Category Archives: England

Fake News

First, they called it ‘lies’, then under the Jesuits and later Dr Goebbels they called it ‘propaganda’. Then in the Soviet Union it became ‘disinformation’ and in the West ‘PR’, more recently ‘spin’ and now ‘fake news’. Such are the euphemisms for LIES.

The Western Establishment has excelled itself in this regard, renaming reality to suit itself. For example, Western experts long ago renamed the Age of the Saints ‘The Dark Ages’, labelled the Middle Ages ‘Gothic’, which they were not, repaganization they called ‘The Renaissance’, darkness they called ‘The Enlightenment’, brutal paganism they call ‘modern times’ and the abortion holocaust ‘women’s rights’.

The British Establishment, founded by French-speaking, but still barbarian, Vikings, has shown special skills in this field. Thus it calls native English people ‘Anglo-Saxons’, which they never called themselves, and decreed that they died out in 1066 under themselves, the ‘superior’ Normans, superior because they were more efficient at murder. Then it called a murderous civil war ‘The War of the Roses’, named the looting and wholesale destruction of monastic life and care for the poor under the odious tyrant and mass murderer Henry VIII, ‘The Reformation’, and glorified Cromwell, one of the most violent murderers in human history (1,000,000 dead?), with a statue outside the Establishment’s Parliament.

Later it called a Dutch invasion that cost hundreds of thousands of lives ‘The Glorious’ or ‘The Bloodless’, ‘Revolution’, named the unprovoked Anglo-French-Muslim invasion of Russia ‘The Crimean War’, the freedom of the fighters of India ‘The Indian Mutiny’, the massacre of Dutch farmers’ families in concentration camps ‘The Boer War’, barbaric Western European Wars ‘World Wars’, and, recently, the imperialist killings in Northern Ireland as ‘The Troubles’. More recently still, it calls the alien, US-installed, American-Georgian-Galician junta in Kiev ‘the Ukrainian government’ and Ukrainian freedom fighters ‘Russian-backed separatists’!

Just now we have the lies of NATO, a paranoid organization which spread paranoia to justify itself and its hundreds of billions of dollars of spending, which should have died when the Soviet Union died. Although it claims to be about the North Atlantic, it has just lost a war in aid of its puppet junta in the foothills of the Himalayas, costing 450 British lives and wasting the British taxpayer £35 billion. Having failed to make Sweden join NATO by inventing fake news that a Russian submarine was patrolling the harbour of its capital, it is now trying to get Western governments to stump up huge sums of cash so that it can threaten Russia with invasion from Eastern Europe.

First they called it ‘lies’, then under the Jesuits and later Dr Goebbels they called it ‘propaganda’. Then in the Soviet Union it became ‘disinformation’ and in the West ‘PR’, more recently ‘spin’ and now ‘fake news’. Such are the euphemisms for LIES.

Little Britain or Great England?

British Establishment Imperialists and Neo-Imperialists alike selfishly like to assert that their ideology is justified because the only alternative to a Great Britain is a Little England, an isolationist, xenophobic and inward-looking little country of ignorant and narrow-minded insular bigots. Such gerontocrats are living in the past. The age of Imperialism for the island of Britain has long since gone and it is not going to come back. Indeed, today Great Britain has dissolved into a Little Britain, an often shabby country that nostalgically but incongruously recalls the lost glorious past in an extremely inglorious and often downright vulgar, tasteless and styleless present.

We English Orthodox do not hope in either Great British or a Little British Imperialism or Neo-Imperialism, nor do we place any hope in a Little England. Our hope is in a Great England. By Great we do not have in mind some secularist, imperialist reality, but a spiritual one. When did Great England live? It lived in the seventh and eighth centuries, when our greatest national asset and our greatest export was not the cheap tin trays of the past or the financial parasitism of the present, but our saints. This greatness, laid low by paganism, was revived by the saintly King Alfred the Great (note, the Great, not the Little) in the tenth and early eleventh centuries.

However, since then, for more or less a thousand years, we have not had spiritual greatness. In that time we have for the most part exported war and trade, death and things in exchange for profit, so losing our souls. True, we have also exported ideas, but only the ideas that God is not our Creator and that there will be no Judgement for our iniquities. The path to greatness must therefore start by repentance for the past, which is just the opposite of what today’s Little Britain does. Such small-mindedness will have no part to play in the Great England of tomorrow, for only by returning from insularity to the worldwide Church can England ever become Great again.

Hastings 2016

A sermon read before pilgrims in the Church at Whatlington by the site of the so-called ‘Battle of Hastings’ on the occasion of the 950th anniversary of the tragedy, 27 October 2016.

950 years ago, on this very spot, King Harold son of Godwin, the last English King of England, prayed before giving battle to the invader. The latter had a Papal blessing to invade, conquer and forcibly introduce feudal enslavement through castles and knights. This was all in order to bring the Church in England into line with his revolutionary, newly-invented Western European religion, which had already been enforced elsewhere.

The new religion had replaced Christ, making Him unnecessary as Head of the Church, and claimed that the absolute authority of the Holy Spirit now proceeded from its Papal head. For island England was a latecomer to this new religion and the Norman invasion was merely part of a far broader process of subjugation throughout Western Europe that was later to lead to invasion of the Holy Land, called the First Crusade, and determine the pattern of future Western history.

King Harold lost the Battle and died here together with some 7,000 of his men. Massacre and genocide followed the English defeat – 100,000 people, over 5% of the total population, died in the north of England alone, the equivalent of 3.25 million in today’s terms, well over twice the figure of two World Wars combined. The defeat of England and her other regional heroes like Hereward meant that English people became second-class citizens, on the same level as what used to be called Red Indians in North America. As for Wales, Scotland and in the 12th century Ireland, they would also be brought under the same Norman yoke by castle and sword.

Harold’s English people were scattered to the four winds. Some English people fled north to Scotland and Scandinavia, others west to Wales and Ireland. Many of Harold’s surviving military men fled south to New Rome (Constantinople) with the English Navy, at least 235 ships in all. There they settled, as also around the Black Sea coasts, especially around the Sea of Azov near the Crimea, and in Constantinople they founded their own English Church, where a lamp burned before the icon of St Augustine of Canterbury. As for Harold’s daughter, Gytha, she fled east to Kiev, married royally and one of her sons, the grandson of King Harold, founded Moscow.

Today we have gathered to commemorate the some 7,000 men who died in the Battle. They died defending their and our homeland and their and our English Orthodox Christian culture that was in communion with the rest of the Orthodox Christian world. These were real people, they had wives, children and grandchildren, they were flesh and blood, mind and soul, they had names – some of them we know. They died fighting for the culture that had been resurrected in the ninth century by King Alfred from the ruins of the Viking attacks. Let us not forget that Alfred, also called ‘the Lawgiver’ and ‘England’s Darling’, is the only figure in English history to be called ‘the Great’.

Alfredian culture restored Old English Church Civilization, which had been so faithfully recorded by St Bede the Venerable in England’s seventh and eighth century Golden Age. Alfredian culture meant first defeating and then Christianizing pagans, defending towns, rebuilding churches and monasteries, establishing laws, sending alms to the Patriarch of Jerusalem and translating the works of the Church Fathers. King Alfred restored this culture so well that as a result, after his repose, the tenth century became through his descendants the age of the national unity of England and the Silver Age of Church culture, unmatched in its splendour in Western Europe.

However, in the eleventh century the Vikings attacked England again and again and the last Vikings, the Normans, or Northmen, finally destroyed England as it had been, leaving us today with only vestiges of a once great Civilization, as we can see in the remaining books and manuscripts of the School of Winchester, the English capital. These are the rags of a once magnificent and precious raiment of gold and jewels, part of the Old Christian Europe. Today we who are conscious of all this have as our task to tell others these truths which are either hidden from or else indifferent to most.

Today, Orthodox Christian Civilization has its spiritual centres not Canterbury or Winchester, Lindisfarne or Iona, but elsewhere in the east. It is therefore our task to refound spiritual centres here, however modest they may be, for we belong in spirit to this Civilization and keep faith with its values. We live in our spiritual oases here with our heritage of Augustine, Audrey, Cuthbert, Hilda, Theodore, Bede, Edmund, Alfred, Edward, Dunstan, Alphege and all who are present here in their icons. Now we can at the very least pray for the souls who gave up their lives for the Faith, for the King and for England, as well as for the Universal Church, and take inspiration from them.

In the sleep of the blessed grant, O Lord, eternal repose, to the souls of those who fell for the Faith on Senlac Field, King Harold, Princes Leofwyn and Gyrth, Alfwig, Abbot of Winchester, Leofric, Abbot of Peterborough, Deacon Eadric, Aelfric of Huntingdon, Thurkill of Kingston, Godric of Fyfield, Esegar of Middlesex, Hakon, Breme, and all the King’s men, and grant them Eternal Memory!

The Lost Empire and the Future of Europe

A few miles from where I write these words, there is a small town called Rendlesham. Over 1500 years ago it was named after a man called Rendle, which in the Anglian language meant ‘small shield’, indicating a military man. Thus, although there is no proof, Rendle could have been an Anglian soldier of the Roman Army who settled here in about AD 390. When the Romans left in 410, he settled down in an abandoned Roman administrative settlement by the river and gave it his name – Rendle’s home. Towards the end of the sixth century this became the palace of the East Anglian royal house and an important centre for some 150 years, its kings being buried at nearby Sutton Hoo. Recently archaeologists working there have found a bowl and coins from ‘Constantinople’. For Eastern England was once part of the Christian Empire.

Indeed, when St Bede the Venerable completed his work ‘On the History of the English Church and People’ in 731, he dated his entries by the reign of the Roman Emperor, who lived far away in what was until recently called ‘Constantinople’. Even distant Iona in the north-west was in spirit part of that same Sacral Empire, just as India in the south-east, Georgia in the north-east and what is now Portugal in the south-west were part of the same Empire. What happened to this lost unity of this lost Empire, forgotten and even hidden from Western eyes, its coins and artefacts now being uncovered? The answer is in the misdeeds of an individual and a superiority complex mentality that has since become collective like an epidemic. This individual is nowadays called Charlemagne in English, but in his own time he was called Karl the Tall.

He was a semi-literate, provincial Frankish king, made a Roman patrician by the Imperial Court in Christian Rome, set between the two continents of Europe and Asia, in recognition of the relative order that he had created in his barbarian chaos of a corner of Western Europe, which was called ‘the First Reich’. It was indeed only a corner because it did not include Scandinavia or the British Isles and Ireland, only a minute part of the Iberian Peninsula and only part of the Italian Peninsula, and of course not Central and Eastern Europe. (Even today in that part of Europe, the ‘Vysegrad Four’, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, are all resistant to the successor of Karl’s First Reich, the EU Fourth Reich. Why? Because they were all Orthodox Christian before their conquest by the anti-Christian adepts of Charlemagne).

Charlemagne wanted to rival, overthrow and usurp the authority of the Christian Emperor in Christian Rome. So he claimed the authority of the emperors of pagan Rome instead, and, in order to make himself Emperor, he then accused the real Emperor of his own Trinitarian heresy, appointing his right-hand man in Rome as the source of the Holy Spirit. He was of course derided for his incredible narcissism and megalomania in the Imperial Capital in New Rome, but four centuries later his spiritual descendants had become so important and powerful that they sacked and looted the Imperial Capital, thus leading to a part-Muslim Eastern Europe. Likewise, ten centuries later, Napoleon crowned himself and accused any dissidents (in his case, England and Russia) of heresy and attempted to slaughter them for preferring freedom.

A century later another successor, the dictator of the ‘Third Reich’ (the ‘Second Reich’ had been founded by Bismarck in 1871), Hitler, also crowned himself, not with a literal crown, but with a Fascist ideology, murdering all ‘heretics’, especially those who had a universal, messianic philosophy (notably 27 million East Slavs and 5 million Jews) to rival his own. And today’s neocon Anglo-Zionists do the same, crowning themselves with being ‘Western’. Any lack of ‘Western values’, that is, any sign of different, that is, non-secularist, cultural values, is for them a heresy and those who confess them must be bombed into oblivion. This is the same old arrogant self-justification once again. Thus, the infamous Italian, neo-Carolingian Berlusconi infamously declared that the unprovoked Western aggression on oil-rich Iraq in 2003 was a ‘crusade’.

That invasion was indeed a crusade, but not by the Carolingian usurpers, Roman Catholics, against real Christians as in the Middle Ages, but one against anyone who stopped the greedy West from getting its hands on the mineral riches of Iraq. However, in reality, this was little different from the jealous Western looting of the Imperial Capital, wealthy New Rome, almost exactly 800 years earlier in 1204. So the ‘Charlemagne syndrome’ has repeated itself through Western history. And yet the Sacral Christian Empire, though for the moment without its Emperor and much endangered, is still here, stretching from Montenegro to Vladivostok and Murmansk to Jerusalem, but with outposts all around the world, from Japan to Chile and Alaska to New Zealand. If Europe has any future – outside darkest Islamism – the Christian Empire is it.

From Fragments to Wholeness

Introduction

Three experiences and the great wonderment and many questions that they raised, all hinting at the existence of a much greater reality beyond the veil, have shaped and inspired my life. These experiences have all been of fragments and vestiges of the great Imperial Christian Civilization which was rejected over a period of between 1,000 and 100 years ago and has since been largely forgotten and lost. Although wholly rejected, derided and even unknown to most, this Civilization may yet, by Divine Providence and human repentance, be restored. That is our hope in our tiny corner of Eastern England.

My life has been spent in the task of fitting together these three experiences or pieces into a great whole, the big picture, where all these pieces belong. Only together as part of a whole do they have their full meaning. Alone they are just separate facts, tantalizing gleams and hints of some greater reality, keys to the great gates of a Kingdom that remains locked until you have all three of them and the daring to unlock them. With time, patience and prayer, by consulting many and reading the books of those whom I could not consult in life, with great effort, I have been able to put all the pieces together and found the big picture.

The Cottage of the People

The first experience came to me in childhood. In 1963, in a spot that I can take you to today, I sat with two nineteenth-century great-uncles, their caps respectfully removed, in the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds. A host of silent questions arose in my mind. Why did they, such humble representatives of the people show such respect here? Who was this St Edmund, that this town had been named after 1,000 years before? What was a saint? How did you become a saint? Why were there only ruins here now? And why were there no longer any saints? So many questions, so few answers and none able to answer them.

By the age of twelve St Edmund had led me to discover other local saints in my native Essex and Suffolk, Sts Botolph, Cedd, Albright, Audrey, Osyth and Felix. Places and churches were named after them, but no-one could tell me very much about them. Their names had become an empty ritual of sounds, without any meaning, divorced from spiritual reality. I became aware that further away there were other mysterious saints, but they were all only fragments. Thus, as a child, I was thwarted, unable and unequipped to put any of these little pieces together, into the great, but mysterious and mystifying whole.

The Altar of the Faith

From August 1968 on I began to discover that these saints, however important they had once been locally, belonged to a far greater whole, to a universal background and culture, a whole Civilization, the Civilization of the Saints. I discovered that, once in their context, they would stop being names and stories in dry and dusty books and that they would come alive again and I could speak to them as my companions. This was all part of the greater discovery that what had been presented to me as Christianity was not that at all, but a system of tedious, State-organized ethics devised to control the masses.

Then came the realization that through its inevitable degeneration this false Christianity had been responsible for the opposite of authentic Christianity, Secularism. Whether in its Protestant or its Roman Catholic form, it lay outside the real Christian Church, the Orthodox Church. Finally, in 1972 when I visited the Soviet Union, I realized that the essential and largest part of the Orthodox Church was there, so cruelly persecuted and its integrity damaged, bringing people at worst to superstitious ritualism, Sovietized fragmentization. Outside that, there were other smaller Churches, but even more nationalized and compromised.

The Throne of the Sovereign

Having by my thirty-third year pieced together the saintly Cottage of the People and the holy Altar of the Faith that I served in the so troubled and sadly divided emigration, I began to understand that both Cottage and Altar had to be completed by the sacred Throne, the Throne of the Sacral Christian Empire, which depended on the Cottage and the Altar, but which also protected them both. In the Kingdom of Heaven there was no need for it, but on earth this was the glue that kept everything together. The Throne had been overthrown on earth many decades before. But what was the hope that the Throne could be restored?

At that time there seemed to be virtually none, for the Throne lay in ruins. The Imperial reality had been reduced to fragments, each tiny part claiming to be the Empire! It had been reduced to freemasonry and corruption, to fallen compromises and flag-waving provincialism, to sterile intellectualism and private personality cults. It had been betrayed by disincarnate modernists who could not see the greater picture, as they lived in the bubble of their own egos; they could not see the great forest as a result of looking for too long at their own little saplings. Could it, by the grace of God and human repentance, be restored?

Conclusion

Thus through the saintly Cottage of the People I discovered the Kingdom of the Spirit, through the holy Altar of Faith the Kingdom of the Son, and through the sacred Throne of the Sovereign the Kingdom of the Father. I had discovered in the saints the spiritual essence of the People, in the Faith Orthodoxy and in the Throne Sovereignty. I had discovered Christian Civilization, the opposite of the anti-Civilization that I had been born into, with its world wars, death camps, atomic bombs, cult of mammon and ruthless exploitation and genocide of Non-Europeans. I had seen the big picture, discovering the unique Christian Civilization.

Elitism despised and mocked the Cottage of the People; the Establishment falsified and compromised the Altar of the Faith; Secularism betrayed and scorned the Throne of the Sovereign. But I had seen the big picture, discovering the unique Christian Civilization. It could be called Roma Nova, the Third Rome or Holy Rus, though to some those terms have nationalistic undertones, but it is simply the Sacral Christian Empire. That Empire began in York on 25 July 306 and ended in Ekaterinburg on 17 July 1918. However, has it ended? Or has it merely been interrupted by ‘treachery, cowardice and deceit’?

Christ the Invincible Power

Answers to Questions from Recent Conversations and Correspondence

Q: When did you first become conscious of the Russian Orthodox Church?

A: My introduction to the Orthodox Church was through the local saints of England in my native north Essex, notably St Edmund, but also St Albright (Ethelbert), St Cedd, St Botolph and St Osyth. However, as regards the Russian Orthodox Church as such, my first encounter was almost fifty years ago, just after my 12th birthday, in August 1968. As a result of that revelation, I began teaching myself Russian in October of that year in Colchester because I already knew that the Russian Orthodox Church is my spiritual home. However, I had to wait nearly another seven years until I could take part in Russian Orthodox life, as in those days (it is not much better now) there were so few Russian churches anywhere. I only managed to visit any Russian churches in 1973.

Q: Which part of the Russian Church did you join?

A: Having been told by two of its members that the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) would not allow me to join it because I was English (I had no idea at that time that my great-grandmother was Russian, I only discovered that distant link much later), I had no alternative but to join the Moscow Patriarchate. They may have been many things in those distant days, but at least they were not racists.

Q: What was your path to the priesthood after that?

A: A very hard one. First of all, since I could not live and work in Russia on account of the Cold War at that time, for my first job I went to live and work in Greece. I thought that was the next best alternative. After a year there and visiting the then Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, I understood that the Balkan Churches were no solution to the need for a Local Orthodox Church in the West. They were all inward-looking, culturally very narrow and hopelessly nationalistic. Later, contacts with Romanians and Georgians told me the same about them and in the Romanian case there is the huge problem of simony. So, with Russia closed off, in 1979 with the blessing of Metr Antony (Bloom) I went to study at the St Sergius Theological Institute in Paris, which I had in my ignorance imagined to be a Russian Orthodox seminary.

Q: What was it in fact?

A: It was the remains of a Russian Orthodox seminary mingled with an institute of philosophy and, frankly, of heresy. It openly preached modernism or Renovationism, which is Protestant-based, and is therefore not even remotely interesting to someone coming from a country like England with a Protestant culture, so alien to me. One English priest, rather harshly, called St Serge a Methodist Sunday School. Very harsh, but there was some truth in it.

Q: Why did you not think of going to Jordanville in the USA?

A: For the same reason as before. I was repeatedly told by members of ROCOR that they only took Russians. Remember in those days there was no internet, no advice, you had to make your own way, you went by what local representatives told you, even if it was incorrect.

Q: What happened next?

A: In 1982 I was offered the priesthood by the Moscow Patriarchate on terms which I can only describe as scandalous. I walked out, never to return, and enquired again at the Church Outside Russia. I got the same answer as in 1974, though I noted that this time there were actually a few ex-Anglicans in a separate branch of ROCOR in England. However, these rather eccentric conservative Anglicans seemed to have no interest in the Russian Orthodox Church, but only in being anti-Anglican and they had a huge interest in fanatical Greek Orthodox sects. Never having been Anglican and having lived in Greece, I had no interest in either. This was all the more frustrating since ROCOR had just canonized the New Martyrs and Confessors and naturally I had their icons and venerated them. Nevertheless, in 1983, I decided to emigrate to France and join my wife’s jurisdiction, the Paris Jurisdiction.

Q: Wasn’t that foolhardy? I mean you already knew about the problem of modernism there?

A: What you have to understand is that in Paris in 1981 they had elected a new Archbishop. Under the very elderly and saintly old one, renovationists had come to the fore, taking advantage of his old age, but the new Archbishop promised us personally that he would sweep them away and return his jurisdiction to Orthodoxy and canonical Russian practice. So this was a time of great promise and even excitement. Patriarch Dimitrios of Constantinople even said at the time that the Paris Jurisdiction would be returned to the Russian Church as soon as it was free. So, with hope in a promising future, in January 1985 I was ordained deacon there.

Q: What happened next?

A: in May 1985 I was offered the priesthood providing that I would become a freemason. I refused, scandalized. Then we became witnesses to the complete takeover of the jurisdiction by renovationists. The new Archbishop ordained them one by one, completely breaking his promise – not because he was a liar, but because he was weak. It was the same problem as Metr Evlogy, the first Paris Jurisdiction ruling bishop; he had never wanted to leave the Russian Church, but he was a weak man surrounded by powerful laymen, mainly freemasons and those who had betrayed the Tsar and organized the February Revolution. It was the end of the possibility that that jurisdiction would ever return to the freed, restored and reunited Russian Church. But I only understood that the meaning of that bitter disappointment afterwards.

Q: Why did you not leave such a masonic group?

A: Not all by far were freemasons and I felt that I had to labour on until God’s will for me should be revealed.

Q: When was that?

A: Without doubt it was in summer 1988 when the Paris Jurisdiction celebrated the millennium of the Baptism of Rus. Instead of inviting the Russian bishops in Western Europe to the Cathedral on Rue Daru in Paris and returning to the Russian Church in unity, they railed against the Russian Church and invited the Roman Catholic Cardinal of Paris. I was not only scandalized but spiritually distraught. I was an eyewitness to treason and apostasy. It was the last straw. They preferred heresy to Orthodoxy.

Soon after, I met Archbishop Antony of Geneva of ROCOR, who told me that he would be happy to receive me and that I had no need whatsoever to labour on in such anti-canonical conditions. I jumped at the opportunity. 17 people left with me, including a priest. So we all joined the Church Outside Russia in January 1989. That was a transforming moment because previously I had only known the Church Outside Russia in England. On the other hand, Vladyka Antony, heir to Vladyka John of Shanghai, though traditional, was not racist or fanatical, but missionary-minded. He lived in a different world from the fanatics in England and we freely concelebrated with other Orthodox.

I remember him telling me about the extremists who were trying to take control of ROCOR in New York. He said: ‘But there’s nowhere else to go’. I have not the slightest doubt that he would have returned to Russia, if he had had the chance. I also remember conversations with him about Metr Antony of Kiev (Archbp Antony came from Kiev), whom he had known well in Belgrade and whose name he had taken. He was the real ROCOR. Real Russian Orthodox. At last. It had taken me 20 years to get to that point! 20 years of facing illusions, lies, broken promises and corruption. You would think it would have been easy, but nothing of the sort. All hell was against the Russian Orthodox Church, a sure sign of truth.

Q: What happened next?

A: Well, I was at last living as a proper Russian Orthodox. Nearly three years later, in December 1991 I was ordained priest for the new ROCOR parish in Lisbon in Portugal.

Q: What was your attitude to the Moscow Patriarchate?

A: We were all just impatiently waiting for it to become politically free and free of renovationism. That happened officially with the Jubilee Council in Moscow in 2000.

Q: So why didn’t the Church Outside Russia join up with the Patriarchate straightaway in 2000?

A: It is one thing to proclaim the truth at a Council, but another for the decisions of that Council to be implemented. For example, after that I can still remember how at the London Patriarchal Cathedral they refused to put up icons of the New Martyrs and also, incidentally, they refused to sell the books of Fr Seraphim (Rose) or anything traditional. Priests and people coming from Russia were persecuted by the renovationists because they were ‘too’ traditional. We had to wait for the Patriarchate to free itself from such Renovationism.

Also, it must be said, we had to wait until the fanatical elements that had done so much harm to ROCOR since they had started infiltrating the Church in the mid-sixties had left us. When the extremists did finally leave, almost at the same time, there was a huge sigh of relief, because then we could get on with being Orthodox. So it was we had to wait until 2007.

Q: How do you know that people are free of Renovationism?

A: Easy: The yardstick is veneration for the New Martyrs, especially the Imperial Martyrs. The renovationists hate them.

Q: How do you know that people are free of sectarian fanaticism of the sort you describe as having infiltrated ROCOR?

A: Easy: The yardstick is the willingness to concelebrate with other Orthodox Christians.

Q: What is going to happen in the future? At present there are countries like England where there are two parallel jurisdictions of the Russian Church, one dependent on Moscow, the other dependent on the Church Outside Russia?

A: According to the 2007 agreement, where there are two parallel jurisdictions, ROCOR should, in time, absorb the Patriarchal jurisdiction. This will probably take a generation, so that no-one will be under any pressure and everything will take place naturally, organically. However, in reality, already nine years have passed and we can see that in certain areas, like North America and Australasia, ROCOR will indeed clearly take over responsibility for those territories, whereas in other areas the Patriarchate will take over, as in South America, not to mention South-East Asia. The problem comes in the mixed area of Western Europe, including the British Isles and Ireland. In this area, only time will tell, clearly it is the more competent of the two that will take responsibility.

For the moment we shall lead parallel lives. There is in any case so much to do. I could start 12 parishes tomorrow, if I had the money to buy buildings and get candidates for the priesthood ordained. The state of Orthodox infrastructure and the general pastoral situation here are so appalling as to be scandalous; no wonder so many Orthodox lapse or become Roman Catholic or Protestant. All we pastors meet with is indifference. Those in authority should hang their heads in shame. Why is there not a church, our own property in every town over 100,000? This should have been done a generation ago. For example the teeming millions of London only have two small churches!

Colchester is the 50th largest town in England (and incidentally the 500th largest in Western Europe). It has a church that belongs to us. But want about the other 49 larger ones? Only five of them have their own churches: London, Manchester, Nottingham, Norwich, Birkenhead-Liverpool. That is a scandal. There is no missionary vision at all. Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK with a population of two million. And where do the faithful of the Patriarchate have ten liturgies a year on Saturdays (that’s all the priest can manage)? In the Ukrainian Uniat chapel. The next time you hear some naïve Orthodox boasting about his Church, tell him that. Orthodox should be ashamed of themselves.

Q: So is there competition between the two parts of the Russian Church locally?

A: No, not at all. It all depends on who has the priests and the buildings. A concrete example. I was asked to visit a prison in Cambridgeshire. Now, since there is no ROCOR presence in Cambridgeshire (because through incompetence it refused to set anything up there in the 1980s), I gave the prison authorities the references of the Patriarchal priest who lives in Cambridgeshire. On the other hand, when there was question of the Patriarchate setting something up in Norfolk (it had lost what it had had there a few years before, also through incompetence), but knowing that ROCOR had a presence there dating back to 1966, it was referred to me. So here is a territorial division. Now, where there is a double jurisdiction, as in London (the only case), something will have to be sorted out. But, as you can see, that will be as a result of competence. Only time can settle such matters. The more competent part, the more spiritual part of the Russian Church will prevail and form a united jurisdiction.

Q: So there is no rigid territorial division in Western Europe?

A: No, nobody wants to impose such a system. Let everything be done freely, let the people choose. Though, having said that, we can observe a tendency for ROCOR to dominate in the English-speaking world. Canada, the USA and Australasia are clear examples. For example, with Archbishop Mark of ROCOR retiring to Germany and the ROCOR Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland being taken over by Metr Hilarion of New York, we can even talk about a sort of ROCOR Brexit. Metr Hilarion will in fact be Metropolitan of New England and Old England. That is an exceptional event, historically speaking, and may be significant, a turning-point.

So it is possible that in a generation from now ROCOR will only exist in the English-speaking world, but will unite all Russian Orthodox there. ROCOR will become ROCA – the Russian Orthodox Church in the Anglosphere. That is one quite organic and natural possible scenario, a united Russian Orthodox Metropolia for the Anglosphere, the English-speaking world. The Patriarchate will look after everything else in various Metropolias, in Latin America, in Alaska, in Western Europe, in Asia etc.

Q: So Western Europe would completely go to the Patriarchate?

A: That is the way that things are developing at the moment. All the young bishops and all the dynamism in the Russian Church there is Patriarchal. ROCOR only has three ageing bishops and is not opening any new churches.

Q: Is there a difference between ROCOR churches and Patriarchal churches?

A: I think there is a small one, in general. Strangely enough, ROCOR is at one and the same time more Russian, but also more local, more integrated. We have done the translations, we print in English, we speak the local languages and know the local laws, we were born here. At the same time, however, we are utterly faithful to the best of the Tsar’s Russia, never having endured the Soviet period and Renovationism. ‘To quote the saintly Metr Laurus: ‘We are for the purity of Holy Orthodoxy’. We are Imperial priests and people.

Q: What about your own relations with the Russian Church inside Russia?

A: We are very close to all those who are Churched in Russia and they feel close to us. For example, in Moscow one of the closest friends of ROCOR has always been Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov), whom some have even suggested will be the next Patriarch. (Bp Tikhon has been in the news recently, since he outraged the British Establishment by inviting students from Eton College to experience Christianity in Russia; not something the atheist Establishment likes). In general, those who especially venerate the New Martyrs and Confessors at once feel at home in ROCOR. I have this nearly every Sunday. People from different parts of Russia, from the Ukraine, from Moldova and elsewhere say that they feel at home, whatever the language, the atmosphere is like at home. In my native town of Colchester, that is a great thing that we have such an oasis of Orthodoxy.

Q: Who are the unChurched in Russia?

A: You find all sorts of people. There are those on the right hand side who mingle superstition with Orthodoxy, for instance, those ritualists who think that holy water is more important than holy communion, who mix in pharisaic sectarianism, puritanism and judgementalism, or, on the other hand, those on the left hand side, who mix in Soviet nationalism, love of the tyrant Stalin, or modernism. But all that is superficial, the majority make their way to the Church sooner or later. You do not waste time on the convert fringes of the Church – otherwise you might end up thinking that that is the Church! A terrible delusion!

Q: Why have you stayed faithful to the Russian Church despite all the difficulties that you have faced over nearly fifty years?

A: Because the Russian Orthodox Church is the Invincible Power. History since 1917 proves it. The gates of hell have not prevailed – and shall not prevail – despite all the enemies and traitors, both external and internal, we have faced. Judas betrayed, but the other apostles triumphed. So tragedy becomes joy. The stone that was rejected is become the headstone of the corner. Thou hast conquered, O Galilean!

Memorial Service for King Harold Godwinesson and all his companions – 27 October 2016

We remind all that after the Patriarch’s visit to London on 16 October, on Thursday 27 October a pilgrimage to the village of Whatlington near Battle in Sussex has been organized. This will take place at 11 am to mark the 950th Anniversary of the so-called Battle of Hastings, with its thousands of victims. The venue is the Church of St Mary Magdelene, Whatlington, East Sussex, about three miles north of the battlefield. Whatlington was a Royal Manor and the place where King Harold stopped to pray on his way to the battle itself, and is therefore an eminently suitable place for the service.

Other Details

The present-day village, on Whatlington Road, is just to the west of the main Hastings road (A21) (car park at TN33 0ND). There is a rail connection to Battle and Whatlington can be reached from there by bus, it is a 2-hourly service at an inconvenient time, so if you are reliant on public transport, please let me know and we will try to arrange a lift from the railway station. All are welcome to attend.

Lunch

A lunch will then take place after the service at about midday at The Royal Oak, Whatlington.

Menus

Main course

1) Roast Lamb with Roast Potatoes, Vegetables (carrots, green beans & broccoli), Yorky & Gravy
2) Roast Chicken with Roast potatoes, Vegetables (carrots, green beans & broccoli), Yorky & Gravy
3) Chili con Carne with Rice

Desserts
1) Caramel Apple Pie
2) Sticky Toffee Pudding
3) Ice Cream Sundae (toffee)

All with tea/coffee to follow.
The cost of this will be £15 per head.

If you are attending the service and would like to take advantage of this, please reply to

Eadmund Dunstall, 28 Quested Road, Cheriton, Folkestone, Kent CT19 4BY, E-mail: daysign@dunstall.plus.com,

enclosing the appropriate payment (cheques payable to Malcolm Dunstall please) and being careful to state the number of people in your party and their choice of menu before 30th September 2016.

Talk

A short talk will follow the luncheon at approximately 1 pm in the Function Room of The Royal Oak, on the subject of the battle and its aftermath, and there will be a brief meeting of The Guild of St Eadmund at the end of the talk.

We look forward to meeting you.

Memorial Service for King Harold Godwinesson and all his companions – 27 October 2016

A pilgrimage to the village of Whatlington near Sandlake [Battle] in Sussex has been organized by the Guild of St Eadmund. This will take place at 11 am on Thursday 27 October 2016, the 950th Anniversary of Sandlake Fight (now commonly known as The Battle of Hastings), at the Church of St Mary Magdelene, Whatlington, East Sussex, about three miles north of the battlefield. The Memorial Service will be celebrated by Fr Andrew Phillips.

Whatlington was a Royal Manor and the place where Harold stopped to pray on his way to the battle itself, and therefore is an eminently suitable place for the service. The present-day village, on Whatlington Road, is just to the west of the main Hastings road (A21) (car park at TN33 0ND). There is a rail connection to Battle and Whatlington can be reached from there by bus, it is a 2-hourly service at an inconvenient time, so if you are reliant on public transport, please let me know and I will try to arrange a lift from the railway station. All are welcome to attend.

Lunch

A lunch will then take place after the service at about midday at The Royal Oak, Whatlington.

Menus

Main course

1) Roast Lamb with Roast Potatoes, Vegetables (carrots, green beans & broccoli), Yorky & Gravy
2) Roast Chicken with Roast potatoes, Vegetables (carrots, green beans & broccoli), Yorky & Gravy
3) Chili con Carne with Rice

Desserts
1) Caramel Apple Pie
2) Sticky Toffee Pudding
3) Ice Cream Sundae (toffee)

All with tea/coffee to follow.

The cost of this will be £15 per head.

If you are attending the service and would like to take advantage of this, please reply to

Eadmund Dunstall, 28 Quested Road, Cheriton, Folkestone, Kent CT19 4BY,

E-mail: daysign@dunstall.plus.com,

enclosing the appropriate payment (cheques payable to Malcolm Dunstall please) and being careful to state the number of people in your party and their choice of menu before 30th September 2016.

Talk

A short talk will follow the luncheon at approximately 1 pm in the Function Room of The Royal Oak, on the subject of the battle and its aftermath, and there will be a brief meeting of The Guild of St Eadmund at the end of the talk.

We look forward to meeting you.

On Western Pride and the English Character

Introduction: Western Pride

There are two Europes, the Old Europe and the New Europe, that is, the Europe of the first millennium and the Europe of the second millennium, Orthodox Europe and Secular Europe. We belong to the First Europe, whose very existence is denied, deliberately buried and hidden beneath the Second. Whereas the main characteristic of the First Europe is humility, that of the Second Europe is pride. This came about from the millennial delusion that Western European peoples are superior to other races, as is expressed by the filioque – the boasting Western statement that the Holy Spirit proceeds from their human nature. Its consequences were first seen when the introducer of the filioque, the eighth-century Frankish barbarian kinglet Charlemagne (Charles the Tall – he measured six feet 3 inches), slaughtered thousands of Saxons when they refused baptism.

This became even clearer at the end of the eleventh century, after the official adoption and defence of the filioque, with similar massacres in Southern Italy, in the British Isles after 1066, in Spain and during the First Crusade. We can clearly see the various forms of this pride in the negative traits common among European peoples. Thus, at worst, France can tend to suffer from vanity, megalomania – for example, the ‘Sun-King’ Louis XIV, Napoleon or Mitterrand – narcissism and therefore chauvinism (Chauvin was a Frenchman). At worst, Germany can tend to suffer from the thirst for control and domination over others, the striving for perfectionism – nothing is ever good enough if it is not German, as we have seen most recently in two World Wars and in the history of the EU. But what of the English, often called the British?

English Vices

Without doubt the English form of this Western pride is national pride, the love of national honour, as we can see in the history of the British Empire or in today’s cult of show-off cars and one-upmanship, ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. ‘British is best’, they say, regardless of how awful it may actually be. This false assurance of natural superiority breeds not only jingoistic xenophobia (encouraged by living on an island), but also the spirit of ‘since it’s British, it’s good enough’, when in fact something is either good or bad, never ‘good enough’. This encourages amateurism, ‘muddling through’, ‘coping’, ‘managing’, rather than doing things properly. And that in turn breeds narrow-minded pragmatism and practicality: if it works, it is good enough, we don’t care about the rest. Which is how the British car industry with its shoddy products destroyed itself.

It is true that there are other national failings, but these were or are the result of the deformations of Protestantism and are shared by other peoples who also became Protestant. For instance, there is the national weakness of always compromising – a vice that grew up out of the Reformation, neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant. Indeed, it was on this unprincipledness of always compromising that the State Church was founded, with a Roman Catholic exterior but a Protestant interior. Now, compromise is no bad thing if it concerns secondary matters and being good neighbours. However, on matters of principle, this is the vice of amoralism. You cannot compromise between truth and lie, between good and bad. As the Gospel says, there can be no compromise between God and Belial. Thus, I have heard one (atheist) Anglican vicar saying that his ‘Church’ is ideal because it reconciles those who believe in God and those who do not!

Then there is the obsession with money, as seen in the multitude of words like calculating, stingy, frugal, prudent, tight, mean and the Dickensian scrooge. However, this characteristic is the result of narrow-minded, tedious, boring, thisworldly, money-grubbing Protestantism, and is shared by ex-Protestant and Calvinistic European peoples like the Dutch, the Swiss, the Scots and the Scandinavians, all of them founders of modern capitalism and accountancy and all notorious for their banking systems. There is also moral hypocrisy – this too was caused by puritanical Protestantism, with its high moral standards, but anti-ascetic, spiritual inability to meet them, resulting in Victorian London being the world centre of prostitution and very high rates of infection by syphilis. Today, it has resulted in fifty years of the free-for-all, ‘let it all hang out’ depravity that has come from the reaction to the old Puritanism and moral hypocrisy.

Conclusion: National Redemption?

Any vice can be turned round. Thus, French vanity can become positive, if it is turned into the quest for spiritual beauty and good taste and German perfectionism can be spiritualized as the path of repentance, the quest for self-perfection through humility. Similarly, the English sense of defending national honour can lead to the desire to do things well, to break records, to meet challenges, to declare that there are more important things than money. Triumphalist English people are not to be courted, for the English have always done best when their backs are to the wall, as at Trafalgar in 1805 and during the ‘finest hour’ during the Battle of Britain in 1940. Challenges bring out the best, enabling people to break the mould, to fight back, to think independently. If this can be spiritualized, then the English can still do great things.

Finally, there is the question of English humour. Its origin is in the absurd and even surreal contradictions in English society between the foreign, Norman Establishment and the English people, which is why this humour is so derisive of the Establishment and its class system, as in Monty Python. Unable to fight back against the Establishment, all the people could do in their frustration was to mock it and the situation that they found themselves in. On the one hand, this humour can be bitter and cynical, such as that in political satire, but on the other hand it can show the ability to mock oneself. Thus, the graffiti of Banksy can be bitterly satirical, but it can also be amusing and lead to thought. However, most English humour simply revels in the absurd and incompatible, and that can show humility.

The Saints Have Woken Us

The Church in the British Isles will only begin to grow when Orthodox there begin to venerate their own saints.

Saying Attributed to St Arsenios of Paros (+ 1877)

The Church is like a lighthouse, guiding us through the sea of life. However, like any lighthouse the Church is surrounded by dangerous rocks and many are the ships and boats that founder there. This happens whenever the non-serious, spiritual tourists, come to look at the Church out of curiosity, making Her into a game or hobby, or else are attracted to some outward aspect of the Church. For example, some are attracted to Church singing, icons, rituals or vestments, but never attracted to actually entering and living in the Church. So distracted are such by their spiritually impure interest in externals or, even worse, by their self-serving clericalist love of power, that they are burned, forget the rocks and founder. Such people, who love to call us English Orthodox by the Norman name of ‘Anglo-Saxons’ or ‘provincials’, we can call ‘Norman-minded’. Why?

After the papally-sponsored Norman invasion and occupation of England in 1066, the racist invaders with their new, compromised and heretical religion mocked the relics of the English saints and their non-Norman names, and even physically destroyed and desecrated them like the later iconoclastic Protestants, subjecting holy relics to fire. Thus, the Norman-installed Archbishop of Canterbury Lanfranc (+ 1089) derided the holiness of the former Archbishops, St Dunstan and St Alphege, and in St Albans the new Norman Abbot adopted a policy of wholesale destruction of the shrines of the English saints. Thus, it can be said that to be Norman-minded is not racial (Lanfranc was an Italian Lombard), but it is to be possessed of the mentality which mocks and denies the saints because it puts its alien cultural Establishment values above the Church.

Herein lies the radical difference between the old and now dying State Anglican Orthodoxy and authentic English Orthodoxy. The former is composed of Anglicans, regardless of whether they were liberal or conservative, who formally joined the Orthodox Church but did not become Orthodox, as they put their alien, rationalistic, post-Schism, Establishment culture above Church Tradition. The latter is composed of English people who have joined the Orthodox Church and actually become Orthodox, putting Church Tradition first, so becoming Orthodox-minded and thus returning to pre-Schism English cultural values. Thus, they return to the Alfredian civilization of the Church in their way of life, venerating the local saints. In the former case the alien Norman-founded Establishment comes first, in the latter case authentic Church Christianity comes first.

The vast majority of the Norman-minded are of course not ‘Normans’ at all. This is nothing to do with race. For instance, we can include among the extreme ‘Normans’ saint-haters and iconoclasts like the Protestant Cromwell, the Roman Catholic Napoleon and the mixed-race Bolshevik Lenin. Norman-mindedness means turning everything upside down. With no interest in inward life and inward values, the Norman mentality, as we have seen above, prefers invasion, occupation and desecration, externals, pomp and ceremony, outward ‘niceness’, academic theories and fantasies, that is, spiritual castration. Now, at long last, over the last fifty years since the 900th anniversary of the Norman Occupation in 1966, there has been a revival of the veneration of the English saints; we are at last de-Normanizing, reversing the ills of invasion and occupation.

For example, in the last fifty years holy relics have been returned to the Church, like those of St Edward the Martyr, some of those of St Alban have gone back to St Albans and some of those of St Edmund have gone back to Bury St Edmunds. Pilgrims go to St Eanswythe in Kent, St Botolph in Suffolk, St Walstan in Norfolk, St Frideswide in Oxfordshire and St Bertram in Staffordshire and many others. Why? Because today there are Orthodox pilgrims who want to venerate the saints, to ask for their prayers, who compose services to them and paint icons of them. Many of these pilgrims are English, many others are Russian. Thus, there is a service to St Edward the Martyr and an akathist to St Audrey of Ely in Slavonic. Icons of some fifty of these saints have been painted, services have been composed to them, individually and collectively, their feasts are celebrated.

More than this, there have been miracles. For example, St John of Beverley. St Morwenna of Cornwall and St Birinus of Dorchester have all shown their presence to the devout in the places where their relics lie. St Wite of Dorset, whose relics have remained in place all these centuries, is venerated for her miracles. St Nectan and St Edward the Martyr have worked miracles of healing and St Edmund has shown a light in the sky where he was martyred. As for the feast day of St Audrey of Ely, 23 June, it was marked by the Brexit vote, recalling that Ely was one of the very last bastions of Englishness against the Norman occupiers and desecrators, whom we shall yet defeat. If veneration grows, we can expect more miracles, which will profoundly transfigure national life for the better, gradually freeing us from the age-long curse of the Norman Yoke.