Metropolitan Mark (Arndt) of Berlin and Germany, while still in the rank of Archbishop, was from 1986-2016 the Ruling Bishop of the then-separate Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland, which has since become an integral part of our Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe.
The future Metropolitan Mark was born in Eastern Germany in 1941. His family managed to move to the West in 1954, settling in Frankfurt am Main. He studied Slavic Languages and completed his doctorate in Ancient Russian Literature. He was received into the Holy Orthodox Church in 1964, later enrolling in the Theological Faculty of the University of Belgrade. He came under the influence of the renowned Serbian Orthodox Theologian, Father Justin Popovic (canonised in 2010 as St Justin of Chelije), and decided to enter the monastic life, becoming Brother Mark in 1975, having been tonsured by Bishop Paul of Stuttgart. He was ordained Priest in 1976, later being consecrated as Vicar Bishop of Munich and Southern Germany, and in due course Ruling Bishop of Berlin and Germany. It is under Bishop — later, Archbishop — Mark’s administration that the bishop’s residence of the German Diocese was moved to the Monastery of St Job of Pochaev, where he himself revived the monastery along Athonite lines.
Vladyka Mark has energetically ruled the Diocese of Germany and brought about much church construction and the building up of parish life. As he said at his consecration, ‘…building the Kingdom of God in oneself and in one’s parishioners … acquiring experience and practice in the inner unseen warfare …’ is what… ‘places Holy Orthodoxy immeasurably higher than all religions and ideologies calling themselves Christian.’
Upon the vacancy of the See of Great Britain and Ireland in 1986 — at that time a separate Diocese — Archbishop Mark was entrusted with the care of the Church in the British Isles, in which role he faithfully served for thirty years. While the Ruling Bishop of that Diocese, his initiatives included the building of the beautiful Cathedral in London which is now the principal cathedra of the Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe. He also oversaw the creation of new communities in Ireland, and in various parochial settings in Great Britain.
After serving as Ruling Bishop of the UK and Ireland for three decades, His Eminence Archbishop Mark petitioned the Holy Synod to be released from the governance of Great Britain and Ireland in December 2016, so that he might focus more wholly upon his Diocese of Berlin and Germany, of which he remains the Ruling Bishop as well continuing to serve as the Vice-President of the Synod of Bishops. In 2021 he was elevated to the dignity of Metropolitan by decision of the Holy Council of Bishops.