For a thousand years, from AD37-45 to AD1054-66, the people living in the British Isles and western Europe believed and worshipped God as an integral part of the undivided Orthodox Catholic Church. That Church was governed world wide by five Patriarchs, those of Constantinople (the Ecumenical Patriarch), Rome, Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria. The Church in the British Isles was a local expression of the common Orthodox Christian Faith held throughout the world. The great saints of the British Isles such as Saint Aidan, Saint David, Saint Patrick, Saint Alban, Saint Chad, Saint Cuthbert, Saint Boniface, Saint Dunstan etc., were all members of that Orthodox Catholic Church in the British Isles which continued for a thousand years.
The initial split in the world wide Church occurred just after the beginning of the second millennium, when the Patriarch of Rome and his people parted from the majority of the Church led by the Ecumenical Patriarch and the other three Patriarchs. Throughout the second millennium, the church adhering to the Pope (Patriarch) of Rome, continued to split and further split until today there are some ten thousand separate groups or churches.
The original Church, the undivided Orthodox Catholic Church, continues today, still led by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the Patriarchs of Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria, joined by the Patriarchs of Moscow, Georgia, Belgrade and Bucharest. During the past millennium, the Church has expanded, with Russia and the Slavic Churches having the largest number of Orthodox people in the world today. The Church founded by Christ and spread by His Apostles and Evangelists - the Orthodox Church - numbers hundreds of millions of members today, and is rapidly expanding on all the continents and especially in the western countries.



The following is a copy-typing from an old photostat which does not lend itself to OCR

27 March, 1962
No 119

His Eminence
Most Reverend William Henry Francis
Archbishop of the Old Catholic Church in America
Woodstock, New York

Most Reverend and Dear brother:

Peace be to you in our Lord Jesus Christ!

We are happy to inform you as of 21 March, 1962, the date of your Petition to be received into communion with our Church, that we consider you as provisionally received into the Patriarchal Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Catholic Church in America.

Since you have with Christ-like humility left the “form, manner and conditions” of your reception entirely to our discretion, it now becomes our responsibility to complete this reception and to determine the spiritual and ecclesiastical place of you and your followers among the workers in Christ’s vineyard, the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church.

We believe that there should be no delay in receiving you and all your clergy into communion with us, in order that Western Orthodox work may proceed apace in New York City, and that we can be of mutual help to one another. Therefore we would like to begin the reception of those of your clergy nearest to us, continuing until all are received. This reception should be accomplished for the majority of you by Pascha according to the Julian calendar, so that we may concelebrate at that Feast of Feasts.

If it is agreeable to you, we would suggest that you consider making your profession by monastic vows, so that action may be initiated with the Sacred Synod for your early advancement to higher status.

With the assurance of our blessing and prayers for you all, we remain

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Bishop of New York
Acting Patriarchal Exarch