In a year in which there have been a number of commemorations marking Britain's role in supporting Russia during both WW2 (Princess Anne visited Archangel at the end of August to mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the first Arctic Convoy there) and WW1 (the centenary of the opening of the Anglo-Russian Hospital in St Petersburg, treating the Russian wounded from the Eastern Front and funded & staffed by the British), the Anglican Church in St Petersburg held an ecumenical Service of Remembrance on Sunday in which we were joined for the first time by guests from the Russian Orthodox Church, Fr. Leonid (Mankov) from the Chaplaincy to the Military and Deacon Vyacheslav Zavalny from the Department for External Church relations.

The service was led by our regular locum, The Rev'd John Summers RN retd., and was also attended by his good friends from the Russian Naval Christian Fellowship, Rear Admiral Mikhail Kuznetsov and Captain Nikolai Chesnikov. Following the service, a reception was held at the British Consulate, hosted by HM Consul General Keith Allan, who was also joined by the Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Moscow, Martin Harris. 

At the Consulate, Rear Admiral Kuznetsov presented Keith Allan with a picture showing the Royal Navy coming to the aid of a seriously ill crew member from the Russian submarine Tambov in 2000 and spoke of the co-operation between Russian and British military Christians, one example being the charity established by naval wives in Plymouth and Russia to support the families of the crew of the submarine Kursk, which sank with the loss of all on board during a naval exercise in August 2000.  

A visit to the Russian Naval Cathedral at Kronstadt is also now being planned, at the invitation of Fr. Leonid and his team at the Russian Military Chaplaincy, in order to discuss further co-operation and the strengthening of cultural links between Britain and Russia.

Thanks to David Whitford for gathering this information. General picture below plus group, with Keith Allan, at the Consulate after the service.