The holy relics from Diveyevo in the UK (continued). Chiswick
Another message came from the UK where our sisters accompany the reliquary with the relics of Diveyevo saints:
Last Saturday, we visited the church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God of the Russian Church Abroad located in the western part of London called Chiswick.
The church is built in accordance with the Russian architectural tradition: white stonewalls and a blue dome. The land for the church was purchased in the late 80s. The new church brought the local emigrants and their children, who were previously scattered around the district, together into one community. The church sacristan, Vera Alexandrovna McLennan, who worked in this parish for the last thirty years, warmly greeted our group and took care of us. We quizzed her about the life of the post-revolutionary Russian émigrés as many of them were still alive at the time of her youth. They were the ones who saved and delivered the ancient pre-revolutionary icons and church items to this church. For example, the church has the overcoat of the last Russian tsar, the holy martyr Nicholas II, handed over by the tsar’s sister, Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna.
The church’s main building has a really cozy basement church consecrated in honor of the Royal Passion-Bearers. We discovered three icons of our dear Father Seraphim there! It also had an old and artfully made Shroud, the ancient lecterns and a cross carefully preserved during the endless years of wanderings of the Russian emigration.
This church is full of kids. During our visit, they came together in the lower church for a conversation with the priest.
We spent the whole day in this church meeting everyone who came to venerate the relics of the Diveyevo saints and once again could rejoice at the awe and love of the local faithful. One woman tearfully shared the wonderful story that took place last year when our sisters visited with the relics of Father Seraphim. Larisa’s family could not finish their time-sapping legal procedure for ten years. According to her, Father Seraphim was, indeed, their last hope. She asked Venerable Seraphim for help, and in a few days, there came a positive response, dated exactly on the day she was at his holy relics.
In the church’s kitchen, we met the young ladies who work there. They call themselves a sisterhood. We joined them and refreshed ourselves with potatoes, eating out of one pot. A lot of people who met us said that they really wanted to visit Diveyevo and intended to take this journey. These ladies were no exception. Therefore, it seems like we said goodbye to everyone for a short while.