To mark the publication of Embassy, Emigrants, and Englishmen, a reception was held on the evening of Tuesday, 4th November, 2014. The publishers of the book, Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, USA, and the Cathedral parish of the London Russian Orthodox Church Abroad hosted the reception.
The Book Launch was a unique occasion, being held in the former Russian Imperial Embassy Chapel, dedicated to the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God, in Welbeck Street, London. The occasion was marked by the prayerful chanting of ‘Heavenly King’ at the commencement, and by the chanting of ‘It is meet and right’ at the conclusion – almost certainly the first time Russian Orthodox chanting had been heard in the Chapel since its closure in 1923.
Speakers at the reception included His Eminence, Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain; His Eminence, Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia; Reader Nicholas Chapman, Managing Director of HTM Publications; Deacon Peter Markevich, Marketing Manager of HTM Publications; and Reader Nicolas Mabin of the London Cathedral parish. Unfortunately, the author of the book, Protodeacon Christopher Birchall, who now lives in Vancouver, Canada, was unable to attend the reception due to ill health.
Honoured guests included: Archpriest Maxim Nikolsky, representing His Eminence, Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh (Moscow Patriarchate); Deacon Meliton Oakes, representing His Eminence Archbishop Gregory of Thyateira; Archpriest Thomas Hardy, Archpriest Peter Baulk, Archpriest Andrew Philips, and Priest Vitaly Serapinas (ROCOR); Archpriest Stephen Platt for the Fellowship of Saint Alban and Saint Sergius; the Most Reverend Metropolitan Seraphim (British Orthodox Church: Coptic Patriarchate); the Right Reverend Bishop Richard Chartres of London (Church of England); Archpriest John Salter (Melkite Greek Catholic Church); the Revd. Dr William Taylor (Anglican & Eastern Churches Association); the Revd. Father Mark Woodruff (Society of Saint John Chrysostom); Count Nikolai Tolstoy-Miloslavsky; Count Andrei Tolstoy-Miloslavsky; Counsellor Artem Kozhin (Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom); and Richard Bowden of the Howard de Walden Estate.
On behalf of the publishers of Embassy, Emigrants, and Englishmen and on behalf of the London Cathedral parish of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God, Reader Nicolas Mabin presented David Kerr, representing the Circle Partnership (current leaseholders of the former Chapel) with a framed print of the Chapel, depicting how the Chapel looked when it was opened in 1865, and with a framed photograph of Archpriest Eugene Smirnoff, the last rector of the Embassy Chapel and the first rector of the London parish, who lived at Welbeck Street for 46 years until his death in 1923. Nicolas also presented another framed print of the Chapel to Mrs Sophia Vladimirovna Goodman, Trustee and former Starosta, and a major contributor to the book. Nicolas then presented on behalf of the London Cathedral parish presents to Deputy Rector, Archpriest Vladimir Vilgerts, whose birthday it was on 4th November. Finally, Starosta Vera Alexandrovna McClenaghan presented a gift from the parish to Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, as mark of the deep appreciation felt by the parish for the publication of the history of the parish by the Monastery.
Click here to see photographs: