Category Archives: Britain and Ireland

Little Britain or Great England?

Brexit is supposed to take place next year, nearly three interminable years after the UK voted for it. This delay, and indeed Brexit will not even then take place in full, has given rise to various viewpoints: some still say that Brexit will be a disaster; some still say that Brexit will be wonderful; yet others say that it will never take happen at all, as the Prime Minister has never believed in it, she has cast out of her incompetent Cabinet most who firmly believed in it. In any case, the real men of power and finance, in Washington, London and Brussels, who stand behind all these party political puppets all over Western Europe, do not want it and will not allow it.

Whatever the case may be, the real question is not here. The real question is:

As Great Britain is no longer an option, will there one day be a Little Britain, a country of cynical post-modernists and amoral degenerates who do not believe in anything, a country of Third World infrastructure and narrow and conformist minds, serfs of secularism?

As Little England never was an option, will there one day be a Great England (and consequently a Great Ireland, a Great Scotland and a Great Wales), a generous-hearted country, (which is what true greatness is)? Will we repent and make up for the past, wrought by an alien British Establishment which trod underfoot the people of these islands for over 950 years, and then invaded almost every other country of consequence in the world, oppressing their peoples and stripping their natural resources?

Here is the real question.

700,000 Orthodox Now Live in the UK

The UK government has stated this week that 395,000 Bulgarians and Romanians (a good minority of the Romanians actually Moldovans – Romanian passports cost them $10) now live in the UK. This means that with some 160,000 Cypriots, about 100,000 Russians (only a few from Russia – a majority of them are economic and political refugees from the Baltic States and the Ukraine) and other Orthodox minorities (mainly Serbs), there are now some 700,000 Orthodox in the UK. This means that at least 1% of the population is Orthodox: a total transformation from ten years ago, since when at least 400,000 Orthodox have arrived here, let alone 20 years ago, when the Orthodox population was tiny.

However, the fact is that we are not at all settled evenly. Outside the London area Orthodox are still a tiny minority and the further from London, the fewer we are. Possibly 500,000 live in London and the south-eastern corner of England, with very few in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Moreover, the fact is that any parish can only count on a practice rate of 5%-10%. Even so, if there are between 35,000 and 70,000 practising Orthodox in the UK, we are faced with a challenge: to organize appropriate infrastructure, in order to keep our children in the Church.

It must be said that the past gives us no examples. Both parts of the Russian Church lost their flocks to ethnic exclusivity and the acid bath of modern Western culture. The Greek (Cypriot) immigration has done no better. And dreams of middle-class ex-Anglicans of an English Orthodox or even, absurdly, a ‘British Orthodox’, Church, made up of intellectual converts from the tiny minority of Anglicans have to be abandoned. the utter failure on the part of all Orthodox administrations to provide adequate infrastructure is scandalous.  We no longer need words – we need actions. On the other hand, never has the use of English in the services been so important. What is to be done?

Twelve Parishes, a Monastery?, and Many Hopes ROCOR in Great Britain and Ireland: Better Times Ahead

After almost dying out by 2007, the Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) in Great Britain and Ireland has in the very recent past begun to be rebuilt. Now with twelve parishes (London, Colchester, Birkenhead, Norwich, Cardiff, Stradbally, Belfast, Mettingham, Cheltenham, Bury St Edmunds, Wisbech and Ashford), it has hopes of opening a monastery, new parishes in four more places in different parts of our four countries as well as many hopes beyond that. Moreover, it already possesses many premises of its own, including unique, purpose-built churches in the Russian Orthodox style and also the largest Russian Orthodox church in these islands, if not in Western Europe.

This September, the bishops of the Church Outside Russia will be meeting in Synod in London. This will be a historic meeting at which decisions may be made for the longer-term future. The saints of the Isles and of all Europe are calling us: The time for sleep is over, wake up!

 

 

7 July 2030: Historic Autonomy for the Ionan Orthodox Church

The Address of Metropolitan John of London and All Iona in the Church of the Four Saints on the Snowy Mountain, Isle of Man, Feast of All the Saints of the Isles, 7 July 2030.

 

‘It was in 1970 that our sister, the Japanese Orthodox Church, received its autonomy from our Russian Orthodox Mother Church. Its Metropolitan Nicholas of Tokyo stands here beside me today as an honoured guest. Now, sixty years later, our island archipelago, on the other side of the Eurasian continent from Japan, has in its turn received its autonomy from the Mother-Church. Today, our Church of the Isles of the North Atlantic – I.O.N.A. – has received autonomy from Patriarch Tikhon II and the Holy Synod in Moscow. The Patriarchal representative, our dear friend Metropolitan Seraphim of Volokolamsk, stands here beside me, together with the personal representative of Tsar Nicholas III, the servant of God Gregory Efimov. This is a most solemn day of victory, for which so many of us have waited and worked for so long.

From this place, the highest point on the Isle of Man, this isolated and yet central point, are visible the four nations that make up our Ionan Confederation. From here we can see England, for which I bear pastoral responsibility, and Ireland, Scotland and Wales, for which my dear friends and colleagues, Archbishop Patrick of Dublin, Bishop Andrew of Edinburgh and Bishop David of Cardiff, bear responsibility. Today we gather on this feast day of All the Saints of the Isles, who are present here with us spiritually, and we recall our long struggles. After and despite many false starts and many errors and many divisive events, our Church began to develop only over the last generation, when She at last started to obtain and build so many of her own churches and give financial help to our priests, thus rapidly expanding all through our lands.

Within a generation we have built a network of over 120 of our own churches and their full-time priests, one each in most counties and several in each capital city. We have even been able to build churches in Iceland and the Faeroes, also isles of the North Atlantic. From our pilgrimage centres in St Albans, on Lindisfarne, Skellig Michael, Iona and at St Davids, our first martyr, St Alban, the Wonderworker of Britain, St Cuthbert, the monks inspired by Egypt on Skellig Michael, the Irish monks of Iona, St David, consecrated, some say, in Jerusalem and now those from the Russian Church join with us. With autonomy, we have the best of both worlds, an ideal and balanced situation. On the one hand, no-one can suggest that we are a foreign colony, but on the one hand we receive vital spiritual support from our Mother-Church, for which we are so very grateful’.

 

After this address ‘Many Years’ was sung to His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon II and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, heartily thanking them all for all their assistance and generosity.

 

Some Missionary Notes

Introduction: Pastoral Work

There is a common myth that there is a difference between parish work and missionary work. In fact, they are exactly the same thing. All parish work is missionary work and all missionary work is parish work, because both are pastoral work. There are two impediments to real parish/ missionary/pastoral work. The first is practical and involves the disastrous lack of Orthodox infrastructure in Western countries, the second is ideological and involves what may politely be called ‘mononationalism’ – making those of other nationalities into second-class citizens.

Lack of Infrastructure and Mononationalism

Today, the Orthodox Church is faced with the interrupting and disrupting consequences of a century of persecution, apostasy and so decadence. With few devoted to the Church and knowledgeable about the Tradition, we lack premises, priests, singers and finance – and so we lack infrastructure. The second problem is one of racist mononationalism, the refusal to accept those of other nationalities into the Church. And yet we are called on by St Matthew (Matt. 28, 19) to ‘go, teach and baptise all nations’, that is, to accept all people, regardless of nationality, background and class.

We are called on to have no ethnic prejudices (for example, the abuse of accepting only Anglicans, only Greeks, only Russians etc into our churches). We are called on, for instance, not to impose alien customs like the Roman Catholic calendar, obligatory communion without confession, chairs and pews and other anti-Orthodox practices. Such novel customs just put off real Orthodox and are just as phyletist and divisive as using only a single, non-local language in services. Either we are Christians and obey the commandments (Matt. 28, 20), or else we are not,

Negativity and Realism

Some find us negative. In fact, we are realistic. Like Russians, we of the people, tell the truth, however unpleasant it may be to naïve idealists and those in a state of illusion. Nothing is ever built on illusion. That is building on sand. Evil is real. Indeed, if I wrote down all that I have experienced, then you would be shocked. But I do not write it down. St Paisius the Athonite said that when walking on Mt Athos you should remove the excrement of wild animals from the paths, so that others do not tread in it. That is my task here in the world, to remove such unnecessary and distasteful realities.

The Orthodox Church will again be seen to be the only Christianity, as in the Beginning

Today Anglicanism, like all other forms of Protestantism, and like their source in Roman Catholicism, is dying and in some places already dead in the first (Western) world. (In the second world, Eastern Europe, as in the third world, they are still very much alive, though in traditional local forms: thus, in this country, Anglicanism survives thanks largely to Africans and Afro-Carribeans and Catholicism largely thanks to Poles. But this will only last for another generation. All who participate in the Western secularist and supremacist myth are corrupted and destroyed by it sooner or later.

Therefore, we are seeing the end of the old movement of Anglican/ Episcopalian Halfodoxy, called ‘Anglicanism with icons’ etc. Where it is not dead, it is dying, except in places where it has been taken over by Eastern Europeans, Romanians, Moldovans and Baltic Russians, but is therefore no longer Halfodox. Both wings of such ex-Anglican convert groups, the moralizing liberals (liberals are always moralizing because they have no spirituality) and the sectarian, ultra-conservative Anglo-Catholics, have painted themselves into corners. We are English Orthodox, not Anglican Orthodox.

Conclusion: Real Missionary Work

Real missionary work is not conducted by shouting on street corners or ramming the Gospels down people’s throats like Protestant sectarians. The results, if any, are superficial and never last. We do not have plans, we simply have hope, faith and love. We do the services together and pray. The rest will come. This was how 75 years of Western atheist tyranny ended in the Russian Lands and 400 years of Turkish occupation ended in Greece. We will do the same here and end the 1,000 years of occupation by anti-Christian and Russophobic (the two go hand in hand) Western Establishment elites.

 

 

The Good New Days

28 January 2018 will go down in our local Orthodox history. Two dynamic, young Russian Orthodox bishops in this country were celebrating in parishes in the provinces, in Cambridge and in Colchester. In the bad old days, there were never two bishops and even if there was one, he would have been found only in London.

27 January 2018 was also a historic day. 33 people gathered at the London church of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russsia (ROCOR) for clergy training. Only 7 were priests; nearly all the others were future priests and deacons. Last year the number of priests in the new ROCOR Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland doubled. More are coming. Tripling? Quadrupling? More? Everything is possible.

In the bad old anti-missionary days in 1994, I can remember being summoned from the Western European Diocese in Paris to go and serve in London, where there were no priests available. By that time the whole of ROCOR in England had been reduced to just two priests, both of whom later left it. How times change.

Some question why the two spiritually united Russian Orthodox Church still has two parallel dioceses on this island territory. Perhaps we are like two trees, growing side by side in the jungle. The more we grow, the greater the canopy we can produce together over the jungle. That is Providence, which is the Love of God manifested in human life.

 

Iona and Jerusalem

Christianized from various sources, including:

https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2017/14-july/news/uk/test-lends-credibility-to-find-of-columba-s-cell

Experts on the famous Scottish monastery of Iona have long speculated about whether a rock in the ancient monastery was the site of St Columba’s cell (St Columba was Abbot of Iona from the date of the monastery’s founda­tion in 563 till his repose in 597). The location of the tiny wooden building was described by St Adamnan (Adam), the seventh-century abbot of Iona and writer of St Columba’s life.

Sixty years ago a team exca­vated the summit of the outcrop, found the burned remains of a tiny wooden hut and proposed that the building had been St Columba’s cell. Most scholars rejected the idea. However, two archaeologists from the University of Glasgow have now tracked down the scraps of burned timber (excavated in 1957, but long presumed lost) and ar­­ranged to have them radiocarbon-dated. The results demonstrate that the hut was not a later structure but did indeed date to somewhere between 540 and 650.

New research sug­gests that a now long-vanished stone cross that had once stood on the rocky outcrop had been erected there, probably shortly after St Columba had reposed and therefore potentially in com­memoration of him. This new evidence, together with Adomnan’s description of the location (and the traditional Gaelic name of the rock outcrop: Tòrr an Aba [Mound of the Abbot]), makes it almost certain that the “Tor” was indeed the site of Columba’s cell, and that the wooden hut, excavated 60 years ago, was the centre of the monas­tery.

It is also likely that it was the place where he wrote one of the world’s oldest surviving manuscripts of the Age of Saints, the Cathach, a collec­tion of psalms. During much of that period, Iona was of crit­ical importance in spreading the know­ledge of God throughout large areas of Western Europe. It was probably at Iona that the famous early illumin­ated manuscript, the Book of Kells, was produced; and it was from here that the epicentre of northern English Christianity, the monastery of Lindisfarne, was founded.

The archaeologists have also discov­ered evidence that Iona’s pil­grim­age road was established in the eighth or ninth century AD. It would make it one of the earliest Christian pilgrimage roads in the world. It is now considered that the whole plan of Iona was based on Jerusalem. It is believed that Iona’s version of the Jerusalem pilgrimage road was eventually up to 600 yards long, and, by the ninth century, may have begun at Martyrs’ Bay (the probable location of the martyrdom of Iona monks by the Vikings in 806), and ended at the tomb of St Columba, where the monastery is now located.

 

The Deconstruction of the EU and the Construction of the Europe of Nations

The European elites learned nothing from Brexit, just as they learned nothing from the democratic self-determination of the Crimea. The people had spoken by referendum and the elites simply denied reality, declaring that the people had been wrong. Instead of undertaking to listen to the people who did not want their centralized bureaucratic nightmare of a Superstate, patronizingly they instead justified their tyranny and decided to speed ahead with their dictatorial nightmare. Now in Catalonia another referendum has, just, taken place. Again the European elites are in denial, sending in paramilitary police from the semi-Frankist government in Madrid to assault the voters. Are the European elites listening this time? Of course not:

Esteban Gonzalez Pons, an MEP from Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s so-called ‘Popular’ Party, said: “If today you let Spain break up with Catalonia, a domino effect will follow across the continent. Instead of a Europe of 27, we will have a non-Europe of mini-states”. Italian politician, Gianni Pittella, declared: “A unilateral declaration of independence would amount to a further provocation, which would throw oil on the fire after Sunday’s meaningless referendum”. Philippe Lamberts, a Belgian politician, said that the threats of revolt coming from Catalonia “threaten the spirit of European integration, even more than Brexit”. Thus speak the anti-democratic, anti-people representatives of the elites of the European Union.

 As the fake nations of Britain and Spain divide into their natural parts, the slow but inevitable crumbling of the centralist EU nightmare should be viewed as an opportunity. For example, Brexit should lead to Irish unity – the absurd and unnatural partition of the single island of Ireland cannot continue. Then all four newly independent countries of Anglo-Celtia can co-operate freely, as unity in diversity. The old word ‘Britain’, an 18th century invention in imitation of earlier Roman and Norman tyranny, can be dropped, and the whole can work together in a four-country Confederation, called ‘IONA’, the Isles of the North Atlantic. But far more than this, other peoples throughout Europe can likewise be allowed their long-awaited self-determination.

Other artificial conglomerates like Germany, Italy, France and the Ukraine can fall apart, like the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia before them, the failed, British-invented buffer of Belgium can disappear, absurd borders in Eastern Europe can be rearranged. Everything is possible – and in peace. And, at long last, Eurasia can work together, the Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis, destroyed by Western European tribal rivalries of 1914, can be revived. The anti-elite revolt, the long-awaited European Spring, is not far. Suddenly, everything is possible, as the dead hand of the EU Establishment risks being overturned by the real peoples of Europe. A Europe of False Unity is deconstructed: let the True Europe of Nations be constructed.

 

 

The Betrayal of England

I can remember about fifteen years ago meeting a very posh lady who belonged to the Liberal Democrat Party, as she never tired of telling us, who had ‘come to the Orthodox Church through her practice of Buddhism and her villa on Patmos’. Explaining how important she was and how many important people she knew, she asked me, ‘And what do you do?’ Answering in my best Essex accent (which is not difficult), I replied, ‘I’m a Saxon peasant’. She swiftly turned from me in horror that someone so unEstablishment had been allowed to frequent Her Pompousness.

Meeting such individuals was not unusual then. However, the same lady, like others of her ilk, soon left the Orthodox Church and returned to her Buddhism, whatever that was. (I rather doubt that it resembled at all the real Buddhism of, say, today’s Myanmar. It was rather a patchwork of intellectual exoticism that made her feel virtuous, justifying her very condescending psychology). This hatred of the people, ‘plebs’, is characteristic of the Establishment, of which she was so obviously a part. This patronizing attitude, which underpins for example, the upper middle-class, chattering class ethos of the BBC or MI5, goes back a very long way.

Certainly, it was present among the alien governing class in Romano-British times, renewed by the British-loving Normans and their Francophile mythology. It was renewed in the eighteenth century, when the cruel and racist anthem ‘Rule Britannia’ was written to justify the enslavement of Africans and anyone who got in the way of the rich becoming richer, it was celebrated in the Victorian hypocrisy of the British penny coin with its image of Britannia, while contemporary politicians like Blair and Brown have tried to enforce the selfsame Establishment mythology of ‘Britishness’, even trying to teach it as a brainwashing ideology in State schools.

Essentially, this ‘Britishness’ is the betrayal of England – and also of Wales, Scotland and Ireland and all our peoples. This is because the Establishment, the parasitical elite, which promotes this ideology is alien to us, the peoples of these isles. The antidote to it is to be faithful to ourselves, to our Anglo-Celtic roots. The word ‘Britain’ and ‘British’ are abhorred by the Irish: it should not surprise us, given the history of genocidal massacres there under the ‘British’ Elizabeth I, Cromwell, then the Potato Famine and the 20th century. It is time to drop the words Britain, British and Britishness from our language. But it is even more time to drop the practices that lie behind such words.