Archpriest Paul Elliott, Chancellor of the Diocese, represented Bishop Irenei at the Clergy Conference and festal services of St Nicholas the Wonderworker, at the Moscow Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition in Ennismore Gardens.
At the Clergy Conference, he read out a letter from Bishop Irenei, offering greetings and congratulations to the Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of Sourozh on its 55th Anniversary.
The text of Bishop Irenei’s letter to the Faithful of the Diocese of Sourozh on their anniversary:
To His Eminence
Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh,
The Very Reverend Clergy, Pious Monastics,
and all the Faithful of the God-Preserved Diocese of Sourozh
Your Eminence, dear Vladyka Elisey!
Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters!
Please accept my most heartfelt greetings on the occasion of the Feast of St Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia, as well as the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Diocese of Sourozh. It is a source of sorrow to me that I am unable to be with you personally on this joyous day, but my responsibilities unfortunately require me to be outside the United Kingdom at this time. However, in the person of Archpriest Paul Elliott, the Chancellor of our Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, I ask you to receive the greetings of His Eminence Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the ROCOR, as well as my personal well-wishes, prayers, and felicitations for this notable occasion in the life of the Sourozh Diocese.
Last month, Your Eminence, dear Vladyka Elisey, we received You with great joy at our Diocesan Cathedral in Harvard Road, and rejoiced in God’s rich mercy: that we were able to stand before one Holy Table, wholly united in prayer and in the service of the Divine Mysteries, our faithful lifting up their hearts to our God in Trinity, ‘with one heart and with one mind’ (Liturgy of St John Chrysostom). Today, as the Sourozh Diocese marks its 55th anniversary, I assure You and Your God-preserved flock of the fervent prayers of the whole plenitude of the ROCOR Diocese — of our clergy, our monastics, and all our faithful — who are Your closest brothers and sisters in these sacred islands, and who together with You form the one family of pious believers of the Russian Orthodox Church. We thank God, Who is rich in mercy, for all the many blessings He has bestowed and continues to bestow upon the flock of the Diocese of Sourozh: for the blessed repose of Your ever-memorable Archpastors, clergy and faithful who have already gone to their reward; for all those who now labour in the vineyard of Christ in Your God-protected parishes; and for every faithful son and daughter of the Church who, through the prayers of Your Eminence and of all Your co-labourers in Christ, find opened before them the joyful path of repentance that leads into the Kingdom of God.
Your Eminence, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters! With all my heart I congratulate you on this joyous day. As our two Dioceses continue to grow and develop, it is our sincere prayer that our flocks will grow ever closer in our spiritual bonds; that the love which leads us to the one Cup of Christ will be the same love that ever binds and unites us. And so, giving thanks to God for His mercies that sustain You and us, I, too, offer up my meagre prayers for the flock of Sourozh. On behalf of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, I join my voice to many others whom I am certain will sing out today: Mnogaya, i blagaya lyeta!
With fraternal love in Christ,
The Bishop of Sacramento
Administrator of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
6th / 19th December 2017, Protocol no. 032/GB/E