Archbishop Nikodim (Nagaev, +1976) of Richmond and Great Britain
(On the 35th Anniversary of His Death)
On October 17, 1976, in London, following a lengthy illness, Archbishop Nikodim of Richmond and Great Britain died at the age of 93. Despite his venerable age and health problems, Vladyka Nikodim remained the Ruling Bishop of the Diocese of Great Britain until his very repose.
Archbishop Nikodim (Nagaev) was born of military stock and was himself educated in military school, proceeding to a career in the armed forces, finally being elevated to the rank of general. Upon emigrating, he lived in Yugoslavia, where he was drawn closer to church life. Of particular influence on him was the Brotherhood of St Seraphim. The Russian hierarchs Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), Archbishop Feofan of Poltava and others also had a positive effect on him, as did Milkovo Monastery headed by its abbot, Schema-Archimandrite Amvrossy (Kurganov). With the blessing of Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky), he was tonsured a monk, then ordained to the priesthood.
During World War II, Hieromonk Nikodim was a military chaplain, then participated in the establishment of the Monastery of St Job of Pochaev near Munich. He was shortly thereafter appointed Administrator of the Preston Diocese. The Council of Bishops of 1953 decided to consecrate Archimandrite Nikodim to the episcopacy with the establishment of a Vicariate of England to the Western European Diocese. His consecration as Bishop of Preston took place on July 18, 1954, at the Memorial Church to the martyred Royal Family in Brussels, Belgium. The hierarchs consecrating Vladyka Nikodim included Archbishop John (Maximovich) of Brussels and Western Europe, Bishop Alexander of Berlin and Germany and Leonty (Bartoshevich) of Geneva.
At first, Vladyka Nikodim was the Vicar of the Western European Diocese, later becoming its Ruling Bishop with the rank of Archbishop, where he remained for 22 years, until his very death. In 1973, his flock celebrated his 90th birthday, and in 1974, they marked the 20th anniversary of his hierarchal service.
In 1976, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia suffered terrible losses—no fewer than four archpastors died that year: Archbishop Averky (Taushev) of Syracuse and Holy Trinity and Archbishop Savva (Raevsky) in April, Archbishop Nikon (Rklitsky) of Washington and Florida, and Archbishop Nikodim in October.
Eternal memory to all these archpastors who labored so much for the Church of Christ!