What Can Each Western European Land and People Bring to the Church?

In Central and Eastern Europe, each land and people can learn of Orthodoxy from both its history and its present neighbours, so bringing its particular genius to the Church of God. Thus, from north to south:

Finland learns Orthodoxy from neighbouring Russian Karelia and its saints like St Tryphon of Pechenga, Enlightener of Lappland (+ 1583).

Poland learns its Orthodoxy from Mieszko I, baptized from Moravia in 966, and today learns from Belarus, the Ukraine and its native Lemko Carpatho-Russians.

Slovakia learns its Orthodoxy from Sts Cyril and St Methodius, as well as from the Carpatho-Russians, both native and in neighbouring Transcarpathia.

The Czech Lands learn from the glorious heritage of St Rastislav and Sts Cyril and Methodius in Moravia, St Ludmila and St Viacheslav in Prague, and learn from the struggles of Jan Hus in Bohemia.

Hungary learns from the ancient heritage of its first Christians, come from New Rome with Bishop Hierotheos in c. 950, as well as from its Orthodox neighbours.

Slovenia and Croatia learn from the first Slav missions of Sts Cyril and Methodius and their disciples.

But what of the Western European lands, which, although they have a glorious but distant Orthodox past, have no Orthodox neighbours and so have to learn from new immigrant populations? What can they bring?

The German Lands, Germany, Austria and most of Switzerland, can bring order and discipline. It is no coincidence that the first liturgical book translated into German was the Typicon.

The French Lands, France, southern Belgium and eastern Switzerland, can bring the contemplation of God, the philosophy of faith.

England and the Celtic Lands, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, can bring asceticism. It is no coincidence that the first liturgical book translated into English was the Lenten Triodion.

Italy, that storehouse of Church relics, can bring the sense of Church history as the historic centre of Orthodoxy in the West.

Spain and Portugal can bring their sense of beauty, ritual and vestments.

The Dutch Lands, the Netherlands, Flanders and Luxembourg, can bring co-operation and co-ordination.

Scandinavia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland, can bring efficiency and practical effectiveness.

If a Russian Orthodox Metropolia is to come into existence in Western Europe, we can then suggest how each of its lands and peoples can contribute their history from the first millennium and also their qualities as they developed in the second millennium.