About Our Diocese: History
UK Diocesan Administration
The Diocese is a spiritual family, headed by our Hierarchs together with our clergy, who strive to live the ‘Life in Christ’ — the Holy Orthodox Faith — together with all the flock as one Body seeking to be ‘made perfect in Christ’ (cf. Hebrews 10.14).
In order to facilitate this work throughout the parishes, schools, missions, colleges, printing houses, and other resources of the Church, various administrative structures exist to aid the Bishops, the Clergy, and the Faithful in their work. Within the territory of Great Britain and Ireland, these are structured as follows:
The Diocesan Assembly
Following the standard canonical practices of the Statutes of the ROCOR, the Diocesan Assembly plays a role in the organisation and administration of Diocesan life in the British Isles, engaging in such activities as receiving the Diocesan Statutes and, with the blessing of the Hierarchy, electing members of the Diocesan Council.
- Chair of the Diocesan Assembly: His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe
- Senior Priest (Vice Chair of the Assembly): Archpriest Andrew Phillips
- Chancellor of the Diocese: Archpriest Paul Elliott
- Diocesan Secretary: Reader Philip Hicks
- Diocesan Treasurer: Deacon Mark Tattum-Smith
The Diocesan Council
The Diocesan Council meets when it is called by the Bishop. It has a constitution and advises the Ruling Bishop on a wide range of matters concerning the administration of the Diocese’s life in the British Isles. The members of the Diocesan Council are elected every three years or when the Diocesan Assembly is called. There are clergy and lay members of the Diocesan Council.
- The Chair of the Diocesan Council is His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe
- The Chancellor of the Diocese, Archpriest Paul Elliott, is an ex officio member of the Diocesan Council
- Clergy members of the Council: Archpriest Andrew Phillips, Archpriest Peter Baulk, Archpriest Vitaly Serapinas, Hieromonk Mark (Underwood), Priest Sergey Mironenko, Deacon Mark Tattum Smith and Deacon Andrei Borisas
- Lay members of the Diocesan Council: Mr Gregory Wolcough, Reader Philip Hicks and Mrs Olga Smirnova.
Minutes of the Diocesan Council are kept by the Chancellor of the Diocese.
Trustees of the Diocese
As a Charitable Trust, the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland has a board of three Trustees whose legal duty is to ensure the canonical continuity of the Diocese in terms of its establishment in Law. The Trustees of the Diocese are, at present, its Chancellor Archpriest Paul Elliott, Archpriest Peter Baulk, and Mr Gregory Wolcough.
Diocesan Spiritual Court
In concert with the standards of ecclesiastical governance established in the Statutes of the ROCOR, the Diocese has a standing Spiritual Court which, as an advisory body to the Ruling Bishop, considers specific matters of Church discipline related to marriage, clergy life and service, etc. The Spiritual Court convenes as required, and operates according to the normal ROCOR Statutes. The members of the Spiritual Court are those members of the Diocesan Council in priestly orders.
The Diocesan Web Site
This web site is an official publication of the Diocese, covering both the territory of Great Britain and Ireland, as well as the territory of continental Western Europe, and is published with the blessing of the Hierarchy. This site is the sole official site of the Diocese. It is maintained largely through the labours of the Diocesan Chancellery in England, and other volunteers based at the Parish of St Elisabeth the New Martyr, Wallasey.
The Diocesan Facebook Page
The Diocese in Great Britain also maintains an active Facebook Page, used to post more immediate news and announcements, photographs of Diocesan life and activities, notice of future events, etc. It is maintained chiefly by Reader Phillip Hicks of the Cheltenham Parish, to whom materials for potential posting may be sent on firstname.lastname@example.org