LONDON: 30 November 2022
Resolution of the Clergy Pastoral Conference of Western Europe

13 / 26 November 2022

We, the clergy and monastics of the Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), lift up our thanks to God for the opportunity to gather together at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God and the Holy Royal Martyrs in London, England, during the past days. Living and serving in the 102nd year of the Church Abroad, in this God-preserved Diocese which dates to the foundation of the ROCOR itself, we rejoice in its strength and growth, and in the fervent piety of our faithful, dispersed across the eleven countries in which we serve. It is our special joy that we were able to gather together for the first time since the Diocese of Western Europe and the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland were united, reuniting regions that were previously integrated in our history, and to pray before the icon and precious relics of St John the Wonderworker, who was for many years the Ruling Bishop of these territories.

For the past several years it has not been possible for us to gather in person, given the COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it of the civil authorities that affected every aspect of life; and more recently the fratricidal conflict in Ukraine has brought not only deep sorrow to us and our flocks, but also further challenges in movement and activities. It was therefore with all the more profound gratitude to our merciful God that we took advantage of the opportunity to pray, serve and speak together, even if many of our fellow Archpriests, Priests and Deacons could not join us on account of these difficulties.

During these God-provided days, we were led by our Ruling Bishop, His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe, in prayer and conversation about important aspects of our pastoral, spiritual and liturgical lives. Speaking to us about the profound grace, and the cross, of pastoral service, Vladyka Irenei encouraged us in our spiritual labours and provided us with fatherly care and instruction. Speaking often of the importance of understanding and cherishing our unique history and identity as the Church Abroad, the Diocesan Bishop gave thanks for the life of our recently-reposed and much-beloved First Hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, for whom we served a panikhida; and the joy of the whole Church at the election of our new Primate, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York, for whose labours we offer our sincere prayers and whose first visit to our Diocese as Primate we look forward to with joyful anticipation.

As a brotherhood of clergy under the pastoral care of our Ruling Bishop and his Vicar, His Grace Bishop Alexander of Vevey, we declare our commitment to the many labours necessary to proclaim, unhindered and undiminished, the True Faith and life of Holy Orthodoxy in this present generation of apostasy and the period of social, political and moral turmoil in the world around us. First in our hearts are all those who are suffering and in need, both from the war but also from the many other sources of sorrow faced by mankind today. The temples and parishes of our Diocese shall continue to be places of refuge for all those tossed about by the storms of life, open and welcoming to all who seek the Lord’s mercy and the redemption of their souls, preaching the Gospel of salvation without political motivation or interference, wholly dedicated to the right worship of God and the fostering of an authentic, ascetical life.

We are committed to striving for peace in all things, and the cessation of conflict in every sphere in which we have influence. Welcoming with open hearts the enormous influx of refugees from Ukraine, including clerical brethren who now pray and serve with us, our attention will ever be focussed on leading the singular family of Orthodox faithful — in which every tongue and tribe and nation are united into ‘one heart and one mind’ — into a deeper experience of the Mystical Life in Christ, holding fast to the Holy Canons and the teachings of our Divine Fathers as sure guides in times of temptation. We are certain, as the Church has always been certain, that only the fulness of Orthodoxy presents the means to heal the world: it is the Truth that neither changes with the times nor bows to the passions of man, but reaches out with Christ’s own hands to lift up His fallen children into new life.

Our Church Abroad has, from its very beginning, been a church of refugees. We pledge ourselves anew to this high calling and we call upon our Lord to bless and help us in our Christian lives together in the lands of the God-preserved Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe.

– From all the participants in the Pastoral Conference of the Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe


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