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Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain and Ireland


May 31st – June 2nd, 2019

“Fools for Christ and the Path of Salvation”

The Sourozh Diocesan Conference is an annual gathering of clergy and laity from Britain and Ireland, together with guests from abroad. The tradition of holding this type of gathering was established in the 1970’s by the ever-memorable Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom). Distinguished speakers from Russia, Britain and other countries are invited to the conference.

‘For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God’ (1 Cor. 1:18). St Paul in this and many other places points out the profound contrast between human and divine wisdom. ‘For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom’ (1 Cor. 1:25). As St Theophan the Recluse wrote, ‘the spiritual world is such a realm into which the wisdom of this world does not penetrate.’

In the history of the Church there have been those who were called to exemplify this fundamental aspect of the faith by taking up the cross of foolishness for the sake of Christ, a radical form of self-denial that becomes a prophetic rebuke to all human pride. At a time when the secular world increasingly regards faith as foolishness, the witness of the fools for Christ is ever more valuable for us who are struggling on the path to salvation.

The Conference will explore the theme in a series of talks, seminars and group discussions and there will be a special programme for children aged 5 – 15. We expect that the Conference will be blessed by the presence of the holy relics of the women saints of Diveyevo. His Grace, Bishop Matthew of Sourozh, will preside at the concelebrated services on Saturday and Sunday.

The Conference will conclude with an optional pilgrimage to the shrine of St Bertram at Ilam.

Invited Speakers: Archpriests Eric Tosi, Mikhail Dudko, Pavel Velikanov, Igor Borisov, Andrew Louth, Hieromonk Mark (Underwood).

Talks will be given in English or Russian, with translation. The draft conference timetable will soon be available on the Programme & Timetable page of this site.

The cost of the weekend is from £125 to £170 depending on the type of accommodation selected and includes all meals. For children 6-16, £35 to £40. Partial attendance is also possible. For full pricing structure see the file on the ‘Other Information’ page of this site.

Places are limited, so please apply as soon as possible. As far as resources allow, some financial assistance will be available for those who cannot otherwise afford the full amount of the fees – please apply at once.

Closing date for applications – Sunday, May 12th