Orthodox Church, English Orthodox. Norfolk has several Orthodox churches of different traditions, including two at Walsingham and large Orthodox communities in Yarmouth and Norwich. Suffolk's only Orthodox church is St Felix and St Andrew, Felixstowe. Father Andrew Phillips writes: Contemporary English Orthodoxy ultimately goes back to the nineteenth century Oxford Movement which brought members of the Church of England back into contact with the wider Christian tradition, both Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Although there were many well-known converts to Catholicism, like Newman, a small number of mainly Anglicans were also attracted to the Orthodox Church.

Under the Greek and later Russian Churches, missions were established, notably in Bristol and Wolverhampton. This movement received considerable impetus in the twentieth century after the Russian Revolution, when Russian emigres settled here, bringing the Orthodox tradition with them. Interest in Orthodoxy grew. At this time there were a number of notable converts from various backgrounds, Anglicanism, Catholicism and from nothing at all. Together with the Anglicised grandchildren and great grandchildren of White Russians and other Orthodox immigrants and the offspring of mixed marriages, today there is a community of several thousand English Orthodox scattered throughout England.

With three English Orthodox bishops, about forty English Orthodox priests, we live in small comunities of about thirty to sixty people, of which the Felixstowe community is typical. All services are in English, the Orthodox Church calendar is kept and church music is quite distinctive (samples will be appearing on the website shortly). There is considerable veneration of the Pre-Conquest English saints who date to the pre-1054 period when, in the view of the Orthodox Church, Roman Catholicism was founded, with Christians in the West splitting away from the Orthodox Church).

At present all English Orthodox are members of English deaneries of one of four foreign-based Orthodox Churches: The Patriarchate of Antioch, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Patriarchate of Moscow and the autonomous Church Outside Russia, which is linked with the Patriarchate of Moscow but is independent of it.In the twenty-first century, it is our hope that with slow but steady growth an autonomous English Orthodox Church may be founded with the canonical blessing of the various Orthodox Mother-Churches.

You can also visit the English Orthodox website.