contest for dominance in Eastern Asia and the Pacific between Japan, ironically Western-armed and Western-trained, and Great Britain, which Japan has easily won. However, it had then lost the contest when the USA had taken over from defeated Great Britain and beaten it, finally by dropping A-bombs on its civilians. Then there had been the war for oil resources in North Africa and the Middle East, which Great Britain had won against Germany, but only because the USA had armed and helped it. Then there was the war on the Eastern Front in Europe, where the Western Powers had hoped that Germany would exhaust itself by destroying the USSR, so losing two enemies at the same time. In fact, the USSR had defeated and contained Germany, but only for two generations, until the Fourth Reich EU taken over Eastern Europe. Finally, there had been the war on the Western Front, which Germany had lost militarily, but won economically through its EU.
Q: Was there anyone else who shaped you?
A: Beyond them, there were representatives of an even older generation still alive then, those who had been born as far back as the 1870s. One elderly lady I met had been at Queen Victoria’s funeral, another remembered the Relief of Mafeking in 1900. (A third, in France, though I was an adult then, told me how her grandmother had told her how she had seen Napoleon riding through Versailles. I had no reason to disbelieve her). They all impressed me because they were living history, representing something that had disappeared, for good and for ill. History is real, it all happened.
Q: But what about the Orthodox you met after childhood? You knew very well Metr Antony Bloom, Fr Sophrony Sakharov, Fr Alexander Schmemann and other clergy.
A: True, but apart from Archbishop Antony of Geneva, who was a disciple of Metr Antony of Kiev and spoke to me about him, the other clergy you mention did not impress me very much. It was more laypeople who impressed me. For instance, there was Princess Kutaisova the elegant Oxford teacher, Elena Grigorievna Evdokimova who had greeted the Tsar before the First World War, Vladimir Ivanovich Labunsky who was the last White officer in Paris, the genial Prince Boris Galitsin, the noble Ekaterina Osipova, Maria Cattoir, or Lyudmila Brizhatova the poetess, and many others. They were all the best of the White emigration, because that emigration had been divided into two parts, those who were really White, that is the penitent, and on the other hand, those who had betrayed the Tsar. The penitent were not only penitent for themselves, even though they had often had little to repent for, but above all repented on behalf of others.
Q: When did you first begin writing?
A: Before I could write!
Q: What do you mean?
A: When I was four, I used to take scrap paper and draw wavy lines on it; it was my writing. All my childhood and long after I carried pen and paper with me. I was always noting things down. The first piece that was published was when I was eleven. I had an aunt who had written an unpublished novel and my father, who had left school before he was 14, had written poetry. So there was something in the family.
Q: Is there anything you would you like to write in the future?
A: For forty years I have wanted to write a novel about the Russian emigration in Europe. There is a huge untold story there. True, there is a French film specifically about those who returned to the USSR after 1945 and the American film ‘The White Countess’ about the emigration in Shanghai and an immense number of memoirs of individual emigres, but that is not the same. I would like to tell a saga, an epic, though I suppose I never will, as I do not have such talent. I would like to tell of the refugees who had nothing to eat, the Tsar’s generals who became housepainters, the princes who were taxi-drivers, the Cossacks who worked at Renault and went to the church in Boulogne-Billancourt, where I married. There is so much to say here.
Q: Would you say that you are political?
A: Not in any party political sense, but only through the eyes of the Church, in the sense that, as we live in the world, we must understand what is going on in the world, either to encourage and try to channel it, or else to oppose it. Some people say that they are apolitical. Well, that is already a political stance. That is to be disincarnate, futile, to waste yourself on dreams and lose yourself in illusions. That is wrong, spiritually dangerous, even demonic. Real Christians all believe in the Incarnation, therefore we must have an interest in politics, so that we can influence the world.
Q: Do you hope for the restoration of the monarchy in Russia?
A: Of course, but it must be the restoration of the Orthodox monarchy, Sacred Monarchy, not just some token monarchism, as in the UK. This restoration is essential, not just for the Russian Lands, not just for the Orthodox Church (in which so much decadence began after the overthrow of the Orthodox monarchy in 1917), but for the whole world, which became unbalanced afterwards. The Second World War would never have happened, nor would the so-called Cold War (in fact a Hot War with millions of victims in the Third World), if the Orthodox Monarchy had not been betrayed, for the monarchy is the last bastion of Orthodox power.
However, we must be realistic. To have Orthodox monarchy, you must deserve it, you must have the right spiritual level; contemporary Russia is very far from that. It will need mass repentance for the monarchy to be restored. That is not happening yet. Our role is that of St John the Baptist, to be forerunners who preach repentance, who prepare the way. What we feared in the 60s, 70s and 80s, the end of the world, will certainly still come, if there is not mass repentance. We have been given a stay of execution with events in Russia, especially since 2000, but no more than that. All is fragile, hanging by a thread.
Q: What can be done here in concrete terms for restoration?
A: We need to establish a Russian Orthodox Monarchist Association (ROMA) today, on the centenary of the epic tragedy of the so-called Russian Revolution. This needs to commemorate the last Tsar and his family, martyred ninety-nine years ago on the confines of Europe and Asia. Their martyrdom was a catastrophe for the whole world, particularly for the Christian world, which has fallen apart without a strong Christian Russian Empire, going from disaster to disaster.
Such an Association also needs to help prepare the Western world for the coming Russian Emperor, who will have an even greater international significance than the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, because he may well be the last Christian Emperor before the end. As such, he will be the only protector of the Church of God against all the pseudo-Christian and anti-Christian forces that have surfaced on the world, both before and since the fall of the Russian Empire one hundred years ago.
Q: What do you mean exactly by repentance for any of this to happen?
A: The Faith of many has been made impure. It is polluted and corrupted by superficiality. We can see this in the liberalism of intellectual or academic theology. I remember in Paris how a divorced subdeacon and teacher of such ‘theology’, an author of many books on ‘theology’, never fasted, even in Holy Week. What sort of theology could he write, when he did not fast, when he did not clean his soul first, when he wrote against asceticism and monasticism? This sort of attitude, very common among such people, is just decadence. This has to be repented for – not justified, as many do.
We can also see this superficiality in extreme conservatism. Just recently someone wrote to me that he believed that the earth was flat and that dinosaurs never existed because their fossils had only recently been discovered. Yet the Psalms say that: ‘He hath made the round world so sure, that it cannot be moved’. To be very old-fashioned is not the same as following the Tradition, which is much more radical than being old-fashioned. Such extreme conservatism also has to be repented for.
We can see this superficiality in nationalism, which tries to put the Truth for all time and all peoples into the narrow container of one nationality. In one Balkan church I visited years ago, I was told that I could not venerate the icons because I was not of the nationality of the church! Such ignorant nationalism or racism, called phyletism, which is simply attachment to this world, has to be repented for.
We can see this superficiality also in the attitude of certain ex-Soviet people who treat the Faith in a consumerist way, as a sort of magic. Magic happens automatically regardless of the efforts you make, whereas prayer, the sacraments and Church life depend on the efforts that we make to cleanse ourselves and receive grace. Such people are always upset when they pay their money and do not get the magic result that they expect. Faith does not work like that. Such an attitude to the Faith has to be repented for. We have to work for the Faith.
Q: What would you say of the future of the world?
A: Only God knows our future. But some things are clear. We now have to meet the obligations imposed on us by the collapse of the heterodox world, the spiritual and moral collapse of Catholicism and Protestantism.
Q: What do you hope to see in the future?
A: In the years that remain to me, I hope to see the establishment of the Metropolia in Western Europe, which is a single whole, and the restoration of our Diocese of the Anglo-Celtic British Isles and Ireland, after so many decades of spiritual decadence and alien ‘Britishism’. Let us here restore the ideal of the Anglo-Celtic St Cuthbert.
Old Europe is mystically calling to us from across the darkness of ten anti-Orthodox Christian centuries. It is calling to us through its long-forgotten saints, from Orleans and Roskilde, from Lisbon and Lindisfarne, from Utrecht, and Barcelona, from Tongres and Turin, from Glendalough and Palermo, from Salzburg and Iona, from St David’s and Cologne, from Oslo and Arles and from ten thousand more cities and hamlets and holy islands and holy mountains. The saints, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, are calling for a Europe that is holy and therefore both personally righteous and socially just.
The saints of this Old Europe are calling us to continue their feats in the Tsar’s Europe, Imperial Christian Europe, which anti-Orthodox Christian Europe has strived so hard to destroy, especially over the last 100 years since 1917. Thus, today, all the saints of the Christian Empire, both of the Old Europe and of the Tsar’s Europe, are reaching out to us. Their call for our repentance is urgent, for after a thousand years’ of patience anti-Orthodox Christian Europe is now at suicide’s door. And its only hope is in its return to the saints, for they are the fruit of the Holy Spirit from down all the centuries.
Sunday of All the Saints of the Western Lands, 2017
When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Fake News and Fake History
We are told that in 2017 43% of British people still trust the UK media to tell the truth, down from 50% in 2016 (1). Why is the figure still so amazingly high? After all, by the end of the old Soviet Union, the figure for trust in the Soviet media must have been 0%. And the fake news issued by all the Western Establishment media, from the BBC to the New York Times, from Le Monde to German Television, is no more truthful than the propaganda lies issued by the three generations of the Soviet Establishment. The reason for this high figure can only be because many Western people have been so deeply brainwashed by Establishment lies, not over three generations, but over a millennium, forty generations. In other words, what lies behind fake news is fake history.
This fake history actually began over a millennium ago, with the Frankish ‘Charlemagne’ (real name: Karl the Tall) in the First Reich centred in Aachen. He began the first post-Truth society with the news that he had the right to massacre any non-Frankish peoples (Saxons, Slavs or anyone else) who resisted him. This was because he had the self-created divine right to bring ‘barbarians’ to his ‘truth’ and if they refused to accept his truth, then they could be murdered en masse, which he did. As the ‘Father of Europe’ (2), the truth of the Holy Spirit flowed from him as vicar of God on earth – a conscious part of his filioque ideology. Fortunately, his propaganda myth was rejected in and immediately after his time, because Orthodox Christianity was still then strong enough, even in his Western tip of Eurasia, for it to be rejected.
Unfortunately, this spiritual strength did not last and by the mid-eleventh century his propaganda to mask plunder, that the task of Frankish ‘Europe’ was to spread ‘civilization’ among ‘primitive peoples’, had been revived under the popes. As a result, in 1066 the papally-sponsored, feudal Normans invaded, occupied and massacred their way through England (3) and then all Britain. A generation later Frankish Europe began the ‘crusades’, invading, occupying and massacring their way to the Holy Land. In 1204 their greed led them to plunder the Christian Capital of ‘Byzantium’ (real name: New Rome). Their cousins then attempted to plunder Russia under the name of the ‘Teutonic Knights’. In and after 1492 their ‘Frankish’ (4) Spanish and Portuguese spiritual cousins took part in the rape of South and Central America, as well as Mexico.
Later, other spiritual descendants of the Franks got rich quick by plundering Roman Catholicism, under the pretext of ‘The Reformation’. In England, the Tudor ‘reformers’ proved to be ruthless Machiavellians and their descendants massacred all who resisted them in civil wars in England and then in genocide in Ireland. In 1689 they usurped power from the legitimate Stuart Kings and invited Dutch and then German puppet monarchs to permit their merchant class to build an Empire based on slavery. They sang ‘Britons never, never, never will be slaves’, but did not add that everyone else would precisely be slaves, including their own voteless labouring masses. In the 19th century the elite of Western Europe plundered Asia and Africa, as described by the Polish novelist Joseph Conrad in his 1899 novel ‘The Heart of Darkness’.
Nineteenth-century ‘Frankish’ hypocrisy, wiping out the ‘Red Indians’, the Tasmanians, slaughtering spear-armed Africans with Maxim guns (5) and anyone else who stood in their way, led directly to two ‘World Wars’ (real name: inter-tribal European Wars), which Western Europe spread worldwide, not least through the descendants of European colonists in North America. The Western European ideologies of Capitalism, Communism and Fascism did untold damage, creating and using weapons of mass destruction, which killed tens of millions and can destroy the whole planet many times over. In the 21st century the continued neo-colonial attempts to impose Western values on the Middle East, notably on Iraq, called a ‘crusade’ by the Italian leader Berlusconi, in a bid to plunder and control, are still generating massive genocide.
Frangistan and Freedom
The above, presented by fake history as the ‘generous’ civilizing influence of the West among the Rest, ‘the barbarians’, is in fact the unjustifiable justification for the plunder and control of the Non-Western world by the Western world. Because of its origins in Continental Western Europe under the Frank Charlemagne, this Western world became known as ‘Frangistan’ in traditional Persian. However, long before, the Norman invasions of Scotland and Ireland in the 12th century were called ‘the coming of the Franks’, Arabs called Westerners ‘Faranga’ and when the Portuguese and Spaniards arrived off the coasts of China in the 16th century, locals called them ‘Fo-lang-ki’ – Franks. And in modern Hindi all Europeans in general are still referred to as ‘Firang’ (4). In other words, ‘Frangistan’ is the Western world.
With its modern acronyms of USA, EU, NATO and G7, Frangistan, represents much less than one seventh of the world, much less because many ordinary ‘Franks’ can themselves see through the fake history spun by the Frankish elite. In the real world, where live the other six and a half billion of the world’s population, this Western world seems to be isolated. Originally meaning only the Western tip of Northern Eurasia, the name Frangistan comes, as we have said, from the one Germanic tribe, the Franks. Ironically, this meant ‘the free’, but it has come to define the world’s greatest enslavers – whether literally, as before in the Americas and Africa, or else economically, as today. The endlessly greedy and aggressive ‘Franks’ not only destroyed the Christian Civilization of New Rome, but all other civilizations, whoseever assets could be stripped.
Thus, they destroyed the great civilization along the Amazon, reducing the cities by the banks of that river to jungle, they destroyed the other civilizations of South America, among them the Inca, those of Central America, among them the Aztec and the sophisticated Maya, and despised and laid waste to all others in North America, India, China, Japan and the rest of Asia, as well as in Africa. Only when the ‘free’ ‘Franks’, or at least the 43% of them who apparently still believe in the fake history told them, have delivered themselves from their self-justifying fake history, that they are ‘civilized’, demonizing the Non-Frankish peoples with their often far more advanced and humble civilizations, as ‘half-devil, half-child’ (Kipling), ‘wild animals’, ‘savages’ and ‘primitives’ and wishing them dead, will they really be free.
The self-justifying foundation of the ‘civilizing’ propaganda for plunder, ‘the white man’s burden’, is that the Franks persuaded themselves that they alone are ‘Christians’, that ‘God speaks only to them’ (George Bush (6)). But their god is not the Risen Christ, the Living God, Who is ‘an all-consuming fire’ (Hebrews 12, 29), but the sentimental, weak as water, bleeding Western man ‘Jesus’. Thus, there is nothing new in fake news. Western history is a thousand years of fake news. The news is: ‘We are bringing you ‘Christian’ civilization (meaning our plunder of your civilization), and if you reject it, ‘as true Christians’ we will be so kind as to bomb you back into the Stone Age’. Gun and Bible. Freedom will come for the ‘Franks’ only when they give up their thousand years of fake news and retrieve real Western history in the saints of the pre-Frankish past.
The word ‘Europe’ is said to mean ‘the West’ and the word ‘Asia’ ‘the East’. Hence ‘Eurasia’, where all civilization began, means ‘West-east’. By far the greatest part of ‘West-East’ Eurasia is united in the Eurasian Russian Federation. This developed and expanded by assimilation, not by massacre, quite rapidly from Muscovy to the Arctic north, then to the east, gradually heroically overcoming immense Tartar/Muslim opposition, as far as the shores of the Pacific and even across it, then to the south (although ‘Frangistan’ has challenged that expansion by aggressive wars and imposing German puppet kings in the Balkans, especially to the south-west, invading the Crimea twice in a century. With illegal sanctions it is still challenging today the overwhelming democratic will of Crimeans to return to and belong to the Federation (7)).
Indeed, even apart from the Crimea in the south-west, the Christian Federation of Russia (unlike the atheist USSR) has never been able to expand to the west, with Western Europe powers repeatedly invading Federation territory, four times between 1812 and 1941 alone. This tragedy has meant the self-isolation of Western Europe, cut off from Christian Northern Eurasia. Today’s great hope among many in the Federation is that it will at long last be able to establish a Metropolia in Western Europe, thus bringing the extreme Western territory at least into Church order out of its chaos. This will represent a spiritual victory, the victory over 1,000 years of fake news, the millennial fake history of ‘Frangistan’, delivering it and bringing it to rediscover the real Europe, the Free Christian Europe of the Saints of the first millennium, of the Church of God.
2. The monstrous Karl, founder of the First Reich in 800, the mass murderer and forerunner of Bismarck of the Second Reich and of Hitler of the Third Reich, is still quite seriously honoured as ‘The Father of Europe’, notably by the Fourth Reich EU elite.
3. The Norman occupiers wrote their own propaganda history, proclaiming that there had been no English kings or people before them, merely ‘primitive’ and ‘decadent’ ‘Anglo-Saxons’. To this day kings of England are numbered from the foreign kings from 1066 on; not one of them has been English.
4. For a full survey of the word ‘Frank’ to mean a Western European see ‘The Making of Europe’ (950-1350), by Robert Bartlett, 1993, especially pages 101-105.
5. See Hilaire Belloc, in the words of the figure “Blood” in his poem “The Modern Traveller”:
Whatever happens, we have got
The Maxim gun, and they have not.
7. The bilionaire leader of the genocidal, US-installed Kiev puppet junta, Poroshenko (real name: Waltzman) has only this week stated that all Ukrainians who do not accept his tyranny should go and live in Siberia. With these words he has repeated the ‘Drang nach Osten’, ‘Lebesnraum’ policy of Hitler, to exile all East Slavs to the east of the Urals in order to make room for ‘European’ expansion and exploitation in the east.
In the face of today’s treasonous Babylonian globalist threat, not only is Russia having to return to its patriotic roots, but so too are all other Western countries. In the case of Russia, her roots are clearly in the Tsar’s Russia, in Orthodoxy, which was finally, after many threats, betrayed only 100 years ago. In the case of Western European countries, these patriotic roots are much less clear because those countries have been through so many different permutations, secularist, Protestant or Roman Catholic, in many phases.
Thus, in England, there are those who wish to return to the recent nationalist Protestant-imperialist past. However, this was an invention of the treasonous merchant-class slavers, who brought in foreign monarchs after their usurpation through the Dutch invasion in 1689, the bribery of the Scottish elite into the Union in 1707 and after, with their mean ‘Rule Britannia’. But these are not real and patriotic English roots, and neither are English roots in more distant discredited Roman Catholicism, nor in ancient Germanic paganism.
English roots are in the English period of English history, that is, before it was tainted by the Norman occupiers with their imperialist, pagan Roman revivalist ‘British’ Establishment. The greatest political representative in English history is thus St Alfred the Great (+ 899), its Church representatives ranging from St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne to St Edward the Martyr. In other words, patriotic English roots are in the 450 years of the Old English saints, just as the roots of other Western European cultures are also in their Old European saints.
Patriotic movements all over Europe, from the Urals to Iceland, from Finland to Cyprus, as well as in the USA, are marching against the treason of secularist globalism. However, they will not win their battles of national resistance if they are not underpinned by Christian roots, that is, if they are merely nationalist and not patriotic. In order to understand their real roots, they must consider the Russian battle for roots because that battle is more advanced, as the secularist-globalist Babylon did not begin in Russia, but in Western Europe.
Indeed, there are already many in the secularist-globalist West who are so blinded by their ethnocentric arrogance that they have been deluded into willingly taking part in the process of their own self-destruction. They deny patriots even the freedom of speech, all under the mask of political correctness, calling real patriots Fascists. And yet they hypocritically support real Fascists, in the form of their petty nationalist puppet-strongmen, like those in the Ukraine and the Baltic States, as also in the Third World.
The secularist support for recently-invented, artificial countries comes because their petty nationalism can undermine the national identity and culture of real countries, making them ready for secularist-globalism. The treasonous secularist-globalists are thus forerunners of the Antichrist. Thus, we have the Holy Spirit, Who unites mankind in God, without cancelling out human diversity, unlike the spirit of Satan, which creates the new Tower of Babylon, destroying all national identities, personalities and local cultures.
That spirit reduces all to the lowest common denominator, levelling humanity down to the level of the beasts. The Holy Spirit makes people angelic, but the spirit of Satan makes them bestial, demonic. The spirit of Satan rejoices in ‘freedom’ from the commandments of God. This is what is today disguised under the name of ‘liberalism’, whose aim is to bestialize humanity, making it the slave of the demons. ‘Liberalism’ thus means enslavement, for the laws of Satan are always perverse, contradicting all human common sense.
How can we resist the secularist-globalist spirit? It is by cultivating the local, but only in the anti-secularist Spirit of the Church, in the Holy Spirit. This is why the local saints are especially dear to us. And this is why we should love all the local saints everywhere, for they are all invested with the same Spirit of God. This is diversity in unity and unity in diversity. And this is why Old Europe is also the Tsar’s Orthodox Europe, both of which are reaching out and calling to us from across the darkness of the new pagan age of the secularist globalists.
The following talk was read at the symposium of SOPHIE (The Society of Orthodox Philosophers in Europe) in Frankfurt in Germany just before today’s All Saints’ Day Feast
25 years after the disappearance of the Soviet Union and 25 years after the appearance of the European Union, we are facing great generational changes. The lands of the ex-Soviet Union continue to suffer from chauvinist strife, instability and extreme unemployment and poverty, not least the Ukraine and the rapidly emptying EU Baltic States. As one Russian put it to me some years ago: ‘Under Communism we had no political freedom, but we did have security. Today, under Capitalism, we have political freedom, but we have no security’. And also: ‘We knew that the Communists were lieing to us about Communism, but we did not know that they were telling us the truth about Capitalism’.
Further events are unfolding in Russia today, on the centenary of the catastrophic, so-called ‘Russian Revolution’, which gave rise to the alien, Marxist Soviet Union, with its Red terror, artificial famines, Gulag, alcoholism, abortion, corruption, divorce and environmental degradation. Equally, some wonder if the European Union will ever recover from Brexit, as other countries also eye freedom from the straitjacket of EU centralization. However, all this comes against the background of the new US President, who is half-Scottish, whose wife is a Slav from ex-Communist Slovenia, and who is apparently anti-EU and pro-Brexit. The world for some people has been turned upside down. Or perhaps rather the world was upside down and is now gradually being turned the right side up?
Against such a contemporary political background, my talk today is based on the only recorded words of a saint who lived nearly 1800 years ago, at some point between 209 and 305, historians, as usual, cannot agree exactly when. Perhaps we can simply say that he lived in the third century. His words, only eighteen of them in their modern English translation, seem to me to prophesy a possible future for this Europe that now seems to be lost and drifting. For although the European Union is largely discredited and rejected, few wish even to think about the Modern, Alternative Europe to replace the outdated, post-Hitlerian, failed, centralized EU Europe. However, there are the words of this saint, from what might be called ‘Brexitland’, who may provide an answer.
This saint in question is the Protomartyr of the British Isles, a Romano-British citizen called Alban, who lived in the Roman city of Verulamium, just north of London. Having given shelter to a Christian priest fleeing persecution, Alban was so moved by the priest’s faith and courage that he asked to be taught more about Christianity, then a forbidden religion, and was baptized by the priest. Before long the authorities came to arrest the fugitive. But Alban, inspired by his new-found faith, exchanged clothes with the priest, allowing him to escape.
Thus, instead of the priest, it was Alban who was arrested and brought before the magistrate. Alban refused to sacrifice to the emperor and the Roman gods and was flogged. When asked to identify himself, he declared these eighteen words: ‘I am called Alban and I worship and adore the true and living God, Who created all things’. The magistrate ordered that Alban receive the punishment due to the priest. He was taken out of the town and up the hillside to the site of his martyrdom and beheaded. His town is today called St Albans and is a mere 20 miles, 30 kilometres, to the north of London. St Alban’s Day is celebrated on 22 June.
I Am Called Alban
I am interested in these eighteen words, the first four of which are: ‘I am called Alban’. The Romano-British name ‘Alban’ means ‘White’. The Latin word ‘alba’ is at the root of many words and names, not least Albion, a name for Britain that stems from the white chalk cliffs of south-eastern Britain, the first view of the country for Roman and other invaders. However, the word ‘White’ has in the Russian Orthodox context another meaning, referring to the White Movement after 1917. True, the White Movement was betrayed by those who claimed to be White, but were not White at all, and were mainly killed or went into exile. However, the best White representatives, although only a minority, sought the restoration of the Orthodox Christian Empire in Russia. These true Whites sought the restoration of ‘the White Tsar’.
The word ‘White’ in this context thus stands for faithfulness to our roots and Christian inheritance, to the Faith that is to be made incarnate in the countries in which we live. ‘White’ means faithfulness to the incarnate integrity of the Faith. This means not just vaguely Christian, but Orthodox Christian, and not just Orthodox Christian, but Orthodox Christian to the point of working to incarnate the Faith, socially, economically and politically. Thus, ‘I am White’ can be taken to mean the confession of the post-Constantinian Civilizational values of the Church, as expressed in the spiritual ideal of Romaiosini in the New Rome that St Constantine founded to unite Europe and Asia and which were continued in Holy Rus, the spiritual ideal of the Eurasian Christian Empire.
And I Worship and Adore the True and Living God
These ten words of St Alban express his Faith, a Faith that he was prepared to die for and did die for, in the worship and adoration of the Christian God, the True God, the Holy Trinity. Today all sorts of things are worshipped: money is worshipped, technology is worshipped, convenience is worshipped, sex is worshipped, food is worshipped, social networking is worshipped, television is worshipped, sport is worshipped, celebrities are worshipped, the self is worshipped, as in the selfie. ‘Because I am worth it’ is indeed the slogan of today’s narcissistic society.
However, St Alban’s worship is of the True and Living God. St Alban worshipped the Living God. He did not worship pagan gods or goddesses, who intervene in human affairs whenever some passion of pride, greed, lust or other, which as demons they embody, seizes them to meddle for the perdition of mankind. They never sacrifice themselves for mankind, but only take advantage of mankind, as parasites. These demons are dead gods, gods of death, not the God of Life. The Living God is He Who defeated death by death, sacrificing Himself and so proving that He is not only the God of Life, the Life-Giver, but also that He loves mankind, the Love-Giver.
Who Created All Things
Following on from the darkness of the eighteenth-century ‘Enlightenment’, which proposed a distant, theistic God, Who in no way plays a part in human affairs and so offers humanity autonomy to practise all its sins with impunity, virtually the whole of nineteenth-century Western thought was devoted to denying and rejecting the above words. Almighty man creates, not a weak, Nietzschean-imagined God, so weak that He allowed Himself to die famelessly on the Cross. This human assumption of God’s creative power resulted in the twentieth century in destructive manmade World Wars, concentration camps, nuclear bombs and the abortion holocaust. Essentially, modern times have replaced God with man, construction with deconstruction. Man, reverting to idolatry, has replaced the sinless Creator with sinful creation.
This idolatry, the denial of the Living God Who created all things, the last four words of St Alban, has resulted in the heresy of what might be called ‘self-creation’. Far from the innocent, God-inspired inventions of such things as the wheel, the boat, the plough or the windmill, self-creation has led not just to the deafening and blinding inventions of the Industrial Revolution that poisoned human life, the earth and the sea and the sky, as in China today, not just to the Satan-inspired invention of killing and maiming machines like the Maxim gun, poison gas, napalm and the cluster bomb. It has led to the prophesied possibility that humans will so interfere in the chemical elements and genetic codes of life that they will create beings that are monsters and food that is poisoned, apocalyptically killing the Planet and all life.
We have entitled our talk, ‘St Alban and the Salvation of Europe’. Of course, we are not proposing that a saint alone can save Europe. But it is our belief that Europe can be saved by Christ acting through the assembly of Europe’s saints because they all proclaim the same truths as St Alban. Next Sunday is precisely the feast of All Saints, who are the fruit of the Holy Spirit, Who came down at Pentecost. The British Isles has St Alban, but Germany has St Ursula, Ireland St Patrick, France St Denis, Belgium St Gertrude, the Netherlands and Luxembourg St Willibrord, Denmark St Anschar, Sweden and Norway the two St Olafs, the Czech Lands have Sts Ludmila and Viacheslav, Switzerland St Maurice and the Legionnaires from Thebes, Austria St Severinus, Hungary St Martin, Italy the Apostles Peter and Paul, Spain St Eulalia, and Portugal St Martin of Braga. All of these proclaim the same thing: Not, as one American President nearly fifty-five years ago, in June 1963, proclaimed, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’, but, ‘Ich bin Alban’, in other words, ‘I belong to Christ’.
Some years ago we composed a service to all the Saints of the Western Lands. Here are five stichira from Lord, I have cried from that service, which summarize our thoughts:
For one thousand years the light of the Sun of Righteousness shone forth from the East on the lands of the West, forming a Cross over Europe, before they fell beneath the darkening shades of the Churchless night. Let us now return to the roots of our first confession of the Holy Spirit in the bright Sunrise of Orthodoxy, which is brought again from the East, and so shine forth the light of the Everlasting Christ once more.
O all the saints of the Western Lands, pray to God for our repentance and return, our restoration and resurrection. Tell the people to leave aside the things of men, the fallen fleshly mind and all its vain musings, for they are without the Saviour and the Spirit. And so, through your life in the Holy Trinity, shall we find salvation in the purity of the Orthodox Faith before the end.
Now do we sing to all the saints of the lands of the West and at their head the apostles Peter and Paul, the true glory of Old Rome, and, like stars in the dark night sky, to the constellation of the martyrs and fathers who followed in their apostolic footsteps, leaving behind them the great treasury of holy relics. O First Rome, who art glorious in thy saints alone, do thou return to the eternal faith of Orthodoxy through the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father, as the Saviour tells us.
Thus from the fountainhead of the East through Old Rome flowed streams of the Holy Spirit to all the lands of the West, through Gaul and Spain, to the uttermost isles in the far ocean and to all the lands of the north, where the darkness saw the light of Christ and all the trees of the forest bowed their heads before the Wisdom and Word of God, forsaking the superstitions and proud errors of the pagan past.
O constellation of all the saints of the Western lands, who shine forth in the night sky, together we gather in your name, in praise to ask you to intercede for us with your prayers. Bring back the Western peoples from the inglorious darkness of their unwisdom to the Wisdom of God, that they may cast aside all the illusions of the fallen reason and know again that the only true glory and enlightenment is in the acquisition of the Holy Spirit.
The pagan ‘Celts’, a group of cruel and warring tribes, invaded the British Isles and Ireland only a few centuries before the Romans came, some arriving not much before them. However, by the first centuries AD these ‘Celts’, some Christian, some, according to St Gildas, definitely not, had separated into two main groups. These were the Irish (in Ireland, and then by emigration, in what is now Scotland) and the Brittonic (in Wales, Cornwall, and then by emigration, in Armorica, the future Brittany in France, and also in Galicia in Spain). The Church in all these lands was represented then by Irish and Brittonic, both Latin-speaking, but both with a strong monastic ethos. So much for the ‘Celtic Church’ myth, about which so much new-age nonsense is talked.
What can we say of Brittonic Cornwall specifically? The word Cornish (Cornovii) is itself Latin, meaning those who live in the ‘horn’, that is to say, those in the horn-shaped peninsula of south-west Britain. Later, by deformation, ‘Corn-wall’ came to mean the land of the ‘Welsh’ (= Non-English) who live in the horn. Cornwall was first taken into England, though only on paper, in the tenth century by King Athelstan. However, in some ways it would be truer to call Cornwall an island, for, surrounded by the sea on three sides, on its fourth side it is separated from Devon and so from England by the River Tamar. Only 70 years ago, and perhaps still today, those who lived on the Cornish side of the Tamar and crossed it spoke quite naturally of ‘going to England’.
Today, it is true that those who have grandparents born on the Cornish side of the Tamar have very different DNA from those born on the English side in Devon, even though the Cornish language has been lost. This is because, Cornwall lies between Wales and Brittany and so became a land through which saints passed, coming from north and south. Thus, Cornwall is a land of local saints and of their names – 140 in all unique to Cornwall. Unfortunately, most of these names are precisely only names. Usually, virtually nothing is known of the saints behind the names, sometimes if they were even saints at all, not even the correct form of their name, not even the century when they lived (usually the sixth or seventh), and sometimes even their gender is unknown.
As for their Lives, when they exist – and that is rare – they were often written over 600 and up to 1,000 years after the saints lived. In other words, most of their Lives are almost completely untrustworthy and sometimes absurd. All that remains is speculation without edification, ‘games with names’, as in the booklets on them, written by the Anglican researcher G.H. Doble in the last century. Here we see all the sadness when people forget their saints, their tradition of holiness. All we can say is that a large number of mainly Welsh monks, nuns, hermits and ascetics came to live in Cornwall in the fifth, sixth and seventh centuries, and that that was a golden age of holiness. In all this two Cornish saints stand out, St Piran and St Petroc.
St Piran (Perran) (+ c. 480) came from Ireland or Wales and settled in the north of Cornwall, giving his name to Perranporth, where he had his hermitage. He is commemorated on 5 March and is now considered to be the patron saint of Cornwall. St Petroc (Peter) (+ c. 564) was a sixth-century abbot who for long was considered to be Cornwall’s most famous saint. He came from south Wales and lived near what is now Padstow (Petrocstow), where he founded a monastery. He later founded another monastery and then lived as a hermit on Bodmin Moor. He was famed for his closeness to the natural world and founded other monasteries. At his repose his relics were venerated in Padstow and later at the main Cornish monastery in Bodmin. His feast is on 4 June.
Any Orthodox who wish to set up a parish in Cornwall would perhaps wish to start in Truro, the capital of Cornwall and which is located relatively centrally. As for a dedication, we would suggest, quite simply, All Saints. However, in any such parish there should be a large icon of Sts Piran and Petroc.
All the Saints of Cornwall, known to the Lord, pray to God for us!
There was once a Christian Empire. At the far Western tip of the Eurasian Continent, Europe was an integral part of that Empire, giving birth to the light of ten thousand saints to combat and defeat native European darkness. This was Holy Europe. But Europe fell away from those saints, that ideal of holiness and its Empire, replacing holiness with the darkness of idolatry, out of envy not tolerating that it was not at the centre of the Empire. In revolt and falling back into its old darkness, Europe successively laid waste to both centres of the Christian Empire, New Rome in 1204 and the Third Rome in 1917, slaughtering even the Russian Ruling Family, who were Europeans. To allow them to be killed, on orders from New York, was suicide for Europe, but as for the Christian Empire, it miraculously survived.
Now, one hundred years on, in 2017, Europe is at a turning-point. Will the yearnings of Old Europe be heard or will the New Europe, atheized and so homogenized, altogether wipe out the Old Europe of the saints and their heritage of holiness? The message of what survives of the Christian Empire, of Russian Orthodoxy, to Europe is that its Resurrection, the salvation of the best of Old Europe, that which is compatible with the Church, is still possible. Once Europe was Holy Europe, just as the Russian Lands were Holy Rus. The Saints of the Russian Lands speak to Europe and the Saints of Europe speak back to the Russian Lands. The Russian Orthodox message to Europe is to give it back the Orthodox Trinitarian commandments in order to save it. These Trinitarian commandments are:
Faith: To keep faith with the integrity of Orthodox Christianity, avoiding manmade substitutes, mere religions, recent constructs of the fallen mind.
Sovereignty: To be loyal to the Incarnation of the Faith in the Christian Empire, rejecting manmade substitutes, false and idolatrous empires based on envy.
The People: To respect the gifts and restore the destinies of each individual European people, inasmuch as they are inspired by the Holy Spirit.
From north to south, passing from Oslo to Madrid, from west to east, passing from Dublin to Vienna, passing over the centre of the Cross in Paris, we make the sign of the Cross over Europe and entrust it to the Church of God. It is our belief that we are approaching the end of the world and that that end will come, if another Christian Emperor is not soon restored. And for the Tsar to be restored, we require the Cross of Repentance in the west, Return in the east, Redemption in the north, Rebirth in the south, and so Resurrection in the centre. And if the Tsar is not restored, then the Tsar of Tsars will come.
Having written of the saints of East Anglia, Essex and Kent, I have been asked to write of the saints of the fourth of the seven early English kingdoms, Sussex, the Kingdom of the South Saxons. Though not so far to the south of London, just beyond Surrey and Kent and stretching to the south coast, hence ‘Sussex by the sea’, Sussex has a reputation for being separate from the rest of England. Perhaps this is because of its downs, or hills, and forest, which in times past cut it off from others. In any case, as a result, just like the people of Essex, local people, in both east and west Sussex, have a reputation for independence and an aversion to being forced into anything. This is expressed in the Sussex motto, ‘We wunt be druv’ (We won’t be driven/pushed around).
The English settlement of Sussex began in the year 477 with a certain leader Aelle, who landed on the coast, consolidated his territory and was eventually recognised as the first overlord of southern Britain. By the second half of the seventh century the western corner of Sussex around Selsey and Chichester had become the political centre of the kingdom. In the 660s-670s King Ethelwalh of Sussex formed an alliance with the Mercian King Wulfhere. As Mercia’s first Christian king, Wulfhere insisted that Ethelwalh convert to Christianity. Wilfrid, the exiled Bishop of York and future saint, came to Sussex in 681 and with King Ethelwalh’s approval set up a mission to convert Sussex to Christ, his centre in Selsey.
At the end of the 8th century, Aldwulf was probably the last independent king of Sussex, after which Sussex like others came increasingly under Mercian rule. But Mercia’s grip was in turn shattered in 825, when Sussex and the other southern kingdoms came under the control of Wessex which later grew into the kingdom of England. Orthodox Sussex is marked by three saints. These are:
St Leofwynn (Lewina/Lewinna), Protomartyr of Sussex (+ c. 670)
Sussex was the last of the seven kingdoms of England to become Christian and east Sussex remained pagan longest of all. However, even before St Wilfrid’s organized missionary labours in 681, there were isolated Christians here. For example, a Sussex man called Damian had become Bishop of Rochester in Kent in the 650s and King Ethelwalh had been baptised before St Wilfrid. And before Wilfrid there was for a time a small monastery of five or six monks at Bosham in west Sussex, founded in c. 670 by a wandering Irish monk called Dicul (Deicola), later St Dicul (feast: 18 April).
St Leofwynn was another such isolated Sussex Christian, being martyred in c. 670, almost certainly by fellow countrymen who were still pagan and she was not a Briton, as can be ascertained by her name. About three centuries after her martyrdom her wonderworking relics were solemnly translated to a St Andrew’s church near Seaford in east Sussex, so the place of her sufferings must have been nearby. This St Andrew’s church where her miraculous relics were venerated in early English times was perhaps in Alfriston, an attractive village four miles from Seaford. However, others have suggested nearby Bishopstone, which also has a church dedicated to St Andrew dating back to the eighth century.
Most of our knowledge of St Leofwynn comes from an account of the theft of her relics in 1058 for a monastery in Berg in Flanders. After the Norman occupation nearly every memory of the saint disappeared in England, though she was a much-loved intercessor in her new home. In 1558 Berg was captured by French Protestants and the relics of Saint Leofwynn disappeared except for one rib. This was venerated at the monastery until the French Revolution when it disappeared. In 1928 a priest in Berg rediscovered the relic, but when his church was almost destroyed during a bombardment in the Second World War the relic was lost. St Leofwynn’s feast day is 24 July.
St Wilfrid, Apostle of Sussex (+ c. 709)
Sussex became a diocese when St Wilfrid began to convert the pagan kingdom between 681 and 685. St Wilfrid (c. 633 – c. 709) was a Northumbrian noble who became a monk and then Bishop of Northumbria. Exiled by the Northumbrian king who had quarrelled with him, Bishop Wilfrid spent these years of exile in Selsey in west Sussex, where he founded his see with a monastery on an estate of 87 hides, granted to him by King Ethelwalh. Here in the Manhood peninsula he began converting the pagan inhabitants to Christianity, before returning to Northumbria under its new king.
St Bede attributed Bishop Wilfrid’s ability to begin to convert Sussex in part to his teaching them how to fish. He also wrote that the Sussex area had been experiencing a drought for three years before Wilfrid, but miraculously when he arrived and started baptising converts, it began to rain. Bishop Wilfrid worked with another future saint, Erconwald, Bishop of London, in helping to set up the church in Sussex.
His mission was jeopardised when King Ethelwalh died during an invasion of his kingdom by Caedwalla of Wessex. However, Bishop Wilfrid had previously had contact with Cædwalla and may have served as his spiritual advisor before he invaded. And after Ethelwalh’s death Bishop Wilfrid became one of the new king’s advisors and he was converted. Cædwalla confirmed Ethelwalh’s grant of land in Selsey and Wilfrid built his cathedral nearby at the entrance to Pagham Harbour, in what is now Church Norton.
Cædwalla also sent Wilfrid west to the still pagan Isle of Wight with the aim of converting the inhabitants. The King gave Bishop Wilfrid a quarter of the land on the island as a gift. In 688 the King gave up his throne and went on a pilgrimage to Rome to be baptised, but died shortly afterwards. St Wilfrid may have been involved in founding monasteries in other parts of Sussex, but the evidence for this is based only on wording used in founding charters which resembles that used by him in other charters.
After this mission, Christians in Sussex were placed in the Diocese of Winchester and it was not until c. 715 that Edbert, Abbot of Selsey, was consecrated the first Bishop of Sussex. There were eventually around fifty monastic (minster) churches across Sussex and these centres supplied clergy for the surrounding areas. Examples are at Steyning, Singleton, Lyminster, Findon and Bishopstone. The jurisdiction of each of these churches seems to have matched the early land divisions, called rapes.
Thus, it was not until 200–300 years after conversion to Christianity began in the 680s that a network of local parish churches came into existence in Sussex, the earliest being recorded at Henfield in central Sussex in 770. Several monasteries were also established here in the early English period in, for example, Selsey, Lyminster, Aldingbourne, Beddingham, Chichester, Bosham, Ferring and South Malling. In 1075 the Normans transferred the cathedral for Sussex to nearby Chichester. The original cathedral at Selsey is now under the sea. St Wilfrid’s feast is on 12 October.
St Cuthman (Cuthmann) of Steyning
St Cuthman was born in about 681, probably at Chidham near Bosham in west Sussex. This would probably mean that St Wilfrid converted and baptised Cuthman and his parents. His life states that he was a shepherd who had to care for his paralysed mother after his father’s death.
According to one story, once while he was shepherding, Cuthman drew a line around the sheep with his staff so that he could leave to collect food. On his return he found that the flock had not left the invisible boundary. This miracle may have taken place in a field near Chidham, which for centuries was known as ‘St Cuthman’s Field’ or ‘St Cuthman’s Dell’. It was said that a large stone in the field on which the shepherd was in the habit of sitting had miraculous properties.
When Cuthman and his mother fell on hard times and were forced to beg from door to door, he built a one-wheeled cart, with a rope from the handles over his shoulders taking part of the weight, in which he moved her around with him. One day Cuthman and his mother set out east from his home, heading towards the rising sun. When the rope broke he improvised a new one from withies, deciding that when that broke he would accept it as a sign from God to stop at that place and build a church there.
The withy rope broke at a place called Steyning, some 25 miles from his birthplace and inland from central Sussex, at which he prayed: “Father Almighty, Thou hast brought my wanderings to an end, now enable me to begin this work. For who am I, Lord, that I should build a house to Thy name? If I rely on myself it will be of no use, but Thou wilt help me. Thou hast given me the desire to be a builder, make up for my lack of skill and bring the work of building this holy house to its completion.”
For, after building a hut for his mother and himself, Cuthman began work on a wooden church which he decided to dedicate to the fisherman-saint, Andrew, with help from the locals. As the church was nearing completion and Cuthman was having difficulty with a roof-beam, a stranger showed him how to mend it. When Cuthman asked his name, he replied: ‘I am he in whose name you are building this church’. We do not know when Cuthman reposed, but we can imagine it would have been in about 730.
Steyning became an important religious centre and St Cuthman’s grave became a place of pilgrimage in the tenth and eleventh centuries. In charters of William the Conqueror Steyning was sometimes called St Cuthman’s Market or St Cuthman’s Parish. At his birthplace at Chidham there developed a Guild of St Cuthman. Though he dedicated the church he founded at Steyning to St Andrew, the parish was recently rededicated to St Andrew and St Cuthman. A picture of him with his handcart is on Steyning’s town sign. His feast day is 8 February.
In September 1066 the Norman invaders landed at Pevensey in east Sussex near Kent and nearby erected a wooden castle at Hastings, from which they plundered the surrounding area. Thus, the Battle of Hastings took place in Sussex, fought against the English King Harold, who had strong connections with Sussex and whose chief seat was probably in Bosham in the west. It is likely that all the fighting men of Sussex were at the battle, as the county’s chief men were decimated and any that survived had their lands confiscated. As the heartland of King Harold, Sussex experienced some of the greatest and most tragic changes of any English county under the Normans.
Its Orthodoxy supplanted, in later history the west of the county had a tendency towards Catholicism, while the east of the county had a tendency towards Protestantism. Today, even these fragments of the Faith have largely been lost, but the memory of the three saints of Sussex, who all lived and reposed within a century of one another, has not been lost: Leofwynn the martyr from the east on whose blood the Church was founded, Wilfrid, the Apostle of Sussex who worked in the west, and Cuthman, the holy layman who settled near the centre of Sussex. What a fine thing it would be if one day an Orthodox church could be founded in Sussex, perhaps in its one city, Brighton, with its large population located very centrally along the coast between east and west, and dedicated to St Andrew the First-Called Apostle and the Three Saints of Sussex.