His Grace Bishop Irenei

Ruling Bishop of the Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe


His Grace the Right Reverend Irenei was appointed Bishop of London and Western Europe by decision of the Holy Synod of Bishops on 7th / 20th September 2018. Assisted by his auxiliary, he governs the churches and institutions of the eleven countries and principalities that constitute the Diocese, based from the Diocesan Cathedral in London. Previously he had been Bishop of Sacramento (California), Vicar of the Western American Diocese, and had served as Administrator of the previously-separate Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland from 2017.

His Grace is head of the Synodal Secretariat for Inter-Orthodox Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and in this capacity is a regular member of the Holy Synod of Bishops with responsibility for supporting relations between the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and the other Local Orthodox Churches and their jurisdictions throughout the world. He sits on the Supreme Council of the Orthodox Palestine Society which assists in the governance of the Church Abroad’s presence in the Holy Land.

His Grace served as the Dean for Monastic Life of the Western American Diocese of the ROCOR (appointed 2012); and continues to be a member of the Education Department of the ROCOR (appointed  2014); and of the Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission (appointed 2016). In 2012, the new Sts. Cyril & Athanasius Institute for Orthodox Studies began operation with the blessing of the Holy Synod, with then-Archimandrite Irenei as its director, and which he operated until the time of his episcopal consecration (thereafter handing it over to a permanent administration). From 2012-2018 he served on the Secretariat of the Assembly of Bishops of the United States, and worked in close cooperation with hierarchs of all other Orthodox Churches in matters relating to the Episcopal Assemblies and other inter-Orthodox contexts. From 2014 he assisted in the founding of the new men’s monastery in Sonora, California, dedicated to the memory of St Silouan of Mt Athos, and at the official foundation of the monastery on the Saint’s feast day in 2015 was appointed its Abbot, which role he retained until departing for the European territories in 2019. Bishop Irenei served for seven years as an Archimandrite at St Tikhon’s Church in San Francisco: the former home and orphanage of St John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, and was consecrated to the Episcopacy before the relics of St John on the feast of the Theotokos, ‘Joy of All Who Sorrow’ in November 2016.

Bishop Irenei is a Professor of Theology and was sometime Fellow in Patristics and Early Church History at the University of Oxford, and Chair of Theology and Religious Studies in Leeds. His Masters and Doctoral (D.Phil oxon) works were on the theology of the earliest Church Fathers, especially St Irenaeus of Lyons. He is a specialist in Patristic Doctrine and Orthodox theological, liturgical and ecclesiastical traditions, and is the author of numerous academic books and articles, as well as books of Orthodox spirituality and history for non-academic readers. He regularly lectures at Universities, conferences, and Church symposia around the world.

Bishop Irenei has been particularly dedicated to youth in the Church, to his role as a Confessor, and to the spiritual and liturgical formation of parish life and the advancement of monastic communities.

Communications from the Bishop:
Sermon for Holy Pentecost, by Bishop Irenei | Проповедь в день Святой Троицы, Пятидесятницу
Sermon for Holy Pentecost, by Bishop Irenei, 2019.
'Camels in Needles and Rich People in Heaven'
'Camels in Needles and Rich People in Heaven': A video greeting for the Nativity of Christ.
'Beauty Will Save the World'
'Beauty Will Save the World'.
The Paschal Epistle of His Grace Bishop Irenei of Sacramento, Administrator of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland, 2018
The Paschal Epistle of His Grace Bishop Irenei of Sacramento, Administrator of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland, 2018.
Nativity Epistle of Bishop Irenei for 2017 | Рождественское послание Иринея, Епископа Сакраментского, Администратора Великобританской и Ирландской Епархии
Nativity Epistle of Bishop Irenei of Sacramento for 2017.
Bishop Irenei Greets the Faithful On The Anniversary of His Consecration
Bishop Irenei Greets the Faithful On The Anniversary of His Consecration.

His Grace Bishop Alexander of Vevey is the Vicar Bishop of the Diocese, assisting Bishop Irenei in the administration of its parishes and pastoral life, especially in the Francophone regions of Europe.

His cathedra is the Parish of St Barbara the Great Martryr in Vevey, Switzerland. Read the biography of Bishop Alexander…

His Grace Bishop Alexander can be contacted here:

Email: episkop.aleksandr@orthodoxie.ch
Tel.: +41 78 244 72 72


Bishop’s Calendar

January 2023:

  • 31 Dec - 1 Jan: Diocesan Cathedral, London
  • 6-7: Nativity of Christ: Diocesan Cathedral, London
  • 8-9: St Elena Parish, Monaco
  • 14-15: Diocesan Cathedral, London
  • 18-20: Theophany: Geneva Cathedral
  • 21-22: Kazan Icon Parish, Cardiff, Wales
  • 26-29: Synodal Church Musicians Conference: Diocesan Cathedral, London

February 2023:

  • 4-5: Diocesan Cathedral, London
  • 8-14: St Paisius Monastery, Arizona, USA
  • 18-19: TBD
  • 21: Blessing of new Church in St Leonards, England
  • 25-26: Forgiveness Sunday: Diocesan Cathedral, London
  • 27 Feb - 3 Mar: Clean Week: Diocesan Cathedral, London

March 2023:

  • 4-5: Sunday of Orthodoxy: Diocesan Cathedral, London
  • 9th: Unction, Parish of Sts Peter and Paul, Luxembourg
  • 11-12: Unction (11th) and Sunday of St Gregory Palamas: Parish of St John, Lyon, France
  • 14-15: Feast of St Chad of Lichfield: St Chad's Parish, Telford, England
  • 17-20: St Andrew Orthodox Church, Riverside, LA, USA
  • 23: Unction, Parish of St Nicholas, Basel, Switzerland
  • 25-26: Sunday of St John of the Ladder: Diocesan Cathedral, London
  • 28-30: Florence Parish (Unction on 29th)
  • 31: Akathist Friday: TBD.

April 2023:

  • 1-2: Sunday of St Mary of Egypt: TBD.
  • 6-7: Feast of the Annunciation: Diocesan Cathedral, London
  • 8-9: Unction (8th) and Sunday of Palms: Geneva Cathedral
  • 10-15: Great and Holy Week: Diocesan Cathedral, London
  • 16: PASCHA: Diocesan Cathedral, London
  • 17-21: Bright Week: TBD
  • 22-23: Thomas Sunday: TBD
  • 25: Radonitsa: TBD
  • 29-30: TBD


Contact the Bishop via the Diocesan Chancellery

Bishop's Calendar

Forthcoming travels

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Complete directory

Previous Hierarchs:

The following is a chronological listing of Hierarchs who have had oversight of the flock of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in the British Isles and Western Europe, previous to our present Ruling Bishop, Irenei of London and Western Europe.

Metropolitan Evlogy (Georgievsky) of Paris & Western Europe

(b. 10/04/1868, d. 8/4/1946)

Metropolitan Seraphim (Lukianov) of Paris & Western Europe

(b. 23/8/1879, d. 18/2/1959)

Bishop Nicholas (Karpoff) of London

(b. 1890, d. 11/10/1932)

Archbishop Nathaniel (Lvov) of Vienna and Austria

(b. 1906, d. 10/11/1986)

Archbishop Nikodem (Nagaieff) of Richmond and Great Britain

(b. 28/4/1883, d. 17/10/1976)

St John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco

(b. 4.6.1896, d. 2/7/1966)

Bishop Leonty (Bartoshevich) of Geneva

(b. 1914 – d. 1956)

Archbishop Anthony (Bartochevitch) of Geneva and Western Europe

(b. 30/11/1910, d. 2/10/1993)

Bishop Constantine (Jesensky) of Richmond and Great Britain

(b. 30/5/1907, d. 31/5/1996)

Archbishop Seraphim (Dulgov) of Brussels and Western Europe

(b. 1923 – d. 2003)

Bishop Ambrose (Cantacuzène) of Geneva and Western Europe

(b. 1947, d. 2009)

Archbishop Michael (Donskoff) of Geneva and Western Europe

(b. 1943, retired)

Archbishop Mark (Arndt) of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain

(b. 29/01/1941)

Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

(b. 6/01/1948)

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