LONDON: October 25, 2003


Consecration of the Lower Church of the Russian Cathedral in London

On the afternoon of Wednesday, 15 October, Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain, arrived in London. Upon his arrival, Priest Vadim Zakrevsky showed him the lower church in the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God, which is under construction. The lower church, dedicted to the Royal New Martyrs, is mostly completed, therefore it was ready for a minor consecration.

On Thursday, 16 October, at 9:30 am, the clergymen greeted Archbishop Mark and divine liturgy commenced at 10 am in the lower church. Archbishop Mark was joined by His Grace Bishop Agapit of Stuttgart, Protopriest Peter Holodny, Priests Vadim Zakrevsky and Thomas Hardy and Protodeacon Christopher Birchall from Canada, who grew up in the London parish.

At 3 pm, the minor blessing of the waters began. Vladyka Mark served with Archimandrite Alexii and Hierodeacon Savva from the Brookwood monastery, Priest Peter Baulk and the clergy that served at liturgy. The Greek Archbishop Gregory of Thyateira and the new head of the Sourozh Diocese of the Moscow Patriarchate, Bishop Vasilii of Sergiev (photo below: Bishop Agapit with the episcopal guests). At the end of the minor consecration of the church, Archbishop Mark gave a sermon in English.

After the consecration, all present took part in a reception in the parish hall. Archbishop Mark was given the opportunity to speak with Archbishop Gregory, and also with the visiting clergy, parishioners, benefactors and friends of the parish. After the reception, Archbishop Mark had a private meeting with the clergy, and later with the Brookwood monks.

That evening, Archbishop Mark, Bishop Agapit and Fathers Vadim Zakrevsky and Peter Holodny, with their wives, were invited to dinner by the great benefactor and builder of the church, Paul Lisitsyn and his wife Natalia, to a Japanese restaurant owned by a woman of one of the London parishes.
On Friday, Archbishop Mark prayed at the London church during the vigil for the Holy Bishops of Moscow. On Saturday morning, Vladyka celebrated liturgy, after which he visited the Convent of the Annunciation to share with them his thoughts on recent Church events and the situation in the Holy Land, whence all the nuns came.

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