Chancellor of the Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe, Archpriest Paul Elliott (centre), with Archpriest Joseph Skinner (left) and Archpriest Timothy Curtis (right).

5th / 18th JULY 2020, WALLASEY: With the blessing of His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe, the Diocese’s parish of St Elisabeth the Grand Duchess in Wallasey (near Liverpool), England, welcomed clergy from the other two bodies which, together with our Diocese, represent the plenitude of the Russian Orthodox Church in these lands — the Moscow Patriarchal Diocese of Sourozh and the local parishes under the Paris Exarchate, which has since this year been reunited with the Russian Orthodox Church from which it had originally been born.

Though not organised specifically as an occasion to bring together clergymen from these three strands of Russian Orthodox life in the Diaspora, the Divine Liturgy celebrated on this day — the day of the commemoration of the parish’s heavenly patroness, the Grand Duchess St Elisabeth the New-Martyr — appears to be the first occasion in the British Isles where priests from all three bodies have concelebrated together since the reunification of the Exarchate with the Russian Orthodox Church during the past year.

It is perhaps fitting that this was accomplished without fanfare or as an ‘event’: rather, the common desire of all our clergy in these lands, to serve God in the beauty of the Divine Liturgy, naturally brought together brother-priests who, each receiving the blessing of their hierarchs, joined together in the liturgical celebration in memory of one of the great saints of our generation.