About Us


Welcome to the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia in the British Isles. We are a group of Orthodox faithful, who seek to live out the fullness of our Faith in Christ using the worship and patterns of our forebears.

Centred around Botel Abbey in Scotland,  we are a small but fast growing group. Many of us are spread out across the UK, but we come together to worship as often as we can at the regular weekly services held at Botel Abbey, where the community have restored and augmented an historic recusant chapel. It now serves as the Diocesan Pro-Cathedral and the Orthodox Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Scotland.

We are always welcoming of anybody who want’s to join us for services, or to know more. Please do get in contact with us at


Our Administration

The Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles is an Old Calendar jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church. The Metropolia is lead by Metropolitan John, from New York in the USA, and we number some 12,000 faithful across the USA and the UK.

Today we are known predominantly as the western rite synod of the IUGOC, the largest of the two major international Old Calendarist unions with around 200,000 faithful. The IUGOC (International Union of Genuine Orthodox Churches) is comprised of five synods of bishops from around the world, who all meet as equal and autonomous members of the union.

As Old Calendarists, we are deeply committed to ecclesiastical unity, and work hard to try and bring about a new Ecumenical Council which we hope will heal the terrible rifts that the Church is experiencing today.


Find out more about the history of the Metropolia here.


Our Bishop and Our Diocesan Headquarters

Bishop James is the 8th Orthodox Bishop of Whithorn, the original diocese being founded in 425. Bishop James lives and works at the Abbey of Saints Alban and Aethelwold, normally referred to as Botel Abbey, in Kirkcudbrightshire. The Abbey is located in a medieval castle set among the beautiful rolling hills of the Scottish borders. It houses a shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, and is especially notable for its significant lipsanotheca of relics, including relics of St Alban, St Walburga and St Machutus. The Abbey serves as a spiritual centre for the Diocese, as well as a place of pilgrimage and a residential venue for seminary studies.

The Diocese is becoming well known for it’s academic work on the Use of Sarum and it’s extensive theological library. We are more than happy for people to come and use the library, but we would ask that you contact us first to book an appointment.



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