Topical News

No photo description available.On Sunday 2nd of October after the Readers’ Service we are planning to visit Bangor in honour especially of St Comgall, St Gall (Gawll / Gallus), and St Columbanus of Bangor, who together with others who we are going to hear about, went on missions to mainland Europe.
Michael will meet those interested in attending at 1.30pm at the Reception area of the North Down Museum, BT20 4BT.
Lifts will be available from the church for those who need them.
All very welcome…




(Sancta Dei Genetrix ex Utero Luminis et Gratiae Plenitudinem )

One of the great spiritual treasures which the parish of Saint John of Shanghai, Belfast, has access to, is the Icon of The Most Holy Theotokos of the Illumined Womb and the Fullness of Grace. The history of the Icon is unknown, but certain deductions can be made from the medium of execution, iconographic style and physical appearance.

As it now exists, the image measures 17 by 12 centimetres, and is executed in tempera on a thin panel, possibly oak, of irregular outline, perhaps due to the subsequent removal of a marginal border, which may have depicted images of the Saints invoked at a particular baptism, or of the principal ancestors of Our Lord.  This form of Marian Icon is ultimately derived from the famous image of the “Virgin of Vladimir”, the greatest and most sublime artistic achievement of the Palaeologian Byzantine Renaissance, and one of the most venerated sacred palladia of Holy Orthodox Russia. The “Vladimirskya” has had a profound historical and theological influence over many centuries. Pagan, Islamic and Latin invaders were destroyed in its presence, besieged cities relieved, and countless heterodox Christians converted to Orthodoxy upon contemplating this most intimate and sweetest of all Marian icons

A close examination of the panel of the icon of “The Most Holy Theotokos of the Illumined Womb and the Fullness of Grace” reveals five contemporary rusted panel pins. These have been deliberately left in place as they call to mind the Five Wounds of Christ, the Holy Nails driven through His hands and feet, and the Holy Lance which pierced his side. Originally, the pins would have fixed an ornate silver Riza (a silver repousee protective mount which covered most of the panel, leaving only the face and limbs of the painting visible). Such a Riza helps to date the Icon, for they were at their most popular during the nineteenth century. They are always indicative of the owner’s social rank, and their very personal devotion to the image. Often set with precious stones, gilded and finally enamelled, they would have been treasured God-blessed family heirlooms passing from generation to generation; closely guarded, both protected by and protecting the family.

From an aesthetic point of view, this Icon shows little or none of that unfortunate Latin influence, which profoundly corrupted iconography from the reign of Peter the Great until the Russian Revolution of 1917-1918. It was during this period, that Western  religious Art with its garish colourful palette and obsession with anatomical realism and perspective – the very embodiment of Western scholasticism – began its insidious assault on the Orthodox Church, leading to a growth in Uniatism, and an indifference to the Apostolic tradition of iconography. In reaction to this unwelcome cultural intrusion, the so called “Old believer”, or Slavonic school, enjoyed a revival directly confronting Western forms of painting and Latin theology, gathering renewed strength in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars. Given all these facts it is probable, that the Icon of “The Most Holy Theotokos of the Illumined Womb and the Fullness of Grace” was painted in the nineteenth century, probably after 1820, for the Icon wall of a noble or gentry family.

And then came the Revolution, the Terror, and the unremitting persecution of the Holy Orthodox Church and her members! It was probably during this period that the valuable Riza was forcefully ripped from the Icon (had it been done respectfully the panel pins would not be extant!) and the Holy Theotokos, like her Son at Calvary, was stripped of her glorious raiment. Evidently the house, or church, which had housed the icon was not put to the torch, as the panel shows no signs of scorching. It must have been quickly retrieved by an Orthodox believer, and hidden, carefully and reverently in a box, or wrapped in cloth, as the surviving panel shows no indication of having been exposed to the extremes of the Russian climate, which – other than through miraculous intervention – would have destroyed it within months! And so, we may assume, that the Icon survived due to the protection of the catacomb Church and those believers which rejected Communism and its heretical and schismatic offspring – the Sergianist Patriarchate of Moscow.

Having survived the First and Second World Wars, the Russian Revolution, and the endless, brutal militant persecution of the Faith and the faithful by the anti-Christs, Lenin and Stalin “Endarkeners of All Russia and Equals of the Apostates”, the Icon finally came – literally for the price of a coffee and a sandwich (!) – into the possession of an Irish Orthodox believer, a member of the ROCOR, and an antiquarian.

Although the collector has a large and important collection of ancient Icons, and is both an artist and conservator, he was so moved by the Holy image that, after much prayer and reflection, he decided not to restore it in any way, but rather to leave it to bear witness to the dreadful, bloody and satanically driven persecution of the Holy Church in Russia during the past century! Having on several occasions dreamt of the icon, and believing it to be the will of, and under the guidance of the All Holy Theotokos, he began to craft a jewelled frame, rather than a Riza, and to convert the icon into a magnificent reliquary to the glory of the Most Pure God Bearer, and to the memory of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of the Russian Church.

The remarkable frame which now holds the Icon is set with literally hundreds of precious and semi-precious stones, and yet it is the Icon itself which shines forth with the inner light of sanctification!

The viewer’s attention is immediately and directly drawn to the image in which the Theotokos is depicted holding a large lapis lazuli, the Royal stone, set with a cabochon citrine, symbolising the Incarnate Light. And from this fact she has gained a new title from those who venerate Her, “The All Holy Theotokos of the Illumined Womb and the Fullness of Grace”!

She weeps for Russia and the whole world. An aquamarine tear falls on her face, whilst her Divine Son’s hands and feet are “pierced” with blood red garnets. Here, in this Icon, we begin to approach the wonderful, awe inspiring, incomprehensible mystery by which the Logos, “Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one essence with the Father by whom all things were made, who for us men and our salvation, came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, [and] was made man”! This most exquisite of Icons is the Gospel made manifest! We see the God-Child, pierced by the nails of His crucifixion, “who shall come again in Glory to judge the living and the dead whose Kingdom shall have no end”, who freely offered up His earthly life so that we may witness and partake in “the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” We remember that He was Incarnate not only that we might have life, “but that we may have it more abundantly”!

The frame of the Icon is set with innumerable precious and semi-precious stones, with Sapphires, Emeralds, Rubies (Proverbs 31:10 alluding to the All Holy and Most Pure Theotokos), Pearls (Matt13, 45-46, alluding to the kingdom of Heaven), Amethysts, Garnets, Adventurine, Turquoise, Topazes, Citrines, Lapis Lazuli, Moonstones, Tiger’s Eyes and Chalcedony (chosen to reference the council of Chalcedon, A.D. 451, which upheld that Our Lord was both Divine and human in one hypostasis, thereby confirming the teaching of the Council of Ephesus, A.D. 431, that the virgin Mary was truly entitled to the Glorious title of Theotokos).

The stones have been also been carefully chosen with reference to the Old and New Testaments, and many directly reference the jewelled breast plate of the obsolete Jewish High Priesthood (Ex 28, 17-20, alluding to the twelve tribes of Israel and, by extension, to the Apostles and their successors, the Orthodox Episcopate, who are the breastplate and defence of the True Church), which gave place to the eternal High Priest, Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

A  majority of the stones are also mentioned  in the book of the Apocalypse (chapters 4, 20, 21),  in describing the foundations, walls and dwelling places of the New Jerusalem, where the faithful shall dwell for all eternity in God. Others allude to the Book of Psalms, or to the Divine Liturgy. For example the Tigers eyes directly reference the Hymn of the Theotokos and the Seraphim, “six winged many eyed”, thereby reminding us that She “is more glorious beyond compare” than even the highest of the angelic powers in Heaven! There, She makes eternal and efficacious intercession on our behalf before Her Divine Son.

The very frame, which references the thirteenth century wooden doors of the sacristy of the Olympiotiisa Monastery in Elassona, Greece, is a reliquary which contains two of the most precious of all Christian relics. At the top, a fragment of the True and Life Giving Cross is set behind a Cabochon Rock Crystal, adorned by Garnets, on a 350 karat Emerald,  whilst, at the bottom, a single hair of the All Holy Theotokos rests surrounded by Citrines on a 500 karat Sapphire. These relics came into the guardianship of the present owner from a private collection of the estate of Bishop Franz Xaver Eberle (born 4/7/1874, died 19/11/1951), auxiliary bishop of Augsburg, Germany, and titular bishop of Zaliche in the Helopontus, present-day Turkey. (In 787, Bishop John of Zaliche attended the 2nd Council of Nicea.) They were translated to this Icon with the original authenticating Episcopal Seal.

The Icon is in a private collection, to which the parish of St John of Shanghai, Belfast, has exclusive access.  May She whom neither Revolutions, two World Wars nor the “lying Church schismatics” could destroy, and who has risen again more gloriously than before, continue to intercede for us and all sinners, and take into Her  loving arms the souls of all those millions of Holy Innocents murdered each year by abortions.

The feast day of the holy icon is the Feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Mother of God. i.e. 25th March/ 7th April.


Chapter 21 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

He that over cometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whore mongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.”

The All Holy and Most Pure Theotokos was the earthly New Jerusalem and the Temple in whom Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ was Incarnate and dwelt.

Feast of Saint Xenia of Rome, February 6th, 2021

A blessed visit


The parish of St John of Shanghai Belfast was delighted to be able to welcome our parish priest, Fr Paul Eliott back for an extended visit after five months of no priestly visits. It was a longed-for action packed number of days including such things as the blessing of a polytunnel site… 




hearing confessions, visiting parishioners, going for a meal, celebrating Thurdsday evening and Friday evening Vespers and having a chat with candidates for the Catechumenate, and celebrating two Divine Liturgies… one on Friday 31st July with a special occasion built into the liturgical proceedings:

C B 9

Congratulations to Constantine on his Baptism in the Glenoe river. Glory to God!

After the Liturgy we headed out to St Olcan’s church in Cranfield near Randalstown where Fr Paul served two molebens, entreating St Olcan and all the saints of Ireland to intercede for us. He streamed the first of these services to his parish and everyone enjoyed the experience.

St O.

And on Saturday 1 August the Divine Liturgy contained a special service for receiving two new Catechumens in our parish, glory to God.

Please keep Angela and Darren in your holy prayers.

We are truly grateful for Fr Paul’s untiring service and support for our parish, Glory to God!

We are presently formulating the programme for the week, which will include a Divine Liturgy at the end of the week and daily morning and evening prayers as well as trips to visit local holy sites, and will be heavily subsidised to facilitate those of meager income.

Please contact Johanna ( if you are interested in coming to join us in this venture and also if you have some skills to offer which may benefit the holiday.

A Northern contingent from our parish made their way to Stradbally Co Laois on the occasion of Vladyka Irenei’s first visit to our sister parish there…


See also the write-up and photos of the event in the Diocesan Website by clicking here.


Infant Baptism

On 8 February 2020 toward the end of the Divine Liturgy the youngest member of our parish was baptized… Glory to God and every blessing to the newly baptized and her family!

Update re 306 Antrim Rd Belfast

June 26th: We were informed yesterday afternoon that the owners of the building have now decided they want to ask for the market value of the building rather than to simply transfer to one of the applicants. This means that unless some very generous donor/s come forward and offer/s to cover the £140 000, we will be out of the competition. We have to let them know our position by 9 July. Thank you for your prayers!

Monday 17th June: We are informed that the decision making person is on sick leave. Let us pray for their speedy and full recovery!

The office hours of  10th of June, 11th June, 12th June, 13th June and 14th June have come and gone without any disclosures being made about the future of the building below. It may be Monday 17th now, before a decision is communicated to us, but we will keep you updated as and when we are told the outcome of our application.

We would like to thank you all for praying for the Community Asset Transfer of the building on the Antrim Rd to go God’s Way – so far neither the DTNI nor ourselves have been told an outocme by the Probation Board (the owners of the building) regarding 306 Antrim Road, Belfast, which we applied for (among others). So it seems we need to double up on our prayers again and continue to pray for God’s will to come to fruition here!! 🙂 We will post an update as soon as we have news either way.


10 June 2019

Please keep us in your holy prayers as the authorities consider our application (among many others) for a Community Asset Transfer of the building pictured below. May the Lord’s will be done!

The decision as to who is chosen as the new owner is going to be made on or by 10th of June (although there are probably still conditions attached even at this new stage) so, a little time yet remains for doubling up on the prayers. … Thank you all! Your prayerful support is much appreciated! May St John pray for us all, and may the will of God be done for His own glory.

306 Antrim Rd

Patronal Parish Feastday Celebrations


You are cordially invited to our Patronal Parish Feast of St John of Shanghai on Saturday, 29th of June in the presence of his and many other visiting relics.

This will include Services followed by a Garden Party for all.

Details: There will be two priests concelebrating:
Fr Sergey Mironenko, the priest of our sister parish in Stradbally, Co Laois, and our own parish priest, Archpriest Fr Paul Elliott.

Confession will start at 9:45, Hours will start at 10:00
Divine Liturgy will start at around 10:30.

You are indeed invited and will be very welcome!


I am hereby giving four weeks notice of the AGM to be held on Saturday 29 June in the afternoon after the garden party of the patronal parish Feast Day of St John. All invited to attend.

Diocesan Pilgrimage to St Alban’s

A wonderful time was had at the Annual Diocesan Pilgrimage where our beloved Vladika Irenei celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and, after a little lunch, brought us back to a Moleben at the relics of St Alban

To the Clergy and Faithful of Great Britain, Ireland
and Western Europe

Beloved Fathers, Brothers and Sisters!

With joy I write to share the news that the Holy Synod, following on from its decision of 7th / 20th September to appoint a new Ruling Bishop for Great Britain, Ireland and Western Europe, has elected also a Vicar Bishop to serve within this territory and aid me in the spiritual and practical care for the flock of these diverse lands. Confirmed by our Holy Synod and with the blessing of His Holiness the Patriarch, the Very Reverend Archpriest Adrian (Echevarria), long-time cleric of the Diocese of Western Europe and the historic parish in Vevey, will be consecrated as Auxiliary Bishop with the title ‘Bishop of Vevey.’

Father Adrian, ordained to the Holy Priesthood over twenty years ago by His Grace Bishop Ambrose of blessed memory, has served the Diocese diligently, quietly and prayerfully those many years; and he has been a support, spiritually and practically, to the clergy and faithful near to him. It is the sincere prayer of the Holy Synod that, in calling Father Adrian to the high office of Archpastor, these same gifts may come to be offered for the benefit of all our faithful in Europe.

I ask all the clergy and faithful to pray for our Bishop-Elect, Father Adrian, that God will give him strength and endurance to bear this precious Cross. Details regarding his tonsure into monastic orders, and the date and place of his consecration to the Episcopacy, will be forthcoming.

May God protect and bless His servant, and all His flock,



Practical guidance on relations with the Church of Constantinople

A word from the Bishop
Beloved children of the Dioceses of of Great Britain, Ireland and Western Europe!

The recent Statement of the Holy Synod on the severance of communion with the Church of Constantinople expresses the voice of the Hierarchy of our Church in a time of spiritual temptation, when insurpportable actions on the part of one of the ancient Patriarchates is creating discord and spiritual peril in the heartland of ancient Holy Rus’. It is the gravest of sorrows that so much of that action is being motivated by transparently political agendas, creating terrible suffering and spiritual trial at the prompting of what are debased, utterly worldly aims. In the midst of this, however, we are witnessing violations of the Holy Canons and abrogations of Church Tradition and order that go fundamentally against the Gospel and the nature of the harmonious life of the Orthodox Church; and for this reason our Holy Synod, together with the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow, has felt is impossible to continue in a state of intercommunion with the Church of Constantinople so long as that body persists in these grave and inappropriate actions. This is because the Church is profoundly aware that, while political and worldly motivations may be behind many of the actions recently undertaken, there are nevertheless spiritual dimensions to every act of rebellion against the teachings of the Church, and to remain in intercommunion with rebellion puts our own souls, and those of our faithful and our beloved, in spiritual peril. It is a time to stand steadfastly for the truth.

The most important ‘practical counsel’ I wish to give is the necessity to pray, with peace and without bitterness, that the Lord will restore peace to the hearts of those currently enflamed by the present situation; and not to fear or become disheartened in the face of present trials. Yes, this is a sad situation, and it will pose for a time painful hindrances to our mutual life with our brethren; but ours is a God Who brings joy out of sorrow, and Who uses our faithfulness in times of difficulty to temper and strengthen our faith and the love we are able to manifest to the world. So do not grow weary, or afraid, or bitter, or downcast! God is with us, as with all His children, and shall be our truly-present help.

The impossibility of intercommunion exists at all levels, clerical and lay, and includes our refraining from participation in pan-Orthodox commissions or activities that are chaired or co-chaired by the Hierarchy of the Church of Constantinople.

The Holy Synod realises that this situation is the most painful precisely for us who live in the Diaspora, where our lives are deeply interconnected with the lives of our beloved brothers and sisters of the other Patriarchates, and where the present impossibility of intercommunion makes such practical measures immediate and deeply sorrowful. I urge all to proceed with a spirit of patience and love; and if and when you have specific questions of a practical nature, relating to this situation, that you feel very welcome to contact me directly for counsel.

May the Lord Himself guide us all, and keep us close to Himself, and lead us through a sorrowful moment into the restoration of unity in peace.



St John of Shanghai Belfast Street Collection

St John of Shanghai Belfast's photo.
All welcome to help!
2 dates · 13 Oct & 20 Oct both dates from 11:00 to 17:00 hours
If you can help, please bring your passport or other photo id and meet us in the pedestrian zone outside Castlecourt shopping centre to be given your official collector’s badge 🙂 Thank you!!



The proceeds will be for the “building fund” of the charity, used to build/obtain/improve/maintain a suitable church/hall/centre for the Orthodox Faith as expressed through ROCOR in Northern Ireland.


The cross-jurisdictional young adult Orthodox group in Belfast

had an enjoyable outing to Downpatrick, praying an Akathist to St Patrick at his graveside on Sat 22nd September 2018.


Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, outdoor and close-up

Vladyka Irenei is appointed Ruling Bishop and Hierarch.

At their Sobor on Thursday 20th September 2018, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia appointed Bishop Irenei as Ruling Hierarch of our Diocese. He is now officially Bishop of Richmond and Western Europe. Glory to God for such wonderful news!



Dates for your Diary – Autumn 2018!!


Please contact Johanna / 078 5458 3638 for further details!

Welcome to Lydia (Lily)

Glory to God Who provided a lovely day for Lydia’s (Lily’s) reception into the Orthodox faith. God grant you many years! Grateful thanks also to our dear Fr Paul for his untiring and loving service to our little parish.


Diocesan Pilgrimage 2018

Maximos, Matthew, Nikos, Lucy and Johanna represented the Belfast parish of St John of Shanghai at the Diocesan Pilgrimage in Binsey near Oxford in England on Saturday 14th July ’18. It was a most blessed occasion with our humble, loving and peaceful immeasurable-gift-of-a-Bishop Irenei – who re-confirmed his intention of visiting Belfast ( 🙂 !!!) – celebrating the Divine Liturgy together with numerous clergy and altar servers inside a full church followed by a Moleben to Sts Frideswide & Margaret at the well outside the church on a scorching hot summer’s day. Some sat in the shade of the church grounds for a picnic afterwards, while others went to “The Perch” Restaurant/Pub after, where Diocesan matters were on the agenda in the shade under some trees… Treasuring the memories and thanking God for the opportunity of being united in one holy location with representatives of the whole Diocese… a gift to all to be sure. Taking photos was Lucy’s afterthought – once (nearly – spot the feet in the altar area?) everyone had left – thank you Lucy!


Some photos of the wonderful Feastday…

30 June – Feastday of St John!!! = Parish Feastday!!

8:30 Panikhida (service for the departed) 10:00 Hours /Confession, Divine Liturgy served by Fr Paul followed by gardenparty! All most welcome.


13 JUNE: Nikos and Johanna travelled to Oxford to venerate the relics of St Seraphim of Sarov. (some photos on facebook)


The second update (from 12/June) is that the other party has viewed as well and since then also made their interest official. Now there is an involved process of further assessments and recommendations and competition between us up ahead, and there is no telling which way it will go, except to say that from a worldly perspective the other interested party may look more attractive to the decision makers as they are older and better established and thereby have a longer track record. May the Lord’s will be done – if it is meant for us, may we get it, and if it is not meant for us, may we not get it. We are hopeful, that either way, the Lord will provide something for His own glory. Thank you for continuing to keep it /us in your holy prayers!

8 – June 2018: Update for your prayers:

We have met with a representative of DTNI today, and discussed further details regarding our own status as an organization in relation to asset transfer requirements. The outcome of this assessment will become important if the other interested party confirms their interest after viewing the property, which they have not yet done. May God bless you for your continued prayer support!


Prayer request

After visiting the below building – located five miles outside Omagh, Co Tyrone, in the centre of Ulster, we have been encouraged to proceed further with the next steps needed for finding out if this building could come our way and possibly become a small monastic settlement with great potential for groups and pilgrimages …  Fr Paul Elliott explains: “We sang the Lord’s Prayer in what could be the church. The acoustics are just beautiful. I am not a monk and obviously not a nun, but this is an amazing opportunity to possibly start a monastic parish right in the centre of Northern Ireland. It could be a pilgrim centre for those who wish to visit and venerate the Irish saints. It is an hour and a half from Belfast … It has potential for youth camps and church groups. Let us wait on God’s will…all help and all prayers welcome for this brave little parish!”


Visit of two monks

Hiermonk Fr Isihiy from the ROCOR mission on the Mount of Olives together with his travel companion Fr monk Iliyah from Bulgaria were visiting and praying at St Patrick’s, St Brigid’s and St Columba’s grave in Downpatrick on 29 May 18 in glorious weather, before heading to Struel Wells. A blessed time was had by all.



We were mightily blessed by a wonderful Pentecostal Reader’s Service especially also by the singing of some trained Choir members of ROCOR visiting from the US – the Pentecostal unity was felt right across the nations with faithful from Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Germany, Ireland / UK, and the US all celebrating together.

Pentecost 2018

Thank you to Nikos!

A big thank you to Nikos for donating beautiful icons, edifying books and many other useful objects from charcoal and incense and stationary to garden furniture to the parish of St John. This is very much appreciated! May St John of Shanghai pray for him!!

Diocesan Pilgrimage !

Planned for Saturday 14 July 2018 – for details please view below link, thank you!

There are now two places available in Johanna’s car (travelling with Johanna and Lucy) and in the four berth cabins in the ferry to and from Liverpool. Departure from St John’s church at 20:30 on Friday 13 July to catch the night ferry – cabin booked – and then drive to location on Sat 14 morning. Return on the same day back to Liverpool by about 20:30 please God, to catch the night ferry back to Belfast in good time for the readers Service on Sunday 15th morning. If you would like to go, please contact Johanna by email: Many thanks!



Christ is Risen!

13/04/2018: Glory to God, His Grace Bishop Irenei has expressed his intention to visit Belfast. It is not yet known when this visit might take place, but you will find it announced here as soon as we have more details.

He has also blessed us to endeavour to find more suitable (bigger) premises for our parish for the future. Please do keep this in your holy prayers.

TUESDAYS – NEW: in response to the above news,  there will be an Akathist to St John the Forerunner every TUESDAY evening at 19:30 until further notice. All welcome

The Paschal Epistle of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion
of Eastern America and New York, and of Great Britain and Ireland,
First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad
To Archpastors, Pastors, Monastics and God-loved Flock

(Scroll down for Russian version of this epistle.)


I express my heartfelt greetings to you my brother archpastors, dear in the Lord fathers, brothers and sisters, on this holy, brightest and all-joyous day of the Resurrection of Christ, and in the name of the Three-day Risen God, the Lover of Mankind, extend to you the embrace of Paschal rejoicing and fraternal love! Bowing down to Christ, the Giver of Life, together with the entire Church, I fervently pray for His mercy, that He grant us the unearthly, desired peace that He gave His disciples, and blesses our prayerful and fraternal communion in His name.

Christ is Risen! These were the first words with which the Most-Blessed Mother of God, the Apostles, the Women Myrrh-Bearers and other followers of Christ greeted each other, when, after the heavy torments, crucifixion, death and the burial of the Savior, they first learned of His Resurrection. Some brought forth this joy, saying “Christ is Risen,” and others responded: “The Lord is risen indeed” (Luke 24:34). And now, as then before the Early Church, the Resurrected Christ Himself stands before us. We, “having beheld the resurrection of Christ,” gaze upon His glory with our mind’s eye, hearing, as did the Myrrh-bearers, His sweet words, “Rejoice.”

How much hope is offered to us by this call of the Savior, how much light it showers upon our souls, wiping away our tears of sorrow, temptation and tribulation! It is the Paschal joy with which martyrs bolstered themselves as they toiled in prisons and labor camps, the Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church whose lives we continue to prayerfully commemorate and praise in this hundredth anniversary of the tragic events of the murder of Hieromartyr Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kiev and Archbishop Andronik of Perm, the Royal Passion-Bearers and Holy Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Nun Barbara. Carefully examining and lovingly kissing their lives, works, sufferings and deaths, even while rejoicing in the depth of our souls for the Resurrected Christ, let us try to emulate our beloved martyrs in their staunch faith, spiritually enriching ourselves through the veneration of their memory, patiently and humbly bearing our own life’s cross. As Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky wrote, “where there is the cross, there is also resurrection.” He was even during his lifetime revered as a defender of Orthodox Christianity by the brethren of St Alexander Nevsky Lavra, where he is buried.

Lifting up prayers of gratitude to God for His abundant mercies, blessings and guidance, which we were fortunate enough to hear during Great Lent, and which we continue to receive from the All-Merciful Hand of the Almighty as He shines forth from His Tomb, we piously beseech our Holy New Martyrs and Confessors to help us preserve our temple. This temple, unmade by hands, is comprised of the souls of our flock in the Fatherland and the souls of the children of the wanderers who had lost everything, scattered throughout the world, and the other flock of our Mother Church, living in purity, chastity and sanctity, even as we live in Christ, in prayer and in the Mysteries of the Church, without which it is impossible for us to attain salvation.

And so, heeding the call of the Resurrected Savior, let us all rejoice, let no one remain in sorrow, for “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Amen.

With Paschal joy in the Resurrected Christ,

+ Hilarion
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, and of Great Britain and Ireland,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Pascha of Christ 2018.

архипастырям, пастырям, монашествующим и всей боголюбивой пастве


Сердечно приветствую вас, собратья-архипастыри, дорогие о Господе отцы, братья и сестры, с этим святым, пресветлым и всерадостным днем Христова Воскресения и, во имя тридневно Восставшего Человеколюбца-Бога, простираю ко всем вам целование Пасхального ликования и братской любви! Покланяясь вместе со всей Церковью Христу-Жизнодавцу, горячо молю Его благость, да дарует Он нам тот неземной и вожделенный мир, который Он оставил ученикам Своим, и благословит наше молитвенное и братское общение о имени Его.

Христос Воскресе! Это были первые слова, которыми радостно приветствовали друг друга Преблагословенная Богородица, апостолы, жены-мироносицы и другие последователи Христовы, когда, после тяжких страданий, распятия, смерти и погребения Спасителя, получили первую весть о Его Воскресении. Одни приносили эту радость, говоря «Христос Воскресе», а другие отвечали: «яко воистину воста Господь» (Лк. XXIV, 34), воистину Воскресе Христос! И ныне, как и тогда перед всей Первенствующей Церковью, стоит перед нами Сам Воскресший Христос. Мы, как «воскресение Христово видевшие», созерцаем славу Его своим мысленным взором, слышим, как и мироносицы, Его сладчайшие слова «радуйтесь» (Мф. XXVIII, 9).

Сколько надежд подает нам этот призыв Спасителя, сколько света он проливает в наши души, отирая слезы переживающих скорби, искушения и испытания! Именно Пасхальной радостью неослабно укреплялись страдальцы, томившиеся по тюрьмам и горьким работам узники, мученики и исповедники Церкви Русской, чью память мы продолжаем молитвенно отмечать и прославлять в нынешнем году столетия трагических событий убиения священномучеников Владимира, митрополита Киевского, и архиепископа Пермского Андроника, Царственных Страстотерпцев и преподобномучениц великой княгини Елизаветы и инокини Варвары. Внимательно изучая и с любовью лобызая их жизнь, труды, страдания и смерть и, в глубине души своей радуясь о Христе Воскресшем, будем стараться подражать нашим родным мученикам в их крепкой вере, духовно обогащаться почитанием их памяти, терпеливо и смиренно нести свой жизненный крест, ибо «где крест, там и воскресение», пишет Феодор Михайлович Достоевский, еще при жизни почитавшийся защитником Православия братией Александро-Невской Лавры, где и погребен.

Вознося ныне благодарную молитву к Богу за щедрые милости, благословения и назидания, которых мы удостоились за время Великого поста и продолжаем получать от Всещедрой Десницы Вышнего, воссиявшего ныне из гроба, мы благоговейно просим наших святых новомучеников и исповедников, чтобы они помогли сохранить нерукотворный храм душ отечественной паствы, душ потомков потерявших все дорогое скитальцев, рассеянных по всему свету, и всех чад нашей дорогой Матери-Церкви в чистоте, благочестии и святости, в пребывании со Христом, в молитвах и церковных таинствах, без чего невозможно нам получить спасения.

Итак, помня призыв Воскресшего Спасителя, все радуйтесь, никто не оставайся печален, ибо «сей день, его-же сотвори Господь, возрадуемся и возвеселимся в онь». Аминь.

С Пасхальной радостью о Христе Воскресшем,

Митрополит Восточно-Американский и Нью-Йоркский, и  Великобританий и Ирландий

Первоиерарх Русской Зарубежной Церкви.

Пасха Христова 2018 г.

The Paschal Epistle of His Grace Bishop Irenei of Sacramento, Administrator of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland, 2018
To the Venerable Clergy, God-Loving Monastics and Venerable Faithful of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland

(Please scroll down the page for the Russian version of this epistle.)

Dear in Christ, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters!

Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen!

With heartfelt joy I greet you with the radiant Feast of the Lord’s Resurrection. As the sons and daughters of the Risen God, we stand today before our Lord in the fulness of His glory. We behold life, more powerful than death; love, more powerful than enmity; peace, more powerful than hatred; and joy, more powerful than the sorrows of the world.

Today we say ‘Christ is risen,’ and we experience the world change. In this simple proclamation, all of history becomes something new. It had seemed the case that death was the final word — for us, and for all mankind — but we say ‘Christ is risen’, and we see death trampled down. We say ‘Christ is risen’, and it is no longer possible to believe in the triumph of evil, however difficult the circumstances of this world may become. The whole Orthodox world, taken up in the joy of this redemption, cries out ‘Christ is risen!’, and the world echoes back the truth that has changed it, and must change us, forever: ‘Truly, He is risen!’

My beloved Fathers, brothers and sisters: your prayers and your love for one another bring me additional joy on this day of the Feast of Feasts. We must never forget, as St Mary of Egypt once said, that the Son of God ‘became man for a purpose’, and this purpose is the binding up of our wounds, the tending of our broken hearts, the eradication of our sins, and the lifting of us up into the life of unity in love with Himself and with one another. His glorious Resurrection, which now we celebrate with all our hearts, is fulfilled in us when we allow our own hearts, weighed down by the cares and trials of this world, to be raised up by Him. This resurrection, which can and must take place in our hearts in this life, is our foretaste of the resurrection that one day, by God’s mercy, will take place in our flesh, and we shall be called forth from the grave to stand face-to-face with the living God.

Until that moment, as we live by faith and strive after all the good things of God’s Kingdom, may today’s glorious proclamation be our constant source of strength and joy. We are the children of God Who has crushed death, defeated the devil, and brought joy into all the earth. May your hearts be filled with it also, and may your love abound in His holy Resurrection.

+ Irenei,
Administrator of the Diocese of Great Britain & Ireland,
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Pascha of Christ 2018.

Досточтимому священству, боголюбивому монашеству и почтенным верующим Епархии Великобритании и Ирландии

Дорогие во Христе отцы, братья и сестры!Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе!

С сердечной радостью я поздравляю вас со светлым праздником Воскресения Господа. Как сыновья и дочери Воскресшего Бога мы предстаем сегодня перед нашим Господом, находящимся во всей полноте Его славы. Мы видим жизнь, более могущественную, чем смерть; любовь, более могущественную, чем вражда; мир, более могущественный, чем ненависть; радость, более могущественную, чем печали этого мира.

Сегодня мы говорим «Христос Воскресе!», и видим, как изменяется мир. В этом простом восклицании обновляется вся история. Нам казалось, что за смертью останется последнее слово — для нас и всего человечества, — но мы говорим: «Христос Воскресе!», и видим, что попрана смерть. Мы говорим «Христос Воскресе!», — и уже невозможно верить в торжество зла, в какие бы трудные обстоятельства ни поставил нас мир. Весь православный мир, охваченный радостью этого искупления, восклицает «Христос Воскресе!», и мир, как эхом, отзывается истиной, изменившей его, и должной навсегда изменить нас: «Воистину Воскресе!»

Мои возлюбленные отцы, братья и сестры: ваши молитвы и ваша любовь друг ко другу приносит мне дополнительную радость в этот день Праздника всех Праздников. Мы не должны никогда забывать, как сказала однажды преп. Мария Египетская, что Сын Божий «стал человеком для цели», и целью этой является перевязывание наших ран, утешение наших сердец, истребление наших грехов и возвышение нас в жизнь единения в любви с Ним и друг с другом. Его славное Воскресение, которое мы отмечаем сегодня всем сердцем, исполнится и в нас, когда мы позволим, чтобы Он возвысил наши сердца, отягощенные заботами и испытаниями этого мира. Это воскресение, которое может и должно произойти в наших сердцах в этой жизни, является предвкушением того воскресения, которое однажды, по милости Божией, произойдет с нашей плотью, и нас призовут восстать из могил, чтобы лицом к лицу встретить Бога Живого.

До этого момента, по мере того, как мы живем в вере и стремимся ко всему доброму, что есть в Царстве Божием, сегодняшнее славное воззвание пусть будет для нас постоянным источником силы и радости. Мы дети Бога, который сокрушил смерть, который победил диавола и принес радость на всю землю. Пусть же и ваши сердца наполняются ею, и пусть в Его Святом Воскресении изобилует ваша любовь.

Администратор Великобританской и Ирландской Епархии,
Русской Зарубежной Церкви.

Пасха Христова 2018 г.


A lovely Easter Greeting and Blessing to the Flock in Belfast from our dear Bishop Irenei

He is Risen Indeed!!

St John of Shanghai Belfast's photo.

St John of Shanghai Feastday:

Liturgy & Parish Garden Party

Details: 30 June 2018 at 10:00–15:30
Hours/Confession/Divine Liturgy followed by
Garden Party in honour of St John of Shanghai
All most heartily welcome!
Child friendly


Charitable status!

We have today (17/01/2018) received the news that our application to the Charity Commission of Northern Ireland to be given Charitable status has been granted, Glory to God and thanks to all who donated their time and expertise to  reach this milestone! Our charity registration details are:

The Orthodox Church of St John of Shanghai

Northern Ireland Charity number: NIC106905

Parish Meeting

There will be a parish meeting on Saturday 13 January following the Divine Liturgy. All welcome. Please consider preparing for this by attending both the celebration of Vespers on Friday 12 @19:30 and Confession and Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning 13th.



Message from Bishop Irenei


The Iconostasis is finished – Glory to God



New Location


4 November 2017: With the blessing of Bishop Irenei, St John of Shanghai parish has now moved to its very own wooden church in the back garden of 4 Ashfield Drive, beside the chapel of St John the Baptist.


Fr Paul Elliott blessed the new church in the morning

…and celebrated the Divine Liturgy there,

after hearing confessions in the neighbouring chapel of St John the Forerunner and Baptist in the same garden and before having teas and coffees and a little soup and then heading to Lisburn for a houseblessing.

A new iconostasis is to be made by the beginning of December in time for the next Divine Liturgy.


On September 30 after the Divine Liturgy, we were blessed to be able to host the Baptism of our youngest parishioner in the presence of a relic of St John of Shanghai, which Fr Paul Elliott had brought with him.

Divine Liturgy

Fr Paul Elliott is flying over to Belfast and arriving in the afternoon on Friday to have time to meet with some parishioners on Friday before celebrating Divine Liturgy on SATURDAY 5 August. Confession and Hours at 10:00 am followed by Divine Liturgy at around 10:30am. Refreshments afterwards> All very welcome.


St John’s Feast Day!


This Saturday 1 July 2017:

Hours and Confession from 10:15 followed by

Divine Liturgy from about 10:45 followed by

Service for the Departed followed by

Food provided by the McCarthy family

Celebrant: Fr David Lonergan

Everyone Welcome!!



We are grateful and happy to be able to let you know that Metropolitan Hilarion has given his blessing for Fr Paul Elliott to serve Divine Liturgy for us and also for Fr David Lonergan to help out as and when he can. We are also very grateful that Fr Paul and Fr David have kindly offered their support for our parish.

Fr David vested

We would now like to invite you to our next Divine Liturgy on Saturday 1 July 2017. This is the feast day of our patron saint St John of Shanghai and Metropolitan Hilarion has blessed Fr David Lonergan to be the celebrant. There will also be a service for the departed after the Liturgy, followed by tea and coffee with light refreshments. All so very welcome!


Fr John Diulaj is preparing to leave Belfast on Sunday morning 28 May 17. He is initially moving back to Lithuania. We wish him well for the future and a safe journey. He also expressed his best wishes for all of us remaining here.


We were very blessed today by a beautiful performance of the Choir of St Elisabeth Convent, Minsk, to a sizeable and captive audience of people of all ages. Many thanks to the choir and the organisers of their trip and to God for their coming to us to sing both Liturgical and other songs, including some poems set to music of our Archpriest friend and poet Fr Andrei Logvinov. Hope to upload some videos at a later date. If you are on facebook, there are some there from the direct streaming we attempted for the first time. You may be able to see them here.

SATURDAY 13th MAY 2017 at 12 noon:

The Belarussian nuns are coming to our parish to sing both liturgical and folk music pieces for us from 12 noon onwards. They will bring with them some of the goods they usually sell at the Christmas market from St Elisabeth Convent, Minsk. Also there will be light refreshments afterwards. Everyone welcome!! Here is a link for you to sample what the sound like: ……/xor-se…/video/poyut-sestry-v-belgii




A wonderful Divine Liturgy of the Sunday of Myrrh-bearing Women was had by all, thanks be to God and to our dear Fr John, followed by a nice time of
community together with teas and coffees afterwards.


Glory to God our dear Fr John seems to be getting better by and by and we are looking forward to our Sunday Divine Liturgy as planned this Sunday.
Let us all make a big effort to be there to support him and each other by our presence as well as continued prayers. Thank you!!


Please all pray for the speedy and full recovery of our dear Fr John. Remember especially the call to pray at 8pm wherever we might be at that time, when we would like to all be united in prayer both for Fr John and for our dear parish of St John of Shanghai. May St John also pray for us all!


See some of the photos taken at our Easter Celebrations here.



image-0-02-04-b776f677dcab09c8987ea5b815964b15d5fa49305223f93dd24ee7ebef79da2d-VThe Choir of The Orthodox St Elisabeth Convent in Minsk in Belarus is coming to St John of Shanghai parish in Belfast for a musical and spiritual feast.

Due to the need for our Parish priest to have to be in London on the same date, arrangements have been amended as follows:

At 12 noon there will be a Concert of Folk and Liturgical Music.
followed by a light lunch, and (until three o’clock) there will be an opportunity to buy CDs and other items from the Minsk Monastery.

Admission is free, but a donation toward the choir’s travel costs and monastery would be much appreciated. All very welcome.


For a sample of their singing click here.



Welcomed by a group of faithful, the rare relic of St Patrick was venerated with an Akathist in honour of St Patrick. (17/3/2017)



The Wonderworking icon was in St John’s church for a Moleben and Akathist Service on Wednesday 15 March and on Thursday 16th for private veneration before being returned to London by Fr John.

It was a wonderful experience with a good turn out, including a photographer from a local newspaper.

We are greatly encouraged in our faith and are very  thankful and humbled to have been hosting this ancient icon.




For the short Akathist Service (without priest, as Fr John will be attending the Diocesan Assembly in London) on Friday 17th March at 10:30 we will have a relic of St Patrick the Enlightener of Ireland for veneration on loan to our parish from the private collection of Dr Terence MacCarthy.

All welcome.




With the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion, Fr John is flying over to London Heathrow early in the morning, to meet with Fr Paul Elliott and receive charge of the icon. Fr John and the icon are then scheduled to fly from Heathrow to Belfast to arrive in Belfast at 16:30. To allow for delays and travel time from the airport, we will have a Moleben and Akathist service from 18.30.  The icon will also be there for veneration after the service until 21.00 hours.


The church will be open for private veneration of the icon from 9 am to 10:45 and will then travel directly from St John’s church to the airport with Fr John, who is scheduled to fly back to London Heathrow at 13.05 to meet with Fr Paul Elliott or another escort there.

For a website with extensive information on this icon click here. And for a touching short video of the icon’s reception in Kursk in Russia have a look at this video. Thank you!


We are delighted to announce that our Metropolitan Hilarion has given his blessing for the famous and holy wonderworking Kursk Root Icon to visit our parish in Belfast. Glory to God. With the help of God the icon will be in Belfast in time for an evening service on Wednesday  15 March 2017 and is scheduled to leave again just before lunchtime of Thursday 16th March 2017. Exact times of services will be published nearer the time, but make a note in your diaries and spread the wonderful news!

PS: This is the very same icon in front of which St John of Shanghai reposed in Seattle in 1966. Glory to God!


This coming Sunday, 26 February 2017, we will have an additional Service to the Divine Liturgy – the Rite of Forgiveness Vespers. Immediately after the Divine Liturgy this coming Sunday, which makes Saturday the last day for eating cheese and other dairy products up to Easter.


You are invited to join us for the feats of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple on Wednesday morning, 15th February 2017.  10:00 for Hours and Confession and 10:30 (ish) for Divine Liturgy. (Teas and Coffees afterwards if there are takers 🙂 ) All welcome!

CALL TO DAILY PRAYER (issued 12- Feb – 17)

We had a wonderful Divine Liturgy this morning, where Fr John suggested that all of us, in our various locations, could take ten or so minutes for prayer at or as near as possible to 8pm every day.

This would be prayers that we favour such as the “Our Father” the Trisagion prayers, Psalm 50 and/or 90 and/or other prayers of our choice.

The idea is, that the concerted effort to pray for each other and for the parish at the same time will strengthen our unity and love and will help to build the parish with the grace and mercy of God, who answers prayers. …

So, the call is out there to commit to about ten minutes per day at – or as near as possible to – 8pm to prayer for each other and for the parish. Let us be (-come) committed to this especially during the approaching Lent!

Thank you!!


Glory and praise to our God!

Yesterday  our new and wonderful parish priest, Fr John Diulaj celebrated his first Divine Liturgy with us, with Confessions beforehand and with the blessing of the waters afterwards.
We had tasty rice and vegetable curry kindly prepared by Conor MacCarthy as well as teas and coffee afterwards.

We are delighted and feel very blessed to have been given such a holy parish priest, who is deeply interested in the welfare of his parishioners and his parish. He is very open to having conversation with all and already mentioned the possibility of organising both instructive classes to help us to get more deeply acquainted with Russian and in particular with ROCOR saints and spirituality as well as planning pilgrimages for the future.

Furthermore we have heard yesterday, that there will be a visit of Bishop Irenaeus to GB in May this year, and that he is to bring a relic of St John of Shanghai with him for our parish, to be then delivered to us by Fr Paul Elliott when he comes to visit us.

All of this is very encouraging and humbling and wonderful news of confirming our parish. Alleluia. Glory to God.



We are delighted to welcome our new parish priest to the parish. He arrived safely after travelling for two days and nights. Glory to God. We are looking forward to regular Sunday Liturgies now. All welcome. See the Services section for more details.


Fr John apologizes sincerely for a small delay in his arrival to our parish. He will arrive on 22 January and the first Divine Liturgy with him will be celebrated on Sunday 29 January. From then on, we will have Divine Liturgies every Sunday. Glory to God.


Glory to God and thanks to St John and to your prayers, we are expecting our new Parish Priest Fr John Diulaj from Lithuania to arrive in the middle of January. He has the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion to be our new priest. We are expecting to see him for the joint Liturgy together with Fr Paul Elliott on Saturday 14 January (remember to bring some food/drink if you can) and are looking forward to a regular Liturgical life being re- installed in St John’s parish. Alleluia. Let us keep Fr John in our prayers, welcome him warmly and help to make his transition to Belfast as easy as possible.




The Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR):
There has been a Russian Church in London for about 300 years, After the Russian Revolution the Imperial Embassy Chapel was closed and a new home was sought for the parish. It became a diocese in 1929 when Archmandrite Nicholas Karpov was consecrated as Bishop of London and took up residence in the UK.In 1932 he reposed in the Lord whilst visiting the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (Karlovtsi Synod) in the then Kingdom of Serbia. The next bishop to reside in London and have oversight of the parishes in the United Kingdom was the ever-memorable Archbishop Nikodem (Nagaieff), who was bishop in London from 1954 until his death in 1976, at the age of 93. Initially, Bishop Nikodem was a suffragan bishop under the ompohor of Archbishop John (glorified in 1994 as Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco) who, from 1953 to 1962, was Archbishop of Brussels and Western Europe. The next bishop to reside in London was Bishop Constantine (Jessensky) of blessed memory who retired in 1986. In the same year, Archbishop Mark was appointed as ruling hierarch for London and Great Britain. The Cathedral parish moved to its present location in Chiswick, West London, in 1990, having previously been at Emperor’s Gate, London SW7. For a more detailed history see “Embassy, Emigrants, and Englishmen” by Fr Christopher Birchall, published by Holy Trinity Press, Jordanville in 2014. Archbishop Mark retired as Ruling Bishop of the British Diocese on the 8th December 2016 at the Synod meeting in New York. The First Hierarch of the Russian Church outside Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion, (photo) is now the current Ruling Bishop.


You are warmly invited to a parish meal together with Fr Paul Elliott on Friday 2 December  at the little church hall at 7:30 pm in the evening. Divine Liturgy then on Saturday 3rd December. The more the merrier. Especially if you are an enquirer into Orthodoxy this may be a good weekend to get acquainted with the parish.


The Russian Orthodox Community of St Finnian of Clonard in Belfast has issued an invitation for us  on the occasion of the visit of  their Archbishop (of Sourozh) 1/10, and the Liturgical service at St. George’s at 10am:  

“…I am writing to let you know that our Archbishop Elisey is visiting us on Saturday 1/10 and he will conduct a service that day at St. George’s and you can receive Holy Communion from him you wish. You are all  invited to join us. There will be some tea and sandwiches after the service. Please let your parishioners know and tell them they are very welcome to join us. …”

You can find the location of the church they worship in (St George’s) on their website by clicking on above link and looking for the “locate us” tab, or here.



Statement from Chancellor of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland dated 31/08/16

” His Eminence Archbishop Mark will shortly be retiring as ruling Hierarch of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland. Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church outside of Russia (ROCOR) will take over administration of the diocese until new arrangements can be confirmed. The exact timing of this change will be announced shortly.”


We have now moved into the middle floor chapel in the church halls building. (On the photo below you can see the big window overlooking the Antrim Rd. It is behind out altar area.) All welcome to all Services .

Hall 0

We celebrated the feast of Transfiguration today, 20/8/16 in our new church. Glory to God. Here a few photos…



This weekend we will have a Reader’s service at 10:30 on Sunday and tea and coffee in the hall afterwards. We will then move into the middle floor of the hall building and have our services there in future. The next Divine Liturgy is planned there for Saturday 20 August. Please spread the word and come to support our little mission with your prayers and physical presence. Each person is an encouragement for all. God bless you all and St John of Shanghai pray for us all. Amen. NB: We need extra help for moving into the new premises after teas and coffees on Sunday. All help gratefully appreciated. Hope to see you there.


We are currently engaged in conversation with the Anglican owners of the church building we are using, about moving to the room on the middle floor in the church hall building, to reduce our outlays. We will announce our moving date as soon as this has become definite. Please keep the process in your prayers. Thank you.


The parish feast day is the usually feast day of St John of Shanghai. It is usually celebrated on the Saturday nearest to the 2nd of July. This year we are celebrating the parish feastday on Saturday 7 July together with Fr Paul Elliott and Matushka Jane. We will have some hot food in the hall afterwards and everyone is very welcome!


Fr Paul Elliott from Liverpool has been blessed by Archbishop Mark to have oversight over our parish at least until we have a new parish priest appointed. (see Clergy) He is also intending to come over to celebrate Divine Liturgies with us on Saturdays once a month. Glory to God. For dates and times see the Services section.


Fr Mladen is planning to move to Dublin on Sunday 29th of May and so will celebrate his last Divine Liturgy with us on SATURDAY 28th of May at the usual time: 10:00 Hours and Confession followed by DIVINE LITURGY, followed by and teas and coffees in the church hall. All welcome.

We will update you as soon as there is news about a successor of Fr Mladen. Service schedules for the next months are found under the services tab.


On Easter Saturday we had the wonderful occasion of the baptism of Gabriel at Lough Money in County Down. Glory to God! Congratulations and a warm welcome to the Church!


There was a Readers’ Service on 17 March at 11:00 am, as Fr Mladen was tied up with his secular work and therefore was not able to celebrate the Liturgy. Thank you to all who were there.


Archbishop Mark has given his blessing for a diocesan pilgrimage in Spring 2017! For more information see the diocesan website:


Archbishop Mark is planning to be in London at the Cathedral there on Saturday 16 April 2016 and to hold a Diocesan meeting there, to which an invitation has been extended not only to Fr Mladen, but also to at least one, and if possible more than one parish representative to also attend. If you are interested, let us know!


Glory to God! And congratulations to the Gardovic family on the arrival of their baby son Vasilije!



Our first AGM was held on Sunday 31 January. Thank you to those who attended.



Our sister parish in Birkenhead, Liverpool has an absolutely excellent website worth browsing for hours on end.  Check it out ….



We will continue to have icons for sale. If you are interested and do not see them out on display in the church hall after Divine Liturgy on a Sunday, do not be shy, ask someone about them.  Someone will be able to help with bringing the two boxes to the hall, so you can have a look at them, and chose an icon or two if you want to. These icons are provided by and sold for the Belarusian nuns of St Elisabeth Convent. All proceeds go to them.



The Wonderworking Kursk Icon of the Mother of God (which is mentioned in Ikos 8 of the Akathist to St John, as he reposed in front of it) traveled to Ireland. It visited St Peter’s and St Paul’s parish in Dublin (24/06/2015), and also St Colman’s church in Stradbally (25/06/2015).

There were many people present in Stradbally and the little church could hardly hold them all. It was wonderful to see such a great turnout, and also to see the many children present. Lucy and Johanna also went to Stradbally to venerate the icon and to ask the Theotokos to pray for our parish here in Belfast. The icon has now left Ireland again.

Research more information about this icon by means of this link: