Our Diocesan Bishop

Bishop Irenei of Richmond and Western Europe

His Grace Irenei was appointed Bishop of Richmond and Western Europe by a decision of the Holy Synod on 7th / 20th September 2018. Previously he had been Bishop of Sacramento, Vicar of the Western American Diocese, and had served as Administrator of the Dicoese of Great Britain and Ireland from 2017-2018. Bishop Irenei is currently concluding his works in North America, and will be resident in London from July 2019.

Bishop Irenei is the Synodal Secretary for Inter-Orthodox Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and in this capacity is a regular member of the Holy Synod. He served as the Dean for Monastic Life of the Western American Diocese of the ROCOR (appointed 2012); a member of the Education Department of the ROCOR (appointed  2014); and of the Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission of the Moscow Patriarchate (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 the ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate 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.

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. In his academic life Bishop Irenei (who is a professor of theology and was sometime fellow at the University of Oxford and chair of Theology and Religious Studies in Leeds) has focused chiefly on the theology and spirituality of the Holy Fathers, together with Orthodox liturgics and ecclesiology; and in parish life he 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.

Bishop Irenei’s Calendar

May 2019:

  • Bright Wednesday:
    • 1st: Mettingham Parish
  • Bright Thursday:
    • 2nd: Norwich Parish
  • Bright Friday:
    • 3rd: Walsingham, Chapel of the Life-Giving Spring
  • Thomas Sunday: 4 - 5: St Elizabeth Parish, Wallasey
  • 11: Diocesan Pilgrimage, St Albans
  • 12: St John of Shanghai Parish, Colchester
  • 18 - 19: Sacramento, California
  • 25 - 26: Sacramento, California

June 2019

  • 1 - 2: Sacramento, California
  • Ascension of the Lord:
    • 6: Sacramento, California
  • 8 -9: (Away on travels.)
  • Holy Pentecost:
    • 15 -16: Sacramento, California
  • 22 - 23: San Francisco, California
  • 26 - 28: Holy Synod Meeting, California
  • 29: Feastday of St John the Wonderworker: San Francisco, California

July 2019

  • 5: Arrival (permanent relocation) in London
  • 6-7: All Saints of Britain: Diocesan Cathedral, London
  • 11-12: Sts Peter and Paul: Luxembourg Parish
  • 13-14: Diocesan Cathedral, London (Annual Parish Meeting)
  • 16-17: Holy Royal Martyrs: Diocesan Cathedral, London (Lower Altar Feast)
  • 20-21: St Elisabeth Parish, Wallasey
  • 26-28: Geneva Cathedral

August 2019

  • 31 Jul - 1 Aug: St Seraphim of Sarov: Sanremo Parish, Italy
  • 2-4: St Mary Magdalene: Menton Parish, France
  • 10-11: Diocesan Cathedral, London
  • 17-18: TBD
  • 18-19: Transfiguration of Christ: TBD
  • 24-25: TBD
  • 27-28: Dormition of the Theotokos: Diocesan Cathedral, London

Communications from the Ruling Hierarch

'Camels in Needles and Rich People in Heaven'

‘Camels in Needles and Rich People in Heaven’

A reflection by Bishop Irenei on the nature of almsgiving in the preparation for the Feast of the Nativity ...
Read More
'Beauty Will Save the World'

‘Beauty Will Save the World’

A reflection on Dostayevsky's famous phrase, and a consideration of the place of beauty in Orthodox life ...
Read More

The Diocese’s Vicar Bishop

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.

Bishop Alexander was consecrated to the episcopacy on 7th / 20th January 2019 at the Cathedral of the Elevation of the Cross in Geneva. His cathedra is the Parish of St Barbara the Great Martryr in Vevey, Switzerland.

His Grace Bishop Alexander can be contacted here:

Email: episkop.aleksandr@orthodoxie.ch
Tel.:+41 (0)78 244 72 72

diocesan history

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 United Kingdom and Ireland. We will soon be expanding this listing to include all Hierarchs of Western Europe as well.

Metropolitan Evlogy (Georgievsky) of Paris & Western Europe

Metropolitan Evlogy (Georgievsky) of Paris & Western Europe

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

Metropolitan Seraphim (Lukianov) of Paris & Western Europe

Metropolitan Seraphim (Lukianov) of Paris & Western Europe

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

Bishop Nicholas (Karpoff) of London

Bishop Nicholas (Karpoff) of London

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

Archbishop Nathaniel (Lvov) of Vienna and Austria

Archbishop Nathaniel (Lvov) of Vienna and Austria

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

Archbishop Nikodem (Nagaieff) of Richmond and Great Britain

Archbishop Nikodem (Nagaieff) of Richmond and Great Britain

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

Saint John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco

Saint John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco

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

Archbishop Anthony (Bartochevitch) of Geneva and Western Europe

Archbishop Anthony (Bartochevitch) of Geneva and Western Europe

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

Bishop Constantine (Jesensky) of Richmond and Great Britain

Bishop Constantine (Jesensky) of Richmond and Great Britain

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

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

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

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

(b. 6/01/1948)

Bishop Irenei (Steenberg) of Richmond and Western Europe

Bishop Irenei (Steenberg) of Richmond and Western Europe

(b. 7/12/1978)