Thank for for posting Fr. Simon's reflections; good to see that we weren't as off-track as I had feared we might be
We are always going to be in difficulties if we have to define both British and Orthodoxy. When asked to define 'Tory Democracy', Lord Randolph Churchill replied: 'A democracy which votes Tory.' Impeccable, but also impenetrable.
Fr. Simon's historical excursus is most interesting. We need to be reminded that we can experiment and that if it does not work out, we can try something else.
We are, we say, restoring Orthodoxy to these Islands; that, in the apophatic definitions offered in the last two posts means at least one thing we can pin down. The Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches in these islands are doing what it says on the tin, so to speak, offering those who wish to worship in Greek or Russian the opportunity so to do. The Antiochene Deanery is offering an English language version for those who want that. But we are not simply offering an ethnic Orthodoxy in English. Here the insights shown by Abbas Seraphim and HH Shenouda III need highlighting: the latter saw, as did the former, that what was needed was something Orthodox which was also authentically British.
Because one cannot easily define 'British' does not mean one cannot know it when one sees it; indeed one might even venture the view that such a remark is typically British. We tend not to have the mania to define and categorise that some of our European neighbours have always had. Satre thought that only in Britain could anyone think that 'academic' was a term of abuse (as in 'that's academic') or regard 'intelligensia' as an ugly word for an ugly phenomenon.
But it is pricisely this mind-set which makes Orthodoxy such a natural option for the British. I have a hige respect for the Catholic Church, but there is just something about its need for fine-grained legalism and precise definitions which is not really native to the British Isles.
Can't see why one needs to define Orthodoxy or British? Then you're on your way to the BOC
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)