To know more about Orthodox Western Rite in the UK, consult

St Eanswythe Orthodox Mission
Folkestone, Kent.

Thursday 27th October 2016: 11 a.m.  A MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR KING HAROLD GODWINESSON and all his companions will take place on the 950th anniversary of Sandlake Fight, aka The Battle of Hastings, at the Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene, Whatlington, East Sussex (car park TN33 0ND).  Further details from The Guild of St Eadmund

16 September 2013

In the year 597 St Augustine came to England to convert the English to Christianity. By the middle of the 7th century England was substantially Christian, and subsequently organized itself into Bishoprics, Parishes, and practised its religion to such an extent that it not only generated over 300 saints; but also was responsible for spreading Christianity throughout northern Europe.

At that time the whole of Christendom was de-facto Orthodox (right-believing). However in the 11th century the western patriarch (styled the Pope) got ideas above his station. Whereas all the other patriarchs were content to administer their patriarchates, the Pope wanted to rule his, and not only his: he wished to assume a universal command over the whole church. This was the cause of the Great Schism of 1054, when the Christian jurisdictions of the east (now known as the Orthodox churches), and the church of the west (now known as Roman Catholic church) sadly split asunder.

The English church continued to be Orthodox, and although the English remained loyal to the Pope, who was still their lawful Patriarch, they continued to practise their religion as they always had. The Pope, being greatly desirous of subjecting all the peoples that he could to his control, took advantage of the overweening arrogance and greed of William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy, and blessed his insubstantial claim to the throne and his unjustifiable invasion of England in 1066, thus converting it into a ‘crusade’.

William only just won the Battle of Hastings but, to our great loss and confusion, was able to impose his rule on England, and force its church to accept the Bishops that he set over it, and the heretical ideas that they proposed. Within a century the church in England had become a simulacrum of what it had been, and changed from a Christian church to just another instrument whereby the English people could be dominated and the Norman / Roman Catholic rule could be imposed.

The St Eanswythe Orthodox Study Group*, along with the other missions of the Orthodox Western Rite, exists to reverse the Norman Conquest, and to re-establish our own, pre-Conquest Church in England, using the same liturgy and practices and holding the same beliefs that were held and loved by the pre-Conquest English people: also venerating the many Saints that were manifested in this pleasant land between 597 and 1066.

If you would like to learn about the Orthodox Western Rite and help in this great work, please contact:
Eadmund Dunstall, 28 Quested Road, Cheriton, Folkestone, Kent CT19 4BY

*St Eanswythe is the Patron Saint of Folkestone, and her relics are still present in the Parish Church of St Mary and St Eanswythe on the Bayle in Folkestone. She was the granddaughter of King St Æthelberht of Kent who received St Augustine in 597, and she was the founder of the first nunnery in England at Folkestone.

Western style icon of St Eanswythe of Folkestone

We thank Father Thomas for coming to Weston super Mare on 18th November 2012 to celebrate our first Western Rite Liturgy of Saint Gregory the Great and for continuing to celebrate the Western Rite Liturgy for us as often as possible.

See NEWS section of our new website for details of recent events.

For details of services in the Wessex area, please consult Saint Aldhelm Orthodox Mission in Wessex

The Western Rite Altar at Saint Dunstan's Parish Church, Poole
Courtesy of Father Chrysostom, Parish Priest.
Saint Aldhelm's Chapel where we sing Matins is behind this altar and
can be accessed by the steps visible on the left side of this photo.

Saint Aldhelm's Chapel

7th January 2013

Celebrating the Christmas Liturgy at Saint Dunstan’s, Poole

 We were very fortunate to have Father Thomas with us again, this time to celebrate Christmas.  The beautiful church of Saint Dunstan’s with its impressive acoustics was a very stunning setting for our Western Rite Liturgy.  We thank Father Chrysostom, the parish priest, very much for his generous help in allowing us to use the western style altar in the Lady’s chapel.

We had a very good attendance, considering it was the first Monday back to work for most people.  We were very happy to welcome some Russian and Romanian parishioners among our congregation.  Others came from Somerset and Southampton.

Our next Western Rite Liturgy will take place at Oxford during +Bishop Jerome's visit.  See Schedule of Services above.

October 5, 2012
Ordination of Father Thomas

Father Thomas and Father Anthony

On October 5, 2012, being the Ember Friday, Fr Anthony, Pastoral Vicar for
Western Rite (ROCOR) presented to His Grace, Bishop Jerome of Manhattan,
Vicar Bishop for Western Rite, Thomas Harry Cook of Nottingham, England for
ordination to the Holy Priesthood in St Ambrose of Milan, Putnam Valley New
York. Father Thomas will be Rector of St Edmund the Martyr Orthodox Church.
He is the first Western Rite priest to be ordained by ROCOR for England. Fr
Thomas is married to Matushka Jane and they have two children. Fr Thomas
has been Orthodox for 6 years and holds a BA with Honors in Philosophy from King's
College, University of London and a DipHE in Orthodox Christian
Studies from the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Cambridge. He
will receive his M. Div. in December. The Criminal Background Check required
of all Western Rite Clergy prior to ordination was completed by the
Nottinghamshire Police in June of 2012.

The Rev Thomas Cook
St Edmund the Martyr
7A Victoria Street, Geding
Nottingham, Notts. NG4 3JE

"Dignus est!"

Fr Anthony, Pastoral Vicar
New York



The Society held a retreat for men on the weekend 2nd-5th of March 2007 at Hawkinge. A large and very well set up converted granary accommodated those who were staying during the weekend (some others booked into nearby pubs).

The theme of the Retreat was "Responding to God - Becoming at One With God's Will". As well as members from the Saint Eanswythe Orthodox Study Society, other retreatants came from as far as Manchester and America.

During the weekend, the Offices were done in a makeshift chapel in the Granary, with members marshalled into a choir ably directed by Mr. Michael Astley. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated on Saturday and Sunday at Saint Mary's Capel-le-Ferne, a small redundant church nearby which dates from about AD 1030.

The majority of the organising for the retreat was done by Mr. Eadmund Dunstall and as a result, the whole weekend went off very smoothly. The highlight was the Divine Liturgy on the Sunday which was a commemoration of the centenary of the decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Russia to authorise the adaption of the services taken out of the Book of Common Prayer, for use by Orthodox people.

The Divine Liturgy was the "English Liturgy" which resulted from that decision. The Liturgy drew visitors from Manchester, London, Belgium, the USA and Australia. This was followed by lunch at a restaurant in the Alkham Valley and then a service of veneration of the relics of Saint Eanswythe at Folkestone Parish church.


The contrast between the Old and New Dispensations is clearly seen in the passages: II Corinthians 3:4 - 9 and Mark 7:31 - 37. Glorious as the Old Dispensation was both in its Divine origins and in its continuation down the centuries of the Chosen People, nevertheless, it was a ministration of condemnation. It had sacrifices of atonement, but it had no sacraments of life and hope. David sang of hope and of the New Dispensation, but all he could do was foreshadow, for there was yet no Messiah come to make the change.

The Incarnation of the Son of God, the Messiah, was the origin, and His presence in the Holy Mysteries, and as the Church, is an intensity and quality of continuation; a spiritual richness and hope such as the world had not known since the fall. Mankind, even the Jewish Church, had grown very deaf and could not hear the voice from Heaven as its leaders had heard it in the past. There was a great impediment in the speech of the Jewish Church, so that the word of God was not spoken abroad and there was a dearth of prophecy.

The Son of God came and created anew His Body, the Church which would be His continued presence here. He touched her by making Himself one with her. The sigh of His Passion was followed by the “Ephphatha” of the Resurrection and as soon as His work was perfected by the looking up to Heaven of His Ascension and seating at the right hand of God, the ears of the deaf were enabled to hear the inspiration of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the tongue of the dumb was enabled, so that they could speak the revealed word of God.

That same enabling, cleansing and strengthening touch of Christ, its communication of His grace in the Communion of His Body and Blood, is the continuing means by which His corporate body on earth, the Church, and every member of it is enlivened and sustained. His continued gift of spiritual ability to the Church and her clergy of this New Dispensation, makes the ministration of righteousness, even in the most out-of-the-way places of this world, exceed in glory, the ministration of Moses at the foot of Mount Sinai.

The section of the Epistle deals with the great hope of the ministration of the New Dispensation. “Who”, it is asked in the preceding chapter (2:16) “is sufficient for these things?” The question is answered in 3:4: the man who places his trust in God through His Messiah, the bringer of the New Dispensation. The servant of Christ, the minister of the righteousness of the new order, gives everything in his service, but his power is insufficient to the task: He is dependent upon God in the end.

The Old Dispensation was eventually powerless as a ministry of law, for law can only condemn, law has no mechanism for mercy beyond its letter. This flaw made it the ministry of condemnation which meant death, for all were imperfect before the law. Prevented by their standing condemnation under the law, no-one was sufficient to either approach, or to understand the means of approaching God, although it was possible.

The New Dispensation of Christ was however a bringing of the righteousness of the law inside the heart of the individual. Christ summarised the law into a law of the heart, a law that all could work with and not be condemned by, even though they fell short. In this Dispensation, God is present and accessible even in our sinful state, for He has been fully revealed for our needs by Christ. Our Dispensation of Jesus the Christ of God is more glorious and effective than any which preceded it and The Church thereby immediately established among men, lives still and expands to this day, in a continuity unbroken and unaltered through two millennia as the Holy Orthodox Church.


Samuel Adams once said, "When people are universally ignorant, and debauched in their manners, they will sink under their own weight without the aid of foreign invaders." This is a timely message given the increasing threat of foreign religions and efforts throughout society to remove the Christian faith from public life. We see this both nationally and internationally, in the EU and here at home.

This nation grew out of a thousand years of first millennium Orthodox Christianity and succeeding generations considered that it was necessary to maintain the Christian values for our Parliamentary democracy to succeed. Yet today, a thousand years after having abandoned the Orthodox Christian faith, we find the nation sinking under the weight of the indifference to Christianity, moral ignorance and debauched behaviour of all levels of our society - we are in trouble indeed, as a nation that is ever more publicly abandoning God.

The Saint Eanswythe Orthodox Study Society started as a local initiative, under the guidance of a canonical Orthodox monastery, to start at the very basics and learn again the faith that built this country and which flourished in these islands for the first thousand years of the Christian era.

We believe that it is on this local scale that ordinary people can work. It is here, around our homes and in our local communities that the faith, and with it the faithful nation, can be rebuilt.

It seems to us pointless to try to continue with a watered down pseudo Christianity - such as is proving singularly useless to combat the secularisation of our society. We believe that the secular society will prove defenceless against the incursion of other far less peacable systems of belief and that the last state of the nation will be total spiritual disaster.

To that end, the Saint Eanswythe Orthodox Study Society was set up as a means of beginning the education of people in the ancient faith of our fathers here in this land: The Orthodox Christian Faith. This is the uncompromising authentic, original Christian Way that our Lord Jesus Christ taught to His Apostles and which they in turn, committed to the Church. That Church has continued to this day, unchanged, with the original faith intact. Unlike the multitude of pseudo-Christian organisations around the world, Holy Orthodoxy has kept the entire faith intact through two millennia.

Orthodox Christianity came to the British Isles just a few years after the Crucifixion of Christ, brought by Saint Aristibule as our first Bishop, and those others who accompanied him. It remained intact and flourishing in these isles until the Norman invasion. It is now reintroduced to our country and we seek to recover the English expression of that faith, in communion with and under the direction of the worldwide Orthodox Christian Church.


A Hermit Elder of the Holy Mountain of Athos


EMAIL: sainteanswytheoss -at* gmail.com

Visit our Saint Nectan branch in the West Country