OXFORD’S Keble College played host to a very special ceremony when it welcomed Bishop Jerome of Manhattan, of the Russian Orthodox Church.
When His Grace celebrated a Western Orthodox Episcopal Liturgy on Friday, it was the first time the service had been held in the UK since 1066.
Before then the church in the UK was Orthodox, but the Norman Conquest saw the Roman church take over.
Father Stephen Platt, parish priest at the Russian Orthodox church St Nicholas the Wonderworker in Marston, Oxford, said: “Orthodox services generally have an Eastern origin, while Catholic and Anglican churches have services which originate in Ancient Rome.”
Philip Pughe-Morgan, who came from Weston-super-Mare for the service, said: “Many people are put off by what they see as a form of worship which doesn’t relate to their traditional culture.
“The Russian Church has now introduced a mission to offer worship in the form and culture of these islands which developed here in the early centuries.”
During his visit, Bishop Jerome also met members of the public at St Barnabas Church in Jericho.