The Archbishop of Canterbury completed a three-day visit to Moscow yesterday. His visit was pastoral, ecumenical and political.
Archbishop Justin Welby visited the Anglican Church of St Andrew, Moscow, which dates from the late 19th Century when the church was built for the English-speaking community in Moscow. During the Soviet era the church was used as a recording studio for the record label Melodia. Since its re-establishment as a place of worship the church has become a multi-national English-speaking Anglican presence in the city. The building is also home to the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy, and to a number of social and cultural events and programmes.
The church welcomed a new Chaplain in September 2017. The Revd Malcolm Rogers came to Moscow from having been Rector of Bury St Edmunds. Malcolm and his wife Alison served in St Petersburg in the early 1990s.
Father Malcolm also holds the post of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative (known as ‘Apokrisiarios’) to His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. During the visit the Archbishop formally presented and introduced Father Malcolm to the Patriarch.
The Archbishop had a formal meeting with the Patriarch on Tuesday 21 November. This meeting followed on from the visit of the Patriarch to London in 2016, when His Holiness visited Lambeth Palace and the Archbishop accompanied him to Buckingham Palace for a meeting with H.M. The Queen. The Archbishop also met with Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, and visited the Postgraduate Institute of St Cyril and St Methodius, a theological school attached to the Patriarchate. At the Institute the Archbishop delivered a lecture in which he spoke of the essential dignity of human persons, made in the image of God. (Read the lecture here.)
During the visit the Archbishop attended a reception and gave an address to invited guests to the residence of the British Ambassador to Russia, and met senior Russian political figures.
Yesterday the Archbishop and the Patriarch issued a joint statement on the persecution of Christians. Read the statement here.