The Father Of Lights – By Constantine Georgiades, England – Journey to Orthodoxy


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The Father Of Lights

By Constantine Georgiades, England

Journey to Orthodoxy



A team of 120 members of the London Robbery Squad arrested me, my builder and electrician in Devon on 17th April 1991. I had to strip, put on white paper suit and wait in a cold empty cell for 3 days and then I was charged with various conspiracy offenses and remanded in custody at Exeter Prison. I had often driven past the prison and had never considered that one day I might be a guest of Her Majesty!

As an ex-policeman, I was warned to ask for the ’43’s’ by the escorting officer, but I really hadn’t understood what that meant. A mistake had been made and I felt sure that it was only a matter of time before I would be released, so I insisted on going on the main wing with all the other men and refused ‘Rule 43’ protection.

News of my arrival travelled fast and I soon had hundreds of men wanting to vent their anger out on me, due solely to the fact that I had once been a policeman. It didn’t matter that I had left some years earlier. As far as they were concerned, I was still a policeman and ‘the enemy’.

Escorted to ‘B’ wing with 2 other inmates I was locked in a cell the size of a bus shelter. After having lived my life in relative luxury up until that moment, it came as quite a shock to have to share a cell with 2 total strangers! It was filthy, no toilet and only the use of a bucket, no sink, little ventilation and poor lighting and the stench of urine and excrement was overpowering.

As he closed the door I heard the Prison Officer grunt “Three more pieces of s*** off the street”. I knew that I had done some bad things in my time, but I Continue reading “The Father Of Lights – By Constantine Georgiades, England – Journey to Orthodoxy”


Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith


Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith

This week’s spiritual lesson: We concluded last week our long series of excerpts from the Diocesan conference by Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) at Effingham, England, in May, 1983. It occurs to me it might be useful to continue the Metropolitan’s account of his conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith:

…Then my leader explained to me that everyone who belonged to my group had reacted in exactly the same way, and if no one came we would all be put to shame because the priest had come and we would be disgraced if no one attended his talk. My leader was a wise man. He did not try to convince me that I should listen attentively to his words so that I might perhaps find truth in them: ‘Don’t listen,’ he said. ‘I don’t care, but sit and be a physical presence’. That much loyalty I was prepared to give to my youth organization and that much indifference I was prepared to offer to God and to his minister. So I sat through the lecture, but it was with increasing indignation and distaste. The man who spoke to us, as I discovered later, was a great man, but I was then not capable of perceiving his greatness. I saw only a vision of Christ and of Christianity that was profoundly repulsive to me. When the lecture was over I hurried home in order to check the truth of what he had been saying. I asked my mother whether she had a book of the Gospel, because I wanted to know Continue reading “Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith”

A letter to a new convert by Mother Thekla, Abbess of Orthodox Monastery of the Assumpion in North Yorkshire, England


A letter to a new convert by Mother Thekla,

Abbess of  Orthodox Monastery of the Assumpion

in North Yorkshire, England



Mother Thekla, who died on Aug. 7, 2011 at aged 93, was the last surviving nun to have occupied the enclosed Orthodox Monastery of the Assumption in North Yorkshire, but became better known to the wider world as the spiritual muse of the composer Sir John Tavener. Mother Thekla wrote the following letter in 2009, when she was 91 years old. You can read more about her here.


Dear “John”,

I understand that you are on the way to becoming Orthodox. I know nothing about you, beyond the fact that you are English.

Before we go any further, there is one point I should make clear. I have not been told why you are about to convert, but I assure you there is no point whatsoever if it is for negative reasons. You will find as much “wrong” (if not more) in Orthodoxy as in the Anglican or Roman Churches.

So – the first point is, are you prepared to face lies, hypocrisy, evil and all the rest, just as much in Orthodoxy as in any other religion or denomination?

Are you expecting a kind of earthly paradise with plenty of incense and the right kind of music?

Do you expect to go straight to heaven if you cross yourself slowly, pompously and in the correct form from the right side?

Have you a cookery book with all the authentic Russian recipes for Easter festivities?

Are you an expert in kissing three times on every possible or improper occasion?

Can you prostrate elegantly without dropping a variety of stationery out of your pockets?


Have you read the Gospels?

Have you faced Christ crucified? In the spirit have you attended the Last Supper – the meaning of Holy Communion?


Are you prepared, in all humility, to understand that you will never, in this life, know beyond Faith; that Faith means accepting the Truth without proof. Faith and knowledge are the ultimate contradiction –and the ultimate absorption into each other.

Living Orthodoxy is based on paradox, which is carried on into worship – private or public.

We know because we believe and we believe because we know.

Above all, are you prepared to accept all things as from God?

If we are meant, always, to be “happy”, why the Crucifixion? Are you prepared, whatever happens, to believe that somewhere, somehow, it must make sense? That does not mean passive endurance, but it means constant vigilance, listening, for what is demanded; and above all, Love.

Poor, old, sick, to our last breath, we can love. Not sentimental nonsense so often confused with love, but the love of sacrifice – inner crucifixion of greed, envy, pride.

And never confuse love with sentimentality.

And never confuse worship with affectation.

Be humble – love, even when it is difficult. Not sentimental so called love – And do not treat church worship as a theatrical performance!

I hope that some of this makes sense,

With my best wishes,
Mother Thekla
(sometime Abbess of the Monastery of the Assumption, Normanby)


James Evans, England: His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy


James Evans, England:

His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy




Interview with James Evans, an Orthodox Briton

Priest George Maximov, James Evans

We continue to publish the materials of Spas TV program “My Path To God”, where Priest George Maximov interviews people who converted to Orthodoxy. The guest of today’s program is James Evans, an Orthodox Englishman. He will tell us why he prefers to live in Russia rather than in England, what he gets from singing in the Orthodox church and how his journey to Orthodoxy began.

* * *

Priest George Maximov: Hello. You’re watching My Path To God. Today we have a guest from England. James, please tell us about yourself.

James Evans: I was born in a Catholic family in London. Later we moved to Salisbury, 3 hours away from London. I went to an Anglican school, because education there was better than in Catholic schools. The Anglican service doesn’t differ much from the Catholic service. It was quite beautiful and I sang in the school choir during the services. However, I went to a Catholic church for communion.

All my grandparents are from Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and so I am of a Celtic origin.

I grew up in Salisbury and went to Oxford after graduation. When I was still in school in Salisbury, I passed the Latin exam one year earlier and was offered to select an additional subject. I chose Informatics, but they assigned me to a Russian language course instead. I was upset, but started reluctantly studying it. A few months later, I was told that this year they were organizing a student exchange program and I had a chance of going to Russia. I travelled to Russia for my summer vacation in 1989, when I was 16. This changed everything for me and set the course for my future life. When I got back to England, I understood that I couldn’t live without Russia. I talked the principal into giving me an opportunity to study Russian language and literature individually. He made an exception and assigned personal tutors to me. In the University of Oxford, I continued my Russian studies. Not because I wanted to become a linguist, but because I felt that Russia was calling me. I don’t know why, but I had a feeling that there would be no life for me without Russia. That was how it all started.

Father George: So, thanks to the Russian language studies, you learned about the Russian culture. You also visited Russia when it was still a part of the Soviet Union and saw its everyday life and people. Were you particularly impressed by anything?

I wasn’t impressed by the Russian culture as much as I was impressed by a totally different view on life.

James Evans: My first encounter with the Russian culture started with Continue reading “James Evans, England: His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy”