A MAN FOR EAST AND WEST
THE CENTENARY OF THE BIRTH OF METROPOLITAN ANTHONY (BLOOM) OF SOUROZH
Metropolitan Anthony's ministry in the Russian Orthodox Church coincided with the Cold War. He lived in Britain for over 50 years, serving as parish priest to his congregation in London and diocesan bishop, and was well-known for his books and broadcasts. But he was also renowned in his native Russia, which he visited regularly despite his dislike of the Soviet regime. So his ministry spanned East and West.
After an outline of his colourful life, virtually all of it spent in exile in Paris (where he trained and worked as a doctor) and England, the talk will focus on the importance of his understanding and vision of the Russian Orthodox Church and how he realised this in his work, fearlessly and sometimes controversially, on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
He was a complex man. Instinctively a Russian monarchist, he nevertheless struck up friendships with people from all walks of life, political persuasions and churchmanship. For many years he played an important role on the ecumenical stage, and his congregation included people of a wide range of nationalities. His religious outlook was enlightened and forward-looking, not at all the hidebound version of Orthodoxy as it is often portrayed; for instance, his views on the role of women in the Church raised eyebrows in some quarters.
His work as one of the most influential Orthodox prelates of the twentieth century, sometimes in contrast to the more conservative elements in his own Church, deserve to be remembered and taken forward, especially in these times of renewed misunderstanding between Russia and the West.
Gillian Crow, writer and speaker, is Metropolitan Anthony’s biographer (This Holy Man, 2005) and was for many years his Diocesan Secretary.
Tickets for this talk at £7 (£5 for GB Russia members) are only available by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org