- Today I discovered that the "derelict hulk of Christ Church, Spitalfields" (a large historic
Anglican church in London, built in 1711, but closed and half-ruined for generations) had
been "beautifully restored and reopened for worship".
I don't know exactly when the church was closed, but as of a mention in 1888, the parish
had been on its last legs, with no one to sing; and in Baedeker's 1911 guide to London, it
does not appear to be open).
The thing that is so striking about all this, is that the church was restored in England, by
If this had been a Moscow Patriarchate church of similar size in Russia, closed, say, in the
1920's and in a similar state of ruin, it would be no surprise at all that it was "beautifully
restored and returned to the faithful".
For example, today Patriarch Alexy II celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the main altar of St.
Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg, with a throng of concelebrating clergy, and in the
presence of Archbishop Mark of Berlin.
The fact that all the progress in Russia does not surprise anyone, or even seem to make
any impression on those who go on attacking the Patriarchal Church, is, in its own way,
just as amazing as the fact that, for once, the Anglicans managed to restore one of their
People should be enthusiastic about the reopening of Russian churches every day, about
the highly motivated people who entering the monastic life, about the abundance of
Orthodox literature, and the introduction of Orthodox studies in Russian schools and
And yet, those who go on attacking the MP and ROCOR's "new course", don't even care
about these things.
All they seem to care about is what they can find in CIA operatives' books from the past, or
in the writings of long-deceased ROCOR clergy, that they can use against the Patriarchal
Who was it wrote, "For those whose eyes are turned towards the past, the present goes by
Fr. John R. Shaw