07:00 GMT20 October 2020
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    Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill's visit to the United Kingdom will commence on Saturday to last through Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) —The Patriarch will meet Queen Elizabeth II and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, as well as visiting Orthodox sites in the country and holding services with the Moscow Patriarchate's local diocese.

    The visit will mark the 300th anniversary of Russian Orthodox Church presence on the British Isles and will become the first visit by a Russian patriarch to the country. The Orthodox Assumption parish was founded in 1716 by the Russian imperial mission. The Russian Orthodox Diocese of Sourozh, which is the largest organization representing Russian Orthodoxy in the United Kingdom, currently centers on the Dormition Cathedral in London.

    "The consecration of the cathedral dedicated to the Dormition of the Mother of God and All saints in London and a divine liturgy in the cathedral, as well as a prayer in the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God and the Royal Martyrs will be the key events of the visit," Russian Orthodox Church spokesman Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk told RIA Novosti.

    The Patriarch will also bless a new gravestone at the burial site of Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh, who was the founder of Diocese of Sourozh, he added. Anthony of Sourozh, or Anthony Bloom, was born in 1914 and died in 2003. He founded the Diocese of Sourozh in 1962 and proceeded to become its bishop, archbishop and then metropolitan. The diocese has 46 parishes and communities in the United Kingdom and Ireland. There are a total of 80 Russian Orthodox parishes on the British Isles.

    The Orthodox leader will also visit an event at the Royal Geographical Society, according to Hilarion.


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