The Life of Fr. John Maitland Moir, Scotland (1924-2013)


The Life of Fr. John Maitland Moir,

Scotland (1924-2013)


The Life of Fr. John Maitland Moir


Below is his official obituary. Our prayers go to all who knew and loved him, and for the repose of his holy soul.

* * *

Father John Maitland Moir, Priest of the Orthodox Church of St Andrew in Edinburgh, founder of many smaller Orthodox communities throughout Scotland and Orthodox Chaplain to the University of Edinburgh, died peacefully in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on the 17th April 2013.

A man of profound holiness and bedazzling eccentricity, of boundless compassion and canny wisdom, utterly selfless and stubbornly self-willed, serenely prayerful and fiercely self-disciplined, Father John will surely earn a place as a unique and outstanding figure in the ecclesiastical annals of Scotland. He was born in 1924 in the village of Currie where his father was the local doctor; his fondness for his mother was always mingled with quiet pride in the fact that she was a member of the lesser aristocracy. The privileged but somewhat severe upbringing of an only child in this household together with a Continue reading “The Life of Fr. John Maitland Moir, Scotland (1924-2013)”


A letter to a new convert by Mother Thekla, Abbess of Orthodox Monastery of the Assumpion in North Yorkshire, England


A letter to a new convert by Mother Thekla,

Abbess of  Orthodox Monastery of the Assumpion

in North Yorkshire, England


Mother Thekla’s Letter To A New Convert


Mother Thekla, who died on Aug. 7, 2011 at aged 93, was the last surviving nun to have occupied the enclosed Orthodox Monastery of the Assumption in North Yorkshire, but became better known to the wider world as the spiritual muse of the composer Sir John Tavener. Mother Thekla wrote the following letter in 2009, when she was 91 years old. You can read more about her here.


Dear “John”,

I understand that you are on the way to becoming Orthodox. I know nothing about you, beyond the fact that you are English.

Before we go any further, there is one point I should make clear. I have not been told why you are about to convert, but I assure you there is no point whatsoever if it is for negative reasons. You will find as much “wrong” (if not more) in Orthodoxy as in the Anglican or Roman Churches.

So – the first point is, are you prepared to face lies, hypocrisy, evil and all the rest, just as much in Orthodoxy as in any other religion or denomination?

Are you expecting a kind of earthly paradise with plenty of incense and the right kind of music?

Do you expect to go straight to heaven if you cross yourself slowly, pompously and in the correct form from the right side?

Have you a cookery book with all the authentic Russian recipes for Easter festivities?

Are you an expert in kissing three times on every possible or improper occasion?

Can you prostrate elegantly without dropping a variety of stationery out of your pockets?


Have you read the Gospels?

Have you faced Christ crucified? In the spirit have you attended the Last Supper – the meaning of Holy Communion?


Are you prepared, in all humility, to understand that you will never, in this life, know beyond Faith; that Faith means accepting the Truth without proof. Faith and knowledge are the ultimate contradiction –and the ultimate absorption into each other.

Living Orthodoxy is based on paradox, which is carried on into worship – private or public.

We know because we believe and we believe because we know.

Above all, are you prepared to accept all things as from God?

If we are meant, always, to be “happy”, why the Crucifixion? Are you prepared, whatever happens, to believe that somewhere, somehow, it must make sense? That does not mean passive endurance, but it means constant vigilance, listening, for what is demanded; and above all, Love.

Poor, old, sick, to our last breath, we can love. Not sentimental nonsense so often confused with love, but the love of sacrifice – inner crucifixion of greed, envy, pride.

And never confuse love with sentimentality.

And never confuse worship with affectation.

Be humble – love, even when it is difficult. Not sentimental so called love – And do not treat church worship as a theatrical performance!

I hope that some of this makes sense,

With my best wishes,
Mother Thekla
(sometime Abbess of the Monastery of the Assumption, Normanby)

Η μεταστροφή ενός Άγγλου ιατρού από τον Προτεσταντισμό στην Ορθοδοξία και η Ευχή του Ιησού, “Κύριε Ιησού Χριστέ ελέησόν με”


Η μεταστροφή ενός Άγγλου ιατρού από τον Προτεσταντισμό στην Ορθοδοξία και η Ευχή του Ιησού, “Κύριε Ιησού Χριστέ ελέησόν με”

Ἀναφέρει ὁ π. Στέφανος Ἀναγνωστόπουλος:

«Πρίν μερικά χρόνια, κάποιος Ἄγγλος γιατρός βαπτίσθηκε Ὀρθόδοξος Χριστιανός καί ἔμαθε νά λέη τήν Εὐχή “Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, ἐλέησόν με” στά ἀγγλικά. Ἔτσι, ἄρχισε σιγά-σίγα νά τή λέη συστηματικά ὅλη τήν ἡμέρα, μέχρι πού γλυκάθηκε τόσο πολύ, ὥστε νά ἀφιερώνη σ᾽ αὐτή τήν ἐργασία καί κάποιες ὧρες ἀπ᾽ τή νύχτα. Μέ τόν καιρό, ὅμως, ὅσο χρόνιζε αὐτή ἡ ἀδολεσχία μέσα στήν ψυχή του, σέ μία στιγμή ἄρχισε ν᾽ ἀκούη τήν καρδιά του νά κτυπᾶ, νά πάλλεται, μέ τό ὄνομα τοῦ Κυρίου, ἀλλά… στά ἑλληνικά! Ὁ ἴδιος μέ ἀπορία τό περιέγραψε περίπου ὡς ἑξῆς:

—Ἀκούω μέσα μου greek (ἑλληνικά): “Γκύριε, Ἰησοῦ Κριστέ, ἐλέησόν με”. Ἐγκώ λέω μέ τό στόμα english (ἀγγλικά), καί ἡ καρντιά ἀπαντᾶ greek!

Αὐτό τό ἔκτακτο γεγονός τοῦ ἔκανε μεγάλη ἐντύπωσι καί ἀπετέλεσε τήν ἀφορμή νά ἀρχίση νά μαθαίνη τήν ἑλληνική γλῶσσα. Μάλιστα, κατάφερε νά τή μάθη ἀρκετά γρήγορα, ὥστε νά μελετᾶ πνευματικά βιβλία σχετικά μέ τό θέμα τῆς προσευχῆς.

Ἔτσι, ἡ Εὐχή ἄλλαξε τή ζωή του, ὁδηγώντας τον σταδιακά στήν κάθαρσι ἀπ᾽ τά πάθη καί στό φωτισμό τοῦ νοός. Ἀλλά καί τό περιβάλλον του δέν ἔμεινε ἀνεπηρέαστο, καθώς τό παράδειγμά του ἐνέπνευσε πολλούς συμπατριῶτες του νά ἀσπασθοῦν τήν Ὀρθοδοξία. Κι ὅλα αὐτά, σέ μία χώρα προτεσταντική, χωρίς ἠθικούς φραγμούς καί παραδοσιακές ἀξίες».

The Father Of Lights – By Constantine Georgiades, England – Journey to Orthodoxy


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The Father Of Lights

By Constantine Georgiades, England

Journey to Orthodoxy



A team of 120 members of the London Robbery Squad arrested me, my builder and electrician in Devon on 17th April 1991. I had to strip, put on white paper suit and wait in a cold empty cell for 3 days and then I was charged with various conspiracy offenses and remanded in custody at Exeter Prison. I had often driven past the prison and had never considered that one day I might be a guest of Her Majesty!

As an ex-policeman, I was warned to ask for the ’43’s’ by the escorting officer, but I really hadn’t understood what that meant. A mistake had been made and I felt sure that it was only a matter of time before I would be released, so I insisted on going on the main wing with all the other men and refused ‘Rule 43’ protection.

News of my arrival travelled fast and I soon had hundreds of men wanting to vent their anger out on me, due solely to the fact that I had once been a policeman. It didn’t matter that I had left some years earlier. As far as they were concerned, I was still a policeman and ‘the enemy’.

Escorted to ‘B’ wing with 2 other inmates I was locked in a cell the size of a bus shelter. After having lived my life in relative luxury up until that moment, it came as quite a shock to have to share a cell with 2 total strangers! It was filthy, no toilet and only the use of a bucket, no sink, little ventilation and poor lighting and the stench of urine and excrement was overpowering.

As he closed the door I heard the Prison Officer grunt “Three more pieces of s*** off the street”. I knew that I had done some bad things in my time, but I never thought that I had deserved to be treated or spoken to in this manner. The three of us remained in these conditions for periods of up to 23 hours a day and trying to cope with the monotony and violence of prison life was difficult.

At first ‘bang up’ seemed like a lifeline to me as it was difficult to kill a man whilst he was locked away in a cell! Although I had a strong physical presence, I knew that I couldn’t defend myself against 600 men and I was gripped with terror. I ate very little for the first three weeks and my weight dropped by nearly 4 stone. The food repulsed me and I couldn’t bring myself to eat it, but my fellow inmate said “If you don’t eat you will die in here”. He was right of course and I had already considered that as one of my options for early release.

I spent the first 14 months on remand walking in my own strength, unable to see my children and being systematically stripped of all my worldly possessions. You can’t keep up your mortgage payments when you are in prison.

Daily I sifted through my food searching for pieces of broken glass and slivers of razor blades and smelling it for traces of chemicals. There are more ways of getting to someone that you hate in prison than you can imagine! I grew more angry by the day at the injustice done to me and I wanted revenge against those who had put me there. I scoured my life searching for answers. Every day I mourned for my son Peter who had died as a baby whilst the family were Continue reading “The Father Of Lights – By Constantine Georgiades, England – Journey to Orthodoxy”

Orthodoxy In An English Village – by Fr. George Hackney



Orthodoxy In An English Village

by Fr. George Hackney



Near to the geographical centre of England you can find Rolleston, the tiny village where I was born. My family were farmers, as their ancestors had been for generations. In the heart of the village and under the jurisdiction of the Church of England stood the ancient parish church of The Holy Trinity. For centuries it had been the centre of village life. There were no other denominations in the village.

As a child I did not even know that other denominations existed. It was in the Church of England that I was baptised and taught the orthodox Christian Faith. It was in the Church of England alone that I learned and accepted the great Orthodox dogmas concerning the Holy Trinity, Creation, Incarnation, Virgin Birth, Resurrection, Salvation through Christ our God from sin, death and the devil, the necessity for sacramental incorporation by Continue reading “Orthodoxy In An English Village – by Fr. George Hackney”

Why Orthodoxy? – Ryan Hunter, USA & Scotland – From Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy




Ryan Hunter

Setauket, New York, USA

Brotherhood of the Holy Cross

East Setauket, Long Island, NY, USA

Holy Cross Orthodox Monastery


Why Orthodoxy?


Ryan Hunter

(Part 1-14)




After years of spiritual wandering and disillusionment, and studying all religions, I am entering the Eastern Orthodox Church: How I discovered new meaning in the word “catholic” and the true challenge of a Christian life

“In His unbounded love, God became what we are that He might make us what He is.” —St. Irenaeus (d. 202)

I am in love. The object of my affection, or rather, my devotion, is not a person per se, though it is very much alive. It has been alive for 2,000 years, persisting through seemingly insurmountable odds, and in that time it spread from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean north and east, ultimately to the shores of Alaska and the New World. Now it is very much established and thriving here in the US. What is this thing that has become such a defining part of my life?

I have fallen in love with the Orthodox Church.

It is difficult for me to render into words an account of the transformation that this awakening has wrought in all areas of my life. I feel myself to be at last truly satisfied, spiritually and emotionally. I feel enriched beyond description after years of an ever-present void. From the depths of my heart I sense that I am now a more fulfilled Christian, and above all I know that I am a more inspired human being. Sadly in this Continue reading “Why Orthodoxy? – Ryan Hunter, USA & Scotland – From Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy”

Fr. Meletios Weber, England: Through Oxford to Orthodoxy ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* England, USA & the Netherlands





Fr. Meletios Webber


From Protestantism to Orthodoxy


Through Oxford To Orthodoxy



Archimandrite Meletios Webber, of Scottish background, was born in London, and received his Masters degree in Theology from Oxford University, England and the Thessalonica School of Theology, Greece. He also holds an E.D.D. (doctorate) in Psychotherapy from the University of Montana, Missoula. He is the author of two published books: Steps of Transformation; an Orthodox Priest Explores the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (Conciliar Press, 2003); and Bread and Water, Wine and Oil; an Orthodox Christian Experience of God (Conciliar Press, 2007).

This interview was originally published in


Fr. Meletios, could you tell us a little about your journey to Orthodoxy in Oxford, and how you became a priest?

I went to Oxford as a theology student in 1968, and very quickly found an Orthodox Church there. The parish priest at the time was Fr. Kallistos Ware, who is now Metropolitan of Diokleia, and the deacon at the time was Fr. Basil Osborne, who is now Bishop of Amphipolis. The parish in Oxford was both a Russian and a Greek one, coexisting in a small room in what had once been the house of the famous Dr. Spooner. I was immediately attracted to the quality of the stillness that I found in that small room. That has been something that I have consistently valued in the Orthodox Church ever since. It is a quality which is difficult to talk about, but it happens when one goes into a space which is so obviously God-filled. That is something that I found very important and very attractive at that time. Under the tutelage of Fr. Kallistos I became Orthodox three years later, and I was ordained a priest some three years after that in January of 1976, by Continue reading “Fr. Meletios Weber, England: Through Oxford to Orthodoxy ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* England, USA & the Netherlands”