North Bute Lit: The Orthodox Church Monastery on Mull

Kilninian Church. '(Photo by Simaron: www.flickr.com/photos/simaron/4105948281/in/photolist-7fQ4nK)
Kilninian Church. '(Photo by Simaron: www.flickr.com/photos/simaron/4105948281/in/photolist-7fQ4nK)

Father Aldea Seraphim had travelled overnight from America to be North Bute Literary Society’s first speaker of the session, and the audience much appreciated his effort.

Beginning with some startling statistics of the predicted future numbers of Christians in the world, Father Seraphim then described the formation of the Orthodox Church in the 11th century. He himself is from Moldavia where he was first tonsured at the beautiful painted monastery at Rasca. In Moldavia there are 300 monasteries none of which are parish churches. Presently Father Seraphim is a postdoctoral Research Fellow at Oxford.

The Orthodox faith’s basic tenet is based on Christ, the Resurrection, and Eternal Life. In their view the church should be about Christ and not about social topics.

Father Seraphim explained that a monk or nun prays for the world. Monasticism is freedom (beyond the world), anti consumerism (against the world) and has a sense of purpose (for the world).

Kilninian Church was built on Mull in 1755. Long disused by the Church of Scotland, it was given to the Orthodox Church by its previous owners, a group of Catholic monks, who had failed to establish a monastery there.

After much fundraising the Orthodox Church is now in the process of buying land surrounding the historic building with plans to build a house as accommodation for Father Seraphim and three nuns who will establish the Orthodox Monastery of All Celtic Saints, with links to St Ninian, St Columba and Iona. Their set of values is simplicity of life, asceticism, and communing with nature.

The meeting concluded with Father Seraphim answering some searching questions from the audience.

On October 20 the author Norman Deeley, will give a talk on The Goat Fell Murders. Please note the new venue of the Baptist Church, King Street.