Fifteen years after deciding to leave the Moscow Patriarchate and losing a protracted court case over the ownership of the Russian Orthodox cathedral in Knightsbridge, a group of mostly English-speaking Orthodox Christians again finds itself in exile
Each year before the beginning of Lent the Orthodox Church sings the psalm of exile: “By the Waters of Babylon”. The late Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh, in his sermons at his London cathedral, used to say how that truly applied to us all: in the first instance, to those Russians of his generation who had lost their homeland in the 1917 revolution; but also to all Christians, exiled for a time from our true home, the Kingdom of God. That, he would say, should strike us all afresh as we set out on our Lenten journey.
Many of those listening, converts from other faith groups and none, already felt a sense of homecoming in the Orthodoxy we found in Metropolitan Anthony’s cathedral community. As an Anglican I had come across his book School for Prayer and I found myself drawn to his vision of Christ and Christianity. I felt compelled to discover more about Orthodoxy. A few months later I went to see him at his cathedral in Knightsbridge.