The Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius has provided many in the English-speaking world with an excellent meeting-point for Christians from Eastern and Western traditions, and in particular between Orthodox and Anglicans. A new Ph.D. thesis by Dimitrios Salapatas, a student at the University of Winchester, outlines and evaluates the bridge-building work of the Fellowship. I was interviewed regarding the dialogue between Orthodox and Evangelicals held under the Fellowship’s auspices until 2014, and it is a pleasure to bring this work to the attention of a wider audience, with the author’s permission. Below is the abstract.
The Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius: Quest for Truth, Quest for Theology, Quest for Unity
An Exploration of Eastern Orthodox and Anglican Ecumenical Theological and Ecclesiological Relations from 1927 until 2012
This thesis aims to examine the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, an ecumenical body that promotes relations between various Christian denominations. Despite being founded on the grounds to promote relations and dialogue between the Anglicans and the Orthodox, it has widened this scope, introducing new churches in its life, conferences, publications and history. In the first and second chapters of this thesis the first eighty five years (1927-2012) of its history are explored, identifying the Society’s strengths and weaknesses in achieving its objectives, whilst studying its theological approaches to the reunion work, understanding that this body has been a progressive fellowship, theologically and ecclesiastically. The third chapter investigates the life and the theological, philosophical and historical views of Nicolas Zernov, who had as a life goal to foster relations between the churches, whilst also promoting Orthodox and Russian topics to a Western audience. The final chapter examines two themes by two important members of the Fellowship, Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia’s ideas on deaconesses and women priests and former Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams’ views on icons. These two topics are interesting and current for the continuation of the relations between the Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion, trying to further understand each other in order to eventually achieve what many in the Fellowship profess and what the Bible promotes, ‘that they all may be one’ (John 17:21). The conclusion of the thesis assesses the work of the Fellowship, whilst also looking into the post 2012 objectives and achievements of the Fellowship and the future goals of the Society. Therefore, this paper is a quest for truth, a quest for theology and a quest for unity.