The Administrative Structure of the Diocese
The Diocese is a spiritual family, headed by our Hierarchs together with our clergy, who labour to ensure that the ‘Life in Christ’ — the Holy Orthodox Faith — is manifest amongst the flock of the Lord as His own Body, striving 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. The administration of our Diocese follows the centuries-old structure of Orthodox ecclesiastical life, with certain features unique to its mission in the present day, outlined in its canonical constitution.
THE DIOCESAN HIERARCH, VICAR BISHOP AND CLERGY
The Church of Christ has, since her structures were established after the pattern set forth by the incarnate Saviour Himself, been governed by Bishops, Priests and Deacons, whose administrative labours are an extension of their chief works as ministers of the sacramental, liturgical and pastoral life of the flock. These clergy celebrate the Divine Mysteries of the Church, making the sacramental participation in the life of the Holy Trinity accessible to humankind after the pattern of worship revealed by God; and in the fulfilment of this sacred work, they also look after the functional life of the parishes, missions and monasteries in which this worship is carried out.
Our Diocese is governed by a Ruling Bishop, the Bishop of London and Western Europe, assisted by a Vicar Bishop. The Ruling Bishop, in his Apostolic office, has pastoral and canonical oversight over the whole of the Diocese, including all aspects of its life and mission, overseeing its liturgical life, pastoral activities and practical administration. The clergy of the Diocese, as sacred and God-ordained minsters of the Lord, head the Divine Services in the parishes, serve as the spiritual fathers of the faithful, and tend to the day-to-day pastoral care of Christ’s flock.
THE DIOCESAN CHANCELLERY
Coordinating central administative matters for the whole of the Diocese’s territory is its administrative office, the Diocesan Chancellery, which also coordinates the travels and other undertakings of the Diocesan Bishop. Correspondence regarding official maters should, in general, be addressed in the first instance to the Chancellery. A separate page on this web site contains full details and contacts for the Chancellery.
THE DIOCESAN ASSEMBLY
Following the standard practices of the Church Abroad, a Diocesan Assembly comprised of both clergy and laity plays a role in the organisation and administration of Diocesan life, including receiving reports on activities throughout the Diocese by its hierarchy, clergy and officers, and reflecting prayerfully on its missionary and pastoral labours. It also, with the blessing of the Hierarchy, elects members of the Diocesan Council. The chairman of the Assembly is the Diocesan Bishop.
THE DIOCESAN COUNCIL
The Diocesan Council meets when it is called by the Ruling Bishop, advising him on matters concerning the structural administration of the Diocese, including its status in law in its various nations and territories; its central finances; and various other statutory matters.
THE REGIONAL COUNCILS
Unique to our Diocesan structure, on account of its borders which span two broad geographic territories, a Regional Council for the British Isles and the Regional Council for Continental Western Europe — also comprised of both clergy and laity — gather as advisory bodies, meeting together with the Hierarchy to consider matters of pastoral, missionary and practical labours focused on each of the Diocese’s broad regions. Matters considered by these Regional Councils include the possibility of founding new missions or parishes, the organisation of conferences, events and pilgrimages, etc.
This web site is an official publication of the Diocese and is published with the blessing of the Hierarchy, and constitutes the sole official site of the Diocese. It is maintained through the Diocesan Chancellery, together with volunteers based in various parishes across the Diocese. It attempts to publish content as often as possible in multiple languages, though a priority upon communicating news in a timely manner means that sometimes content is posted in only one or another language, especially if it relates chiefly to parishes in one linguistic region.
The Diocese also maintains an active Diocesan Telegram Channel, used exclusively to share more immediate news and announcements, photographs of Diocesan life and activities, notice of future events, etc. The Telegram Channel is the Diocese’s principal means of delivering such real-time updates; though it also maintains a Facebook Page, used solely to convey announcements of new web site content via that platform. The Diocese does not maintain or participate in any comment-based social media environments.
TRUSTEES OF THE DIOCESE
Constituted in UK law as a Charitable Trust, the Diocese has, as is legally mandated for all such charities, a board of Trustees whose legal duty is to ensure the canonical continuity of the Diocese in terms of its establishment in Law.
DIOCESAN ECCLESIASTICAL COURT
In concert with the standards of ecclesiastical governance established in the Statutes of the Church Abroad, the Diocese has a standing Ecclesiastical Court which, as a formal advisory body to the Ruling Bishop, considers specific matters of canonical Church discipline related to marriage, clergy life and service, etc. The Spiritual Court convenes as required, and operates according to the normal ROCOR Statutes. All matters of Church Divorce are handled by the Spiritual Court. A separate page is maintained on this web site, with information on the Ecclesiastical Court.
Find out more about our Diocese’s presence in the British Isles and in Continental Western Europe
Full directory of Diocesan parishes and missions, grouped by country
Contact details for all Priests and Deacons of Diocesan parishes and institutions