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100 Years Late:

Why there is no Large, Purpose-Built Russian Orthodox Cathedral in London and no Complete Translations of the Orthodox Liturgical Books into all Western Languages

‘No less attention was paid by Metropolitan Pitirim to the challenges before Orthodoxy abroad. He was the only hierarch who not only shared, but also supported my idea about establishing bishops’ sees in Western European capitals and the translation of the whole set of liturgical books and Patristic literature into foreign languages. This latter idea was almost reckoned to be heretical by some bishops, but Metropolitan Pitirim supported it all the more ardently, inasmuch as he all the more clearly recognised the extreme importance of acquainting the West with Orthodoxy. He saw not only the ecclesiastical significance but also the political significance of this idea and helped me in all ways...I often spoke about this matter with His Grace, pointing out the parallels which were obvious when comparing Catholic propaganda and at the same time the passivity and inertia from our own side...It was proposed that we implement these ideas by building an Orthodox church in London. That this idea met with sympathy from the Russian colony in London as well as from the English is proved by the fact that at the beginning of 1917 a committee to build the church had already been set up, was in close contact with Metropolitan Pitirim and was intending to lay the foundations in the spring of that year...’

From the ‘Memoirs’ of Prince N. D. Zhevakhov, Vol I, P.123


The Metropolitan Pitirim referred to is Metropolitan Pitirim (Oknov) (1850-1920), Metropolitan of St Petersburg from 1915 to 1917. All churches outside Russia were then in the jurisdiction of the Metropolitans of St Petersburg.

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