November 2018

A New Men’s Monastery for the British Isles and Ireland

His Eminence Metropolitan SILOUAN of the British Isles and Ireland has established a new men’s cenobitic brotherhood within the Antiochian Patriarchate. The Brotherhood of the Glorious Apostles Peter and Paul has been blessed to inhabit the Monastery of St Antony and St Cuthbert.

Before becoming our bishop, Sayedna was appointed by Patriarch John X as Abbot of the Patriarchal Monastery of St. George Al Humaira, located in the ‘Valley of the Christians’ in Syria. One of his first major tasks in the Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland has been to establish a new monastery for the archdiocese. It is Sayedna’s belief that an archdiocese cannot grow and flourish without a monastery. Parish life and monastic life are both essential expressions of Christianity in the Orthodox Church, and must both be present in an archdiocese.

The Monastery of St Antony and St Cuthbert has its roots in the Greek Archdiocese. The Patriarchates of Greece and Antioch share a long history of mutual love and support, and we look forward to welcoming all Orthodox Christians to the monastery, whatever their ethnic origin. The Brotherhood of the Glorious Apostles Peter and Paul is the name given to the community of monks who live at the monastery. Any Orthodox Christian man, over the age of 18 years, may arrange to stay with us.

Unlike in Western monasticism, monasteries in the Orthodox Church follow a single basic form, based on the teachings of St Basil the Great and the revelation of cenobitic monastic life to St Pachomius The Great by an angel. In practice, all monasteries are slightly different, both in how they order their worship and how they live together. The Brotherhood of the Glorious Apostles Peter and Paul bases its life on that lived in Bkeftine Monastery in North Lebanon. This is a small Athonite-style monastery with a handful of monks, a rigorous prayer life and homely feeling of family amongst the brotherhood.

For us, a monastery should represent the best of Christian life: love of God, love of family/brotherhood, love of friend and stranger, hospitality to all, joy, delight, and above all, life in abundance through Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

“So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep …Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture … I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”,  John 10: 7 – 10

Glory to God for All Things!