The Orthodox Parish of the Holy Trinity in Bristol

The Russian Orthodox Church in Britain and Ireland

Russian Version -

The Old Testament Trinity. Andrei Rublev. XVth century

Address: St John Fisher Church

56 Begbrook Park, Frenchey

Bristol BS16 1NF


About Us

We are a Parish within the Diocese of Sourozh, Moscow Patriarchate. The Diocese in this country was founded by Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of blessed memory. The diocese is headed by Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh. Our priest in charge is Archpriest Michael Gogoleff, tel: 01225-858-792.

We are a multi-ethnic community and Orthodox Christians from various nationalities worship with us. Our services are in English and Russian (Church Slavonic) and we follow the old calendar. The services may be attended by anyone who is interested, although only Orthodox Christians may receive Holy Communion at the Divine Liturgy.

Here you can find the current schedule of the services. For further information contact Elya Kisina 0117 9140282, Masha Springford 0117-973-5037, Galina Self 0117-373-0631

ATTENTION! Due to weather conditions Fr Michael cancelled service on March 5.
Please, study articles posted to you by email and on our Website.

Welcome to our Parish!

Entering into Great Lent

A Prayer of St. Ephrem Sirin

O Lord and Master of my life! A spirit of emptiness, gloom, domination and empty talk let me not have it. A spirit of purity, humility, patience and love, grant it to me, Your servant. Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brother, for blessed are You unto the ages of ages. Amen.

The spiritual life is a sojourn, that is not just a metaphor. In the Church we have opportunities to experience the spiritual life as a sojourn. A sojourn requires time and movement we move from one place to another over time. Things around us change, and we change in this process as well. This is what makes repentance and forgiveness possible. We are journeying to the Kingdom of God, to the eschaton, to heaven, to Gods Paradise.

Great Lent is a journey to Pascha to the celebration of the Resurrection. But it is movement not to the past, but forward to the eschaton. The past the events of the crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ are part of this sojourn, but only because they are eternal events. We are not trying to get back to the empty tomb of Christ, for there the women who discovered it did not know what sense to make of it, even when the angel explained it, and the disciples didnt believe the women. [We sing Christ IS risen not Christ was risen] Going back to that time and moment cannot help us. It is only in light of Pentecost Gods sending His Holy Spirit upon the Church and the world that we make sense of the empty tomb and resurrection of Christ.

Tradition is not a backwards looking frame of reference it is always geared to move ahead to the eschaton. We are not going to find Christ in the past. The entire New Testament is geared toward the Risen Lord, toward His Kingdom, His glory, His triumph.

Blessed is the kingdom. That is how we start the Divine Liturgy and Matins it is declaring the blessedness of that Kingdom which is to come, which is breaking into this world, and yet not fully realized here. We start our services by declaring the blessedness of our destination.

In the Epistle, St. Paul speakings about knowing the time. He is not talking about clock time, but rather a much broader sense of era the world is in. The fulfillment of Christ in His Kingdom is arriving. We need to use the time to prepare ourselves, to be ready for its arrival. Great Lent is that season in which we prepare for the coming of Christ in His Kingdom.

Selected Quotes of the Fathers on Great Lent

"As we are therefore beginning this sacred season, dedicated to the purification of the soul, let us be careful to fulfill the Apostolic command that we cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit (IICor. 7:11), so that restraining the conflict that exists between the one and the other substance, the soul, which in the Providence of God is meant to be the ruler of the body, may regain the dignity of its rightful authority, so that, giving offense to no man, we may not incur the contumely of evil mongers. With just contempt shall we be tormented by those who have no faith, and from our wickedness evil tongues will draw weapons to wound religion, if the way of life of those who fast be not in accord with what is needed in true self-denial. For the sum total of our fasting does not consist in merely abstaining from food. In vain do we deny our body food if we do not withhold our heart from iniquity, and restrain our lips that they speak no evil." - St. Leo the Great - 'Lent the Season of Purification

"Blessed is the mind that passes the time of its pilgrimage in chaste sobriety, and loiters not in the things through which it has to walk, so that, as a stranger rather than the possessor of its earthly abode, it may not be wanting in human affections, and yet rest on the Divine promises." - St. Leo the Great - 'Homily 49: On Great Lent

"...We must then so moderate our rightful use of food that our other desires may be subject to the same rule. For this is also a time of peace and serenity, in which having put away all stains of evil doing we strive after steadfastness in what is good. Now is the time when generous Christian souls forgive offences, pay no heed to insults, and wipe out the memory of past injuries. Now let the Christian soul exercise itself in the armour of justice, on the right hand and on the left, so that amid honour and dishonour, evil report and good, the praise of men will not make proud the virtue that is well rooted, the conscience that has peace, nor dishonour cast it down. The moderation of those who worship God is not melancholy, but blameless." - St. Leo the Great - "Lent the Season of Purification (The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers)

"When He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards was hungry, He gave an opportunity to the devil to draw near, so that He might teach us through this encounter how we are to overcome and defeat him. This a wrestler also does. For in order to teach his pupils how to win he himself engages in contests with others, demonstrating on the actual bodies of others that they may learn how to gain the mastery. This is what took place here. For, desiring to draw the devil into contest, He made His hunger known to him. He met him as he approached, and meeting him, with the skill which He alone possessed, He once, twice, and a third time, threw His enemy to the ground." - St. John Chrysostom - The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers

"Special services, special foods, continence, not going to dances and events, all this awakes one to piety and reflection on our present purpose, on the past and on eternity. Seeing in ourselves a falling away from the commandments of God, we try to reconcile ourselves to God through repentance and communion of the most pure and life-giving Mysteries of Christ, which burn the thorns of our sins. You, when you have not fulfilled this duty during the year, of course will fulfill it during the Fast. The most merciful Lord loved us so much, that He gave us, through food and drink, His most pure Body and life-giving Blood, as a token of life eternal and the incorrupt future feast. Let us offer Him thanksgiving with pure hearts, lips and acts!" - St. Macarius of Optina (Letters...)

"And though every day a man lives may rightly be a day of repentance, yet is it in these days more becoming, more appropriate, to confess our sins, to fast, and to give alms to the poor; since in these days you may wash clean the sins of the whole year." - St. John Chrysostom - "The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers"


"Brethren and Fathers, our good God who gives us life and brings us from year to year, has brought us also with love for mankind to this present time of fasting, in which each of the eager, as their choice directs, enters the contest; one devoting himself to self-mastery, eating only every two or three days, another to vigil, keeping vigil for so long or so long, another spending even longer in prostrations, and others in other ascetic actions. Quite simply during these holy days it is possible to see great zeal and attention. But the true subject behaves with obedience not at any particular time, but keeps up the struggle always. What is the struggle? Not to walk according to ones own will, but to let oneself be ruled by the disposition of the superior. This is better than the other works of zeal and is a crown of martyrdom; except that for you there is also change of diet, multiplication of prostrations and increase of psalmody are in accord with the established tradition from of old. And so I ask, let us welcome gladly the gift of the fast, not making ourselves miserable, as we are taught, but let us advance with cheerfulness of heart, innocent, not slandering, not angry, not evil, not envying; rather peaceable towards each other, and loving, fair, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits; breathing in seasonable stillness, since hubbub is damaging in a community; speaking suitable words, since too unreasonable stillness is profitless; yet above all unsleepingly keeping watch over our thoughts, not opening the door to the passions, not giving place to the devil. If the spirit of the powerful one, it says, rise up against you, do not let it find your place. So that the enemy has power to suggest, but in no way to enter. We are lords of ourselves; let us not open our door to the devil; rather let us keep guard over our soul as a bride of Christ, not set about with tumult, unwounded by the arrows of the thoughts; for thus we are able to become a dwelling of God in Spirit. Thus we may be made worthy to hear, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Quite simply, Whatever is true, whatever noble, whatever just, whatever pure, whatever lovely, whatever of good report, if there is anything virtuous, if there is anything praiseworthy, to speak like the Apostle, do it; and the God of peace will be with you all, in Christ Jesus, our Lord, to whom be the glory and the might, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen."St. Theodore the Studite - Catechesis 53 "On fasting; and that the true fast of the obedient and the subject is the cutting off of ones will. Given on Cheesefare Sunday."

Fundraising for a new church.

We continue to raise money in order to buy our own church. We are not a big parish and people are giving generously what they can afford, but we mainly rely on the help of friends. This is our objective. In the meantime, until we find something suitable to buy, we hope to move from Frenchey and, as a temporary solution, to rent another place closer to the centre, where we can leave all the things we need for our services.

Please help to collect the money.

Let God help us in our efforts!

For donations: Bank: Lloyds Bank

Account name: Russian Orthodox Parish of the Holy Trinity

Sort code: 30-00-01, account: 01620935




For more information contact Elya Kisina, tel: 0117 9140282 or  Masha Springford, tel: 0117 9735037.

ParkEmail to Webmaster