Tolleshunt Knights, England, August 5, 2019
The Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Tolleshunt Knights, near Essex, England is the oldest Orthodox monastic community in the country. It was founded in 1958 by Elder Sophrony (Sakharov), the spiritual child of St. Silouan the Athonite who is himself venerated throughout the Orthodox world.
Elder Sophrony served as the monastery’s abbot until his holy repose in 1993.
The abbatial post was then taken up by Archimandrite Kyrillos, who served in that capacity until earlier this year, when he retired due to the weakness of his age. He has not been able to serve the Liturgy for more than a year now, though he is now working to instruct the new abbot.
For its new abbot, the monastery, consisting of both a male and female community, elected Fr. Peter (Vryzas).
Fr. Peter is a relatively young monk and disciple of Elder Zacharias (Zacharou), who was himself a close disciple of Elder Sophrony.
The new abbot was born in Greece in 1977. He joined the monastery in 2002 at the age of 25, having labored in monastic obedience for 17 years already.
His PhD, on the mystery of receiving and transmitting the word of God in the teachings of Fr. Sophrony, was recently published as his first book.