Diocese of Whithorn
Dumfries & the Marches

Abbey of Sts. Alban and Æthelwold

Buittle Castle

near Castle Douglas

Scotland, DG7 1PA

United Kingdom

mail@botelabbey.org

01556 509072

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@2017-2019 by Botel Abbey

Organisation

Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Metropolia

The Orthodox Church's highest Ecclesiastical Authority is its local Synod of Bishops. The Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles was formed primarily to minister to Orthodox Christians of the Western Rite, but has clergy of the Eastern and Western Rite, and is a constituent member of the International Union of Genuine Orthodox Churches.   

The International Union of Genuine Orthodox Churches

The International Union is one of the largest unions of Orthodox Bishops worldwide who stand against the heresies of False Œcumenism, Modernism, and Sergianism. It is comprised of five synods of bishops around the world, who are equal and autonomous members of the union. The members are the Synod of Greece, under Metropolitan Angelos of Avlona; The Synod of Russia, under Metropolitan Seraphim of Moscow and his successor, Metropolitan Tikhon; The Synod of Ukraine, under Metropolitan Varsanuphy of Bukavinia; The Synod of Georgia, under Metropolitan Christopher of Tiblisi and our own Synod of North and South America and the British Isles, under Metropolitan John of New York and New Jersey

Diocese of the British Isles

The Diocese of the British Isles oversees the entirety of the British Isles for the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles. It has a long history of many successful missions and has ministered to the people of the British Isles according to the historic liturgical patrimony of the pre-schism west. The Diocese has also ministered to Orthodox Christians of the Eastern traditions in search of Traditional Orthodoxy. 

In recent years, due to circumstance and an increased focus on the American mission of the Metropolia, the numbers in the British Isles have decreased. The Holy Synod of the Metropolia took the decision, therefor, in 2019, to continue to administer the Diocese in the person of the First Hierarch of the Synod, Metropolitan John, but to consecrate a Vicar Bishop to expand the missionary activities which once thrived in the British Isles. As such, a Bishop of Whithorn was consecrated to aide the Synod and Metropolitan in administering the Synod's activities in Great Britain and Ireland.

Diocese of Whithorn, Dumfries, and the Marches

The Diocese of Whithorn, Dumfries, and the Marches is the Vicariate Diocese of the Metropolitan Synod of the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles, which serves as the resident hierarchy for the Metropolitan Synod in the British Isles. It is headquartered at the Abbey of Saints Alban and Æthelwold (Botel Abbey), at Buittle Castle in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, and is located close to the original diocesan headquarters for the Diocese of Whithorn. The Diocese ministers to the British Isles in both the Western and Eastern Rites, and also maintains the Orthodox National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, located in the Undercroft Chapel at Botel Abbey. The Current and 8th Orthodox Bishop of Whithorn is H.G. James.

Territorial Abbey of Saints Alban and Æthelwold

The Abbey of Sts. Alban & Æthelwold, colloquially known as Botel Abbey, is a Territorial Abbey of the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles.It is located at Buittle Castle, which also serves as the Bishop's Palace for the Bishop of Whithorn, as well as his Diocesan Headquarters. Services are carried out by the small community of monks at the Abbey itself, as well as in the surrounding area, primarily in the Western Rite, but occasional services are offered in the Eastern Rite as well. The Abbey is also home to the Orthodox National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, as well as being the custodian of a significant lipsanotheca of relics, including significant relics of St. Alban, St. Walburga, St. Machutus, and others. The Abbey serves as a spiritual centre for the Diocese, as well as a place of pilgrimage. Training of clergy in Liturgics and other relevant subjects is also undertaken on site.