St. Edward the Martyr Orthodox Brotherhood (Surrey, England)

From OrthodoxWiki
Revision as of 14:30, April 4, 2006 by Pistevo (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search
St. Edward the Martyr Orthodox Brotherhood
Jurisdiction ROCOR
Type Male Monastery
Founded 1982
Superior Archimandrite Alexis
Approx. size 5 monks
Location Brookwood, Woking, Surrey, England
Liturgical language(s) English
Music used Byzantine Chant
Calendar Julian
Feastdays celebrated 18/31 March
Official website Official website

The St. Edward the Martyr Orthodox Brotherhood is a monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia a ways south of London, England. It was established in 1982 in the Brookwood Cemetery (the largest cemetery in Europe) in Surrey to care for the relics of St. Edward the Martyr, King of England. The monastic community, led by Archimandrite Alexis, is small and largely made up of native Britons; on Sundays and feastdays, laypeople (who are without a parish) often come to the monastery.

The monastery publishes a monthly magazine, The Shepherd, which is available with a suggested donation.


On the property, there were originally two chapels and five acres of land within Brookwood Cemetery. The larger chapel, now the church and shrine of St Edward, was originally built in c.1909-10 as the second Anglican chapel. The smaller chapel was built in 1854 for the opening of Brookwood Cemetery and designed by Sydney Smirke, and was the original Anglican chapel. Now, however, the smaller chapel has been converted for parochial purposes and for living quarters for members of the Brotherhood.



  • 1931 - Archaeological investigation of the site of Shaftesbury Abbey unearths relics of St Edward. After study, these remains were deemed to be those of St Edward, based on the injuries St Edward received. John Wilson-Claridge, director of excavations and owner of the excavation site, begins years of negotiations with major Christian bodies to find a suitable resting place, based on two criteria - recognition of relics as those of a saint, and the establishment of a shrine to honour the relics of St Edward.
  • 1970s - In the late 1970s, detailed negotiations took place between Wilson-Claridge and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

Beginnings to Enshrinement

  • 1982 Mar 18 - Archimandrite Alexis and another monk move to the location of the Monastery in Brookwood. Daily services begin a few days later, on the feastday of the Holy Martyrs. The property had with two former churches (one practically dilapidated) and five acres of land. Brookwood chosen because there were small numbers of Orthodox that had no church. The intention was purely to establish a shrine and Orthodox cemetary, however, a monastic community began, and attendants eventually began to sizeable enough to be called a mission. Non-monastic attendance starts at approximately 8.
  • 1982 - Numerous donations were received internationally, enough to renovate the larger church in time to receive the relics of St Edward.
  • 1982 - A few days before the Enshrinement of the Relics was due to take place, the donation of the relics to the Brotherhood was challenged in the High Court.
  • 1982 Sep 14 - The judge gave permission to proceed with the Enshrinement so long as the relics were to be kept in a bank vault until sufficient measures were taken to ensure security of the relics.
  • 1982 Sep 15-16 - Enshrinement ceremony, celebrated by Bishop Gregory (Grabbe).
  • 1988 Apr - Ruling on what security measures required was received.
  • 1988 Dec - Relics placed in the church of the Monastery, where they remain.

A Developing Community

  • 1989 Sep - Community numbers three monks (including the abbot) and one novice. Lay attendance on Sundays and Feastdays numbers approximately 25.
  • 2001 Mar 31 - The one thousandth anniversary of the glorification of St Edward the Martyr. Hierarchical Liturgy led by Archbishop Mark of Germany.
  • 2002 - Community numbers approximately 5 monks (including the abbot).
St. Edward the Martyr

Daily Cycle

The Brotherhood chants the services daily at the shrine of St. Edward, augmented on Sundays and feast days by the parishioners of the mission parish attached to the monastery.

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 7:00am: Matins. 6:00pm: Ninth Hour and Vespers Feastday: 8:30am: Divine Liturgy.

Tuesday 7:00am: Matins. 6:00pm: Ninth Hour and Vespers, then Supplicatory Canon to the Mother of God.

Saturday 7:00am: Matins. 6:00pm: Vigil.

Sunday 7:30am: Matins and Divine Liturgy (~9:45am) 2:00pm: Ninth Hour and Vespers

External links

Links about the High Court injunction