Dormition Cathedral in London Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Service of Archbishop Mark on the Cathedra of Great Britain 

On the fifth Sunday of Great Lent, 28 March/10 April 2011, the London Cathedral parish of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God and the Holy Royal Martyrs celebrated the 25th anniversary of His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain, becoming the ruling bishop of the cathedra of the United Kingdom.  

The Cathedral choir, led by its Choir Director, Anna Kobrina, sang with noticeable beauty and compunction. Following the hierarchical Divine Liturgy, concelebrated by Archbishop Mark, Archbishop Anatoly of Kerch (Moscow Patriarchate), Archpriest Peter Baulk, Priest Vladimir Vilgerts and Priestmonk Goredtz, there was a presentation of gifts from the parishioners of the Cathedral parish to Vladyka Mark.   

Afterwards the Sisterhood of Saint Xenia served a magnificent Lenten meal to the clergy and congregation in the Cathedral Church Hall. After the meal, Vladyka Mark shared with his flock his many memories of the last 25 years – both the struggles and the triumphs of his pastoral service, culminating in the building of our Cathedral in the ancient Pskov style of architecture. The Starosta, Vera Alexandrovna McClenaghan, on behalf of the people of the Diocese of Great Britain, thanked the Archbishop for the faithful, fatherly guidance and support that Vladyka Mark had provided to his flock over the last quarter of a century Among the gifts presented to Vladyka Mark was a beautiful mantle, specially made for Archbishop Mark by the sisters of the Skete of Saint Elizabeth, Buchendorff, Germany and a unique icon, painted by the sisters of the Monastery of Saint Elizabeth, Novinki, Minsk, Belarussia. 

The 25th anniversary of Vladyka Mark taking up his duties as the ruling bishop for the diocese of Great Britain actually fell on March 9, 2011 (new style). He was appointed diocesan bishop at the Council of Bishops held in January 1986, and on March 9, 1986, the then-Bishop Mark first celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the old Cathedral of the Dormition Emperor’s Gate, London SW7. The late Archbishop Antony (Bartoshevich) of Geneva and Western Europe presided at this service and introduced the new bishop to his flock. The late Bishop Constantine (Jessensky, retired bishop of Richmond and Great Britain) was also present at the service.  March 9, 1986, happened to be the Sunday of the Last Judgement. On this Sunday, the appointed Epistle reading is of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. It ends with the words: “the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord,” words providentially fitting for the occasion of a bishop taking up his apostolic mission in a new diocese. The icon that the Cathedral parish presented to Vladyka uniquely depicts Saint Mark the Faster of Egypt, Vladyka’s patron saint, and Saint Paul the Apostle, holding a scroll with the words, “the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.” Between them, the saints hold a depiction of the London Cathedral. A copy of this icon will be kept in the Cathedral. The icons have been paid for through the generosity of the Cathedral parishioners and a donation from Canada.  


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