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Training Serbian priests

06 July 2018

July 5th, 1918.

THE most sanguine promoter of friendly relations between the Eastern and Western Churches would scarcely have ventured to dream five years ago of a movement to aid candidates for the priesthood in the Church of Serbia to complete their studies in England, a movement cordially supported by English Churchmen and statesmen. Yet the war has made such a movement possible, and even necessary. Nor can it be said to be altogether without precedent. Early in the 17th century Cyril Lucar, Patriarch of Alexandria, sent a priest, Critopoulos, afterwards Patriarch of Alexandria, to study for five years at Balliol College, Oxford, at the request of James I. Towards the end of the same century Greeks came to study in Oxford, though an ill-managed enterprise met with little success. To-day a sounder project is in happy operation. The whole organization of the Serbian Church is in abeyance. Exiled from their own country, or persecuted bitterly within it, Serbian Churchmen can do nothing to provide for the future. Their seminaries are closed, their students dispersed, many of their leaders are interned. The Serbian authorities, knowing that upon the Serbian Church will rest in the future no small responsibility for the reconstruction of their country, have turned to England. The Serbian Church Students’ Aid Council has been formed, with a distinguished committee. Already it maintains at Oxford, under the joint care of Dr Frere and their own clergy, 11 students pursuing a course of advanced study, while at Cuddesdon 28 younger seminarists are in the charge of the Principal of Cuddesdon and four Serbian professors. The scheme thus in operation involves the complete maintenance of nearly 40 students, and it is estimated that a sum of about £10,000 a year will be needed to keep it going. . .


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