Building and Development Appeal
Who we are
Our Institute, founded with the blessing of those Bishops with responsibility in the British Isles, is the sole Christian Orthodox institution for higher education in the United Kingdom, gathering together Christians from all the historical Orthodox Churches in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Greece, but also from the various Orthodox jurisdictions in the UK and the Western world. We aim also to reach out to meet the needs of the developing parishes of the United Kingdom, and, through the internet, to reach by distance learning to the furthest corners of the world. The Institute is a full member of the Cambridge Theological Federation.
Become an Orthodox founder in Cambridge
By helping the Institute acquire its own building in Cambridge for its missionary and liturgical service to the Orthodox Church, you are joining our liturgical community of founders and benefactors who are always remembered in our prayers during the services held in our Chapel. As in the other Cambridge colleges large donors are individually prayed for at the service for ‘Commemoration of Benefactors’ each year. Also should you be willing to sponsor one of the rooms of the Institute (lecture room, library, common room etc), this room will bear your name keeping you as a permanent member of our community but also as an example of Orthodox generosity for future generations.
Why do we need a house?
For its first eleven years, the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies has been in rented accommodation as a paying guest of the Methodist Church in Wesley House, Cambridge. Our students and staff have hired rooms, we rent a flat for offices where our library overflows, and where students have no common room. We use the Wesley House chapel for our services and the space for teaching is offered by fellow houses in the Cambridge Theological Federation. We have however reached a point in our development when we need a place of our own. Our activities are expanding to such a degree that we need space to provide facilities appropriate to the only institution in Western Europe that teaches, in English, all aspects of the Orthodox faith at preuniversity, undergraduate and graduate level. Above all, we need to fulfil the aims of our constitution by placing learning in the context of continuing worship in the Orthodox tradition, with a chapel of our own, facilities to house and feed our students and an ongoing fellowship suitable to the training of those who will play a leading role in the Church of tomorrow. We need £3 million in all, for a suitable property and to adapt it to our needs.
At present, property, especially in Cambridge, represents a safe haven for whatever gifts and legacies we begin to accumulate, as against other investment. The ever-present need for student accommodation guarantees a secure income, whatever the ebb and flow of Institute numbers. The facilities would also allow us to contribute to the resources of the Theological Federation and to supplement the capacity of the city to stage conferences out of term-time and to benefit from the income. We would cease to divert income to rent and would be in the happy position of most of the other Cambridge theological colleges, which largely maintain their activities out of student rentals.
The Orthodox Church is one of the fastest-growing churches in the UK and its newly established Pan-Orthodox Assembly of Bishops provides a focus for unity and cooperation among the branches of Orthodoxy. The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies has been ahead of its time in being pan-Orthodox and is now poised to be one centre for the educational activities to be coordinated by the Assembly of Bishops. Established in an ecumenical context, it trains Orthodox clergy and laity to cooperate, dialogue with and share with other Churches in propagating the Christian message to an increasingly secular and pluralist world.