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Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh (19 June 1914 - 4 August 2003), Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church. He was founder and for many years bishop, archbishop then metropolitan of the Diocese of Sourozh, the Patriarchate of Moscow's diocese for Great Britain and Ireland (the name 'Sourozh' was transferred from the historical episcopal see in the city now named Sudakmarker in the Crimeamarker).

Early life

The future Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh (Russian: Антоний, Митрополит Сурожский, Antonij, Mitropolit Surožskij) was born Andrei Borisovich Bloom on 19 June, 1914, in Lausannemarker, Switzerlandmarker, to Xenia and Boris Edwardovich Bloom. On his mother's side, he was the nephew of the composer Alexander Scriabin.

He spent his early childhood in Russiamarker and Persiamarker. During the Russian Revolution the family had to leave Persia, and in 1923 they settled in Parismarker where he was educated, graduating in physics, chemistry and biology, and taking his doctorate in medicine, at the University of Parismarker.

By his own words, he met Christ, when he was a teenager:

"I met Christ as a Person at a moment when I needed him in order to live, and at a moment when I was not in search of him. I was found; I did not find him.

I was a teenager then. Life had been difficult in the early years and now it had of a sudden become easier. All the years when life had been hard I had found it natural, if not easy, to fight; but when life became easy and happy I was faced quite unexpectedly with a problem: I could not accept aimless happiness. Hardships and suffering had to be overcome, there was something beyond them. Happiness seemed to be stale if it had no further meaning.

As it often happens when you are young and when you act with passion, bent to possess either everything or nothing, I decided that I would give myself a year to see whether life had a meaning, and if I discovered it had none I would not live beyond the year..."


In 1939, before leaving for the front as a surgeon in the Frenchmarker army, he secretly professed monastic vows in the Russian Orthodox Church. He was tonsured and received the name of Anthony in 1943. During the occupation of France by the German he worked as a doctor and took part in the French Resistance.

After the war he continued practising as a physician until 1948, when he was ordained to the priesthood and sent to Englandmarker to serve as Orthodox Chaplain of the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius. He was appointed vicar of the Russian patriarchal parish in Londonmarker in 1950, consecrated as Bishop in 1957 and Archbishop in 1962, in charge of the Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain and Ireland. In 1963 he was appointed Exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate in Western Europe, and in 1966 was raised to the rank of Metropolitan. By mutual agreement he was released in 1974 from the function of Exarch, in order to devote himself more fully to the pastoral needs of the growing flock of his diocese and all who came to him seeking advice and help.


Metropolitan Anthony received honorary doctorates from the University of Aberdeen ('for preaching the Word of God and renewing the spiritual life of this country'); from the Moscow Theological Academy for his theological, pastoral and preaching work; from the University of Cambridgemarker; and from the Kiev Theological Academymarker.


His books on prayer and the spiritual life Living Prayer, Meditations on a Theme and God and Man were published in England, and his texts are now widely published in Russia, both as books and in periodicals.

  • 1966 – Living prayer
  • 1970 – Beginning to pray
  • 1971 – God and man
  • 1972 – Meditations on a theme: a spiritual journey
  • 1973 – Courage to pray
  • 1986 – The essence of prayer

Note: dates are for English editions.

Later life

Metropolitan Anthony has resigned in summer 2003 and died days after his resignation on Aug 4th 2003.

Metropolitan Anthony's grave is in Brompton Cemeterymarker, London and is visited often by both Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike.

The Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh Foundation

The Foundation [37195]is a body of independent trustees whose principal task is to collect together and publish the writings of the late Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh.

At the present time, the Foundation undertakes this by managing the copyrights in his works and by commissioning new selections and approved translations.

The Foundation is also establishing the official archive of Metropolitan Anthony's papers and writings, together with related materials, such as recordings of talks, broadcasts and sermons.

The Foundation is the legal owner of the worldwide copyrights and other intellectual property rights in Metropolitan Anthony's works, and its charity registered number is 1120395.

The Chairman of the Trustees is Bishop Basil of Amphipolis.

See also


A biography of him, 'This Holy Man' by Gillian Crow was published in 2005.

External links

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