Bishop Nicholas of London (1890-1932)

Bishop Nicholas (Karpoff) was Bishop of London from 1929 to 1932.

After attending parochial school and seminary, Nicholas Karpoff continued his studies at the Moscow Theological Academy from 1911 to 1915. He was tonsured a monk and ordained to the Priesthood, and then taught at the Oboyansk Seminary in Kursk. After retreating to southern Russia, Nicholas then relocated to Yugoslavia, where he taught at the Bitol Seminary, and served in various Serbian parishes. In 1928, he was elevated to the dignity of Archimandrite and, in 1929, he was sent to London to become the Parish Priest. On 17th / 30th June 1929, the feast of All Saints, he was consecrated as Bishop in London by the First Hierarch of the Church Abroad, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) of blessed memory, together with four assisting bishops, becoming Bishop of London, Vicar Bishop of Western Europe. He was the first Orthodox bishop to bear the title ‘Bishop of London’, which title — having for several decades given way to the title Bishop of Richmond and varied other titles — was later restored with the appointment of Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe in 2018.

Following the 1926 schism with Metropolitan Evlogy of Paris, Bishop Nicholas had the task of consolidating the position of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in the United Kingdom, which, to a large extent, he succeeded in doing, even in the short time he was there, because he was much beloved by his flock, bringing peace and new life to the parish in London.  In August, 1932, Bishop Nicholas went to Yugoslavia to take part in a meeting of the Council of Bishops. He fell ill with appendicitis and died on the night of 10 / 11 October at the age of 41. His untimely death proved to be a great loss for the position of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in the UK. The Russian diaspora had lost one of its most outstanding clergymen. Bishop Nicholas was buried by the walls of the Church of the Iveron Mother of God, Belgrade, beneath an icon of the Holy Hierarch Nicholas of Myra, which is set in the outside wall of the church.