Autumn Meeting


There will be a meeting of the society in London on Thursday 9 November 2017.

The meeting begins at 6.00 pm with a service of


Orthodox Vespers


in the church of St Dunstan in the West, 184 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2HR.


After the service at about 7.00 pm there will be a glass of wine at the St Bride Foundation in Bride Lane, off Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8EQ, followed by a talk by


Graham Speake:


“Athos and the West: A Chapter in the History of the Athonite Commonwealth”




The Speaker

Graham is known to all of us as the co-founder and chairman of the Friends of Mount Athos. He is the author of the best book on Mount Athos today, Mount Athos: Renewal in Paradise, for which he was awarded the Criticos prize; The Encyclopaedia of Greece and the Hellenic Tradition, and a number of edited volumes on Athonite history and spirituality.  He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a former director of the academic publishers Peter Lang.  His new book, A History of the Athonite Commonwealth: The Spiritual and Cultural Diaspora of Mount Athos, will be published by Cambridge University Press in the spring of 2018.


The Topic

What is meant by the Athonite Commonwealth? Examination of the extent and duration of its influence adds a new dimension to the importance of Athos as the spiritual heart of Orthodoxy. Traditionally this has been the so-called Orthodox heartlands of Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Balkans. The descent of the Iron Curtain in the twentieth century meant that these traditional routes were blocked, and Athonite spirituality, whose springs are unquenchable, had to find a new direction. As a result, the Athonite Commonwealth has become a global phenomenon.


There is no charge for attending this meeting, though there will be a plate for contributions towards expenses. Guests are warmly invited to attend.