The Not So Eastern Church – Fr. Lawrence Farley





The Not So Eastern Church


Fr. Lawrence Farley



I can, I think, count on the fingers of my one hand the number of times I have described myself as an Eastern Orthodox. Usually the preferred self-designation is simply “Orthodox,” but sometimes this provokes confusion, as when I am further asked, “Oh, are you Jewish?” The respondent has clearly heard of Orthodox Jews, and supposes that I must be one of them, though you would think the big pectoral cross around my neck would tip them off somewhat that I was a Christian. On these occasions I am reduced to elaborating more fully, saying that I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian: “You know, like the Russians, or the Greeks?” The respondent’s eyes then glaze over for a moment, since I am neither Russian, nor Greek, but they usually let the matter drop. In these conversations, the adjective “eastern” serves to connect me with a known quantity, such as the Russian Orthodox Church or the Greek Orthodox Church—i.e. the ones on television with the fancy robes and the icons.

There is a reason for not referring to our Church as “the Eastern Orthodox Church”—namely, that we are not in fact eastern. Our own jurisdiction has its membership in the west (i.e. North America), and my own parish is situated on the extreme west coast of that western continent. So, in what sense are we eastern? Only in the historical sense, and long dead history at that. In the first millennium the Church was dispersed throughout the Roman world, living in the west from Britain to Rome and in the east, from Jerusalem to Parthia and beyond. (Yep, Parthia. Like I said: long dead history.) In those far off days, east was east and west was west and never (or rarely) the twain shall meet. The church organized itself into patriarchates, including the famous five of the so-called “Pentarchy”, even though the actual reality never was quite as tidy as all that. In this ancient system, you had Rome leading the west, and Constantinople leading the east. Latin flourished out west, and Greek out east (and later on, Slavic languages in the northern land of the Rus) and, oh yes, Syriac. In those days, the designations of “western church” and “eastern church” meant something, since the faithful who lived in the west didn’t often Continue reading “The Not So Eastern Church – Fr. Lawrence Farley”


Teach your children love – By Orthodox Monastery of All Celtic Saints in Isle of Mull, Hebrides Islands, Scotland



“Build Christian values in them, not Christian knowledge.

Work with their hearts, rather than their minds, because the theology of the heart cannot be erased”

(Fr. Seraphim, Orthodox Monastery of All Celtic Saints)


Teach your children love


Orthodox Monastery of All Celtic Saints

in Isle of Mull, Hebrides Islands, Scotland

What exactly is there to teach a child (or a teenager, for that matter)? In what ways is it beneficial for a child to sit down and learn about the Holy Trinity or Christ’s two natures? Is that where we should start? Are dogmas the central focus?

To me, church school is an interesting, but completely alien concept. The idea that I may go to church for anything else except worship feels strange. The notion that I can be taught about worship – by any other means except worship itself – is also strange. I instinctively dislike the thought that someone would try to ‘school’ me about God.

As a monastic, I haven’t had the experience of raising my own children. But I was a child once, and my memories of those years are all built around emotions, not knowledge: I remember playing, I remember my best friends, I remember some of the naughty jokes we played on the old people (that is, Continue reading “Teach your children love – By Orthodox Monastery of All Celtic Saints in Isle of Mull, Hebrides Islands, Scotland”

Celtic Saints – Orthodox City Hermit


Celtic Saints

Orthodox City Hermit

Video: Priestmonk Seraphim speaks on Monastics, Monasticism & the Orthodox Monastery of All Celtic Saints in Isle of Mull, Hebrides Islands, Scotland



Priestmonk Seraphim speaks on Monastics, Monasticism & the Orthodox Monastery of All Celtic Saints in Isle of Mull, Hebrides Islands, Scotland.

James Evans, England: His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy


James Evans, England:

His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy




Interview with James Evans, an Orthodox Briton

Priest George Maximov, James Evans

We continue to publish the materials of Spas TV program “My Path To God”, where Priest George Maximov interviews people who converted to Orthodoxy. The guest of today’s program is James Evans, an Orthodox Englishman. He will tell us why he prefers to live in Russia rather than in England, what he gets from singing in the Orthodox church and how his journey to Orthodoxy began.

* * *

Priest George Maximov: Hello. You’re watching My Path To God. Today we have a guest from England. James, please tell us about yourself.

James Evans: I was born in a Catholic family in London. Later we moved to Salisbury, 3 hours away from London. I went to an Anglican school, because education there was better than in Catholic schools. The Anglican service doesn’t differ much from the Catholic service. It was quite beautiful and I sang in the school choir during the services. However, I went to a Catholic church for communion.

All my grandparents are from Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and so I am of a Celtic origin.

I grew up in Salisbury and went to Oxford after graduation. When I was still in school in Salisbury, I passed the Latin exam one year earlier and was offered to select an additional subject. I chose Informatics, but they assigned me to a Russian language course instead. I was upset, but started reluctantly studying it. A few months later, I was told that this year they were organizing a student exchange program and I had a chance of going to Russia. I travelled to Russia for my summer vacation in 1989, when I was 16. This changed everything for me and set the course for my future life. When I got back to England, I understood that I couldn’t live without Russia. I talked the principal into giving me an opportunity to study Russian language and literature individually. He made an exception and assigned personal tutors to me. In the University of Oxford, I continued my Russian studies. Not because I wanted to become a linguist, but because I felt that Russia was calling me. I don’t know why, but I had a feeling that there would be no life for me without Russia. That was how it all started.

Father George: So, thanks to the Russian language studies, you learned about the Russian culture. You also visited Russia when it was still a part of the Soviet Union and saw its everyday life and people. Were you particularly impressed by anything?

I wasn’t impressed by the Russian culture as much as I was impressed by a totally different view on life.

James Evans: My first encounter with the Russian culture started with Continue reading “James Evans, England: His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy”

12 Orthodox Parishes in England



12 Orthodox Parishes in England, UK:

Milton Keynes, London, Bristol,

Manchester, York, Birmingham, Southampton, Shapwick,

Manchester, Romford & Preston

St. Ambrosios and St. Stylianos Church, Panagia Vlahernae Chapel in Milton Keynes, England

Cathedral of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God and Holy Royal Martyrs, London, England

The Orthodox Community of the Holy Trinity in Bristol, England

Intercession of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church in Manchester, England

Sts. Constantine & Helen Church, York, England

Dormition of Theotokos & St. Andreas Cathedral, Birmingham, England

St. Silouan of Mt. Athos Church, Southampton, England

St. Edward King and Martyr Church, Shapwick, Dorset, England

Russian Orthodox parish of the Protecting Veil (Pokrov) of the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, Manchester, England

The Protecting Veil of Mother of God & Saint Silouan the Athonite Church in Preston, Lancashire, England

Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sophia, London, England

St. Katherine’s Church, Barnet, London, England






Video: Santes Dilig (St Cenheidlo / St Endelienta) Cymru a Chernyw (+6ed ganrif) ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Welsh


Santes Dilig (St Cenheidlo / St Endelienta)

Cymru a Chernyw (+6ed ganrif)