On Monday, 8th September, the feast of Holy Martyrs Adrian and Natalia, and also a commemoration of the Vladimir Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God, the Cathedral parish welcomed a small group of pilgrims from the USA. They were led by Archimandrite Irenei, Dean and Director of Studies of the Saints Cyril and Athansius Institute for Orthodox Studies in San Francisco. Also accompanying the pilgrims was Archpriest Stephen Platt from Oxford, who sang in the choir. Archimandrite Irenei concelebrated Divine Liturgy with Priest Vitaly Serapinas, and afterwards preached an inspiring short homily on the Gospel of the day, speaking of the necessity for all Christians to follow both the way of the Righteous Martha and the way of Mary, the Mother of God. After the Thanksgiving Prayers, Reader Nicolas Mabin led the pilgrims in a short tour of the both the upper and lower churches and told them something of the history of the church in London. Then the Sisterhood of Saint Xenia welcomed all the congregation to a festive and nourishing meal.
The Saints Cyril & Athanasius Institute for Orthodox Studies operates under the auspices of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, with the blessing of the Holy Synod of Bishops, together with the First Hierarch and local hierarchy. The pilgrimage, which had been organised by the Institute, visited holy places in Scotland and in England over a period of nine days. To learn more about the Institute and the Pilgrimage, follow this link: http://www.sforthodoxinstitute.org/