Who we are

His Excellency Kallistos, Metropolitan  of Diokleia is Patron of Pan-Orthodox Concern for Animals, is pictured presenting at the Religion and Animal Protection conference in Oxford, 2014.  

The Most Reverend Kallistos (Ware), Metropolitan of Diokleia (Born Timothy Ware in Bath, Somerset, England at 1934) is an auxiliary bishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Great Britain. Metropolitan Kallistos was educated at Westminster School (to which he had won a scholarship) and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he took a Double First in Classics as well as reading Theology. In 1958, at the age of 24, he embraced the Orthodox Christian faith (having been raised Anglican), traveling subsequently throughout Greece, spending a great deal of time at the Monastery of St. John the Theologian in Patmos. He also frequented other major centres of Orthodoxy such as Jerusalem and Mount Athos. In 1966, he was ordained to the priesthood and was tonsured as a monk, receiving the name Kallistos. In the same year, he became a lecturer at Oxford, teaching Eastern Orthodox Studies, a position which he held for 35 years until his retirement. In 1970, he was appointed to a Fellowship at Pembroke College, Oxford, and in 1982, he was consecrated to the episcopacy as an auxiliary bishop with the title Bishop of Diokleia, appointed to serve as the assistant to the bishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain. Despite his elevation, Bp Kallistos remained in Oxford and carried on his duties both as the parish priest of the Oxford Greek Orthodox community and as a lecturer at the University.

Since his retirement in 2001, Met. Kallistos has continued to publish and to give lectures on Orthodox Christianity, travelling widely. Until recently, he was the chairman of the board of directors of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge. He is the chairman of the group Friends of Orthodoxy on Iona. He is the Chairman of the Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue. On 31st March 2007 he was elevated to Metropolitan. Met. Kallistos is perhaps best known as the author of the book The Orthodox Church, published when he was a layman in 1963 and subsequently revised several times. More recently, he produced a companion volume, The Orthodox Way. But his most substantial publications have emerged from his translation work. Together with G. E. Palmer and Philip Sherrard), he has undertaken to translate the Philokalia (four volumes of five published to date); and with Mother Mary he produced the Lenten Triodion and Festal Menaion.

He is a prolific writer and in great demand from Orthodox and non-Orthodox organisations. We are blessed to have him as Patron of our group and for his continued support and encouragement.

Bishop Isaias of Tamasou & Orinis, Cyprus.

Met. Isaias was born in 1971 in Strovolos, Cyprus of parents who had been displaced from their home during the ethnic divisions in Cyprus. He attended and graduated from the Acropolis Lyceum. After his graduation he served in the army of Cyprus before enrolling in the Seminary of Apostle Barnabas in 1990 and, at the same time, joined the Kykkos Monastery as a novice.

In 1992, Isaias began his theological studies at the Moscow Seminary in Russia at the direction of Abbot Nikiforos of Kykkos Monastery, and graduated with Honours in 1997. He continued studies at the Moscow Seminary, completing his post-graduate work with a paper, “The Life and Works of St. Neophtos the Confined”. He then continued his post graduate education at the Theological Faculty of the Aristotle University of Thessalonica, completing a three year program in Ecclesiastical Archaeology. Isaias then returned to Russia as a nominee for Doctor of Theology at the Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary|Moscow Theological Academy]]. After acceptance of his dissertation, “The History and the Theological Content of the Kollyvadiki in Ayion Oros” he was granted, in 2003, the degree of Doctor of Theology by the Council of the Moscow Academy.

In 1993, on a break from the seminary in Russia, Isaias was  ordained a deacon. In 2000, he was ordained priest and elevated to the dignity of archimandrite by Archbishop Chrysostomos 1. Archim. Isaias was active as a representative of the Monastery of Kykkos. He participated in many theological, cultural, and humanitarian conferences in Cyprus and abroad as a member of the “World Movement of Religions and Cultures.” He also participated in programs in the United States of America on the role of the Church in a modern multicultural society. Serving under Bishop Nikiforos, Isaias supervised, for Kykkos Monastery, the Department of Direct Granting of Humanitarian Help and Spiritual Support of the disabled. This involved visiting and organizing help programs in countries that were affected by wars, hunger, or disasters. Archim. Isaias also served with the blessing of Abp. Chrysostomos I as confessor of non-Cyprian Orthodox prisoners in the Central Prisons. After election by the clergy and people on June 9, 2007, Archim. Isaias was consecrated and enthroned Metropolitan of Tamassos and Orinis on June 11th, 2007.

During his service us a bishop he founded the first Orthodox Christian environment and animal protection department of the Cyprus church in his diocese.

  The Fr. Dr. John  C H R Y S S A V G I S is Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, serving as theological advisor to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

Born in Australia (1958), he matriculated from The Scots College (1975). He received his degree in Theology from the University of Athens (1980), a diploma in Byzantine Music from the Greek Conservatory of Music (1979), and was awarded a research scholarship to St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary (1982). He completed his doctoral studies in Patristics at the University of Oxford (1983) under the supervision of Metropolitan Kallistos Ware. While serving as Personal Assistant to the Greek Orthodox Primate in Australia (1984–95), he co-founded St Andrew’s Theological College in Sydney (1985), where he was Sub-Dean and taught Patristics and Church History (1986–95).  He was also Lecturer in the Divinity School (1986–90) and the School of Studies in Religion (1990–95) at the University of Sydney. In 1995, he moved to Boston, where he was appointed Professor of Theology at Holy Cross School of Theology and directed the Religious Studies Program at Hellenic College until 2002. In December 2020, he was elected Honorary Professor of Theology at the Sydney College of Divinity.

Fr. John also serves as senior advisor of the Department of Ecumenical Affairs of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The author of over thirty books and numerous articles in several languages on the Church Fathers and Orthodox Spirituality, his publications include Soul Mending: The Art of Spiritual Direction (Holy Cross Press, 2000), Light Through Darkness: the Orthodox tradition (Orbis Books, 2004), The Letters of Barsanuphius and John (2 volumes, Catholic University Press, 2006–2007), and The Office of Primacy and the Authority of Councils (2 volumes, St. Vladimir’s Press, 2015–2016). He is the editor of three volumes containing the select writings of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (Fordham University Press, 2010–2012) and the official biographer of the Ecumenical Patriarch with his publication Bartholomew: Apostle and Visionary (Harper Collins, 2016). His latest book is Creation as Sacrament: Reflections on Ecology and Spirituality (Bloomsbury Books, 2019). He is a member of Pan Orthodox Concern for Animals charity Advisory Group.

  Archimandrite Jack Khalil is Dean of the St John of Damascus Institute of Theology – University of Balamand and Professor of New Testament Studies. Furthermore, he has been visiting Professor at many Orthodox Theological Faculties and Institutes over the world, e.g. University of Athens, Thessaloniki, IOCS (Cambridge) and St. Serge (Paris), University of North Eastern Finland, Theological School of the Church of Cyprus, et cetera. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and studied for 3 years as Visiting Fellow at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität in Tübingen, Germany. His main fields of interest are the Epistles of St Paul and the Johannine Literature. He is the author of one book published in Greece, which has been admitted as a textbook reference at the University of Thessaloniki since 2005, and many chapters in books, researches and studies published in Lebanon, Greece, France, USA, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, and Bulgaria. He is known for his contribution on the contemporary Orthodox interpretation of the Justification by Faith in the Pauline Epistles.

Archimandrite Khalil is a member of the Biblical Federation in Lebanon, the Hellenic Society of Biblical Studies, the Revision Committee of the van-Dyck–Boustani Bible Arabic Translation, the Synodical Revision Committee of Liturgical Books, the Synodical Committee of preparing a modern translation of the New Testament.  He is also a Central Committee member in the WCC since 2013, as well as a member of its Faith & Order Commission since 2014. And he was between 2007-2012 the Eastern Orthodox representative in the WCC Continuation Committee on “Ecumenism in the 21st Century”. He was for many years the Church representative of the Patriarchate of Antioch and All The East in the Committee of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches for the Collaboration with the United Bible Societies. He is a member of our Advisory Group.

Fr. Simon Peter Nellist is retired as Archpriest of Tanzania. The Mission Centre is based in Kidamali, a small village on the Iringa plateau some 500 kms south west of Dar es Salaam and 40 kms from Iringa. The mission serves 30+ villages in the area and is primarily child focused, providing a feeding programme, health care, education and clean water. Malnutrition is now rare in the mission area but the feeding programme allows access to check the children’s general health and welfare. Further details can be found on their website – orthodoxtanzania.com. Fr. Simon also serves in Cyprus and is now attached to the Archdiocese in England. He is Treasurer of this charity and was a professional accountant in many countries before entering the priesthood.

Fr. Andreas Andreopoulos studied in Greece, Canada and the UK, obtaining his PhD. in Theology and Art at Durham University. Since then, he has worked all over the UK, America and Canada, in addition to delivering conference papers and lectures across the world. Dr Andreopoulos has been at the University of Winchester since 2010 and is Programme Leader for the MTh Orthodox Studies.  

Dr Christina Nellist has a PhD in Eastern Orthodox Theology and specializes in animal suffering and human soteriology. She is a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics; a Board member of the Animal Interfaith Alliance UK and Editor of Pan Orthodox Concern for Animals website. She wrote the first Orthodox theological work on animal suffering – Eastern Orthodoxy and Animal Suffering Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Animal Suffering: Ancient Voices in Modern Theology; organised the first session relating to the animal kingdom at the first international conference of the International Orthodox Theological Association and was invited to speak on behalf of the animal kingdom at the Halki 111 Summit, where she argued the case for including creation care into Orthodox seminaries and academic institutions.  She was a consultant on the Face of God film – an Orthodox film on the climate crisis and is editing a new collection entitled Climate Crisis and Creation Care: Eco-Economic Sustainability, Ecological Integrity and Justice. She is a retired teacher and coordinator for Science who worked with the governments of  Chile and the Seychelles on animal protection and public health education. She was the British government’s Warden for the islands of the Seychelles where she helped establish the Orthodox Christian Community and  the SPCA; wrote the first special education programme for children with learning difficulties and sponsored training on the link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence. She is a former RSPCA Auxiliary Secretary and Rehoming Officer. She has been given the honour and blessing of Archbishop Gregorios and Met. Kallistos of Diokleia to establish this charity and website.

Natalia Doran was born in what was the URRS, and was educated at the Moscow University of Linguistics. She is a private student of philosophy and theology, with special interests in ontology and animal ethics. Natalia is on the council of the animal protection organisation Animal Aid and is a founder member of the wildlife rescue unit Urban Squirrels. Natalia was invited to speak at the Animal Suffering session of the inaugural meeting of the International Orthodox Theological Association in Romania in 2019. She is a regular speaker on animal ethics and is very active on social and mainstream media on issues relating to the treatment of animals. Natalia considers it a great privilege to serve an organisation that explores our relationship with animals from within the Orthodox Church. She will help with social media and the writing of articles.

Editor’s note January 2018. 

It gives me great pleasure in announcing that as of the 10th October 2017, our group is now a registered charity – number 1175072.

Our first aim is to create this website to advertise the existence of the group. We do not have ‘membership’ or ‘newsletters’ because in the modern world the use of social media is the most efficient and cost effective way of keeping our friends informed on the many issues involved in the subject of animal suffering. We do however need to raise money to ensure the expansion of the charity and for capacity building, such as the developing of a larger website. All donations will be received with great thanks. Different language pages are being added as we progress. At present we have Greek/Russian/Romanian and hope to include others such as Arabic/Serbian, etc in the future.  We have also added a translate drop-down menu to help disseminate our news. The aim is for all the content to be available to all  Orthodox Christians no matter where they live or which language they speak. We shall also be seeking out those who are willing to translate this material. If you are willing to help us please contact us on panorthodoxconcernforanimals@gmail.com.

We are pleased to announce that by God’s grace, we have volunteers to translate some of the texts into Russian, Greek and Romanian.  We are still looking for volunteers to help them and to translate the articles/announcements into other languages.  This is particularly important for a group such as ours which cuts across the normal national boundaries and is needed because of the poor quality of translation available on the  internet.

We would also like to hear your views and will try to share some of your photographs. 

Enormous thanks go to our great friend Lyudmyla Smirnova who is translating some of the English texts into Russian, to Ingrida Hizmo for the Greek and to Anca Lilly for the Romanian.