Andrew Phillips

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The Rev. Fr. Andrew Phillips (b. 1956) is an English parish priest of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), pastor of St. John the Wonderworker Orthodox Church (formerly St. Felix and St. Edmund Orthodox Church) in Felixstowe, Suffolk, in the United Kingdom. He is also a prolific writer, especially known for covering topics of interest to Orthodox Christians in England, particularly ancient Orthodox Christianity in the British Isles but also current events.

Life and major writings

Fr. Andrew Phillips is an English native from the countryside near the Essex-Suffolk border, born in 1956 to a "non practising family."[1] Since childhood, he was interested in the early history of England, particularly St. Edmund the Martyr but also King Alfred the Great. He began self-study of Russian at twelve years of age and also then read the New Testament for the first time. From around fourteen years of age, after a number of religious experiences, he "conceived the desire to be received into the Russian Orthodox Church," which happened five years later in 1975. "From the very beginning, he wished to make English this Orthodox Tradition, without in any way watering down the Orthodox Faith with cultural excuses."

He spent some time in Russia, going on later to Oxford University and receiving there an M.A. in Russian, also studying literature, theology and history. He later worked for a year in Greece, then went to Paris to study at the St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute. There he was ordained to the diaconate in 1985 and to the priesthood in 1991 in Paris by Archbishop Antony (Bartoshevich) of Geneva. He served in Paris and in 1992 founded the ROCOR parish in Lisbon, Portugal, which consisted of recent arrivals from the ex-Soviet Union.

He wrote his first book, Orthodox Christianity and the Old English Church, in 1988, followed by The Hallowing of England in 1992. In 1995, he published an anthology of journal articles, Orthodox Christianity and the English Tradition, along with The Rebirth of England and English, a study of 19th century English visionary William Barnes. "A fifth work, 'The Lighted Way' appeared at the end of 1999, providing Orthodox Christian perspectives for the Third Millennium. This was followed by a sixth work concerning the Apostle of East Anglia, St Felix, who came to England as a missionary from France." Since then he has written for the journal 'Orthodox England' and written much for the Orthodox England website.

In 1997, he and his family returned to England from Paris, mainly because of the need to earn money, where he is now parish priest in Felixstowe. He is married with six children. His matushka is of mixed Anglo-Romanian descent, but born in North Africa and brought up in the Russian Church.

Other writings

Though perhaps best known outside the UK for his writings on ancient Orthodoxy in England (such as his book, Orthodox Christianity and the Old English Church), much of his published writing consists of aticles on various subjects of interest to modern Orthodox Christians. He published the Orthodox England journal for ten years, but writes far more directly for the Orthodox England website.

Fr. Andrew is a strong apologist for the free Russian Church, whether inside Russia or outside Russia, regarding ROCOR as founded by St. Tikhon of Moscow,[2] and looking on the Moscow Council of August 2000, at which the new Martyrs and Confessors were canonized, as a miracle. He is also notable for his support of Russian Orthodox Messianism.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Naturally, he also came out in favor of the proposed Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe that Patriarch Alexei II (Ridiger) of Moscow has promoted since 2004.[9][10]

Fr. Andrew's commentaries on current events are often critical toward those perceived as modernists or ecumenists, including the use of the New Calendar. His particular focus is on the modern state of Russian Orthodoxy in the West, and as such, much of his criticism is levelled at the leadership of the Diocese of Sourozh in the UK (referring to the administration of Metr. Anthony (Bloom) as a "personality cult"[11][12][13]) and the Russian Orthodox Exarchate in Western Europe, based in Paris. He also occasionally publishes remarks critical of the OCA[14][15][16] (referring to it as "Eastern-rite Uniatism"[17]) and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which he regards as "in the forefront of ecumenism and modernism in the twentieth century."[18]


External links