XVII Congress

Registrations are now opened closed !

Remote participation by internet are still open, please register here!

(due to technical reasons application forms are in French)

The number of on-site participants will be limited to 200.  Options for on-line participation will be available to those who cannot attend in person.


The XVII Orthodox Congress Will be held under the auspices of The Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of France from the 29th of October to the 1st of November 2022, in the town of Merville (In the North of France, near Lille) for reflection on the theme:

The Church, a space of liberty? 

For more than fifty years the Orthodox Fellowship has organized Congresses to unite Orthodox Christians dispersed throughout Western Europe. These gatherings offer a unique experience of the unity of the Church. They provide an opportunity to live and experience communion on a level more expansive and inclusive than that of the parish or even the diocese, and thus contribute to the weaving and maintaining of connections between the faithful of diverse communities. Each Congress culminates with communal celebration of the Eucharist. Despite differences, dissentions and quarrels, conviviality around the Lord’s table has always been the occasion to live out the unity of the Church, particularly in the absence of any real structural unity in the West.

Because such an experience of unity is under threat today more than ever, the Fellowship continues its mission through the organization of the Congresses.

Orthodox Christians of all origins living in Western Europe, you are all invited to the next congress organized by the Fraternity. Be sure to share this information with those around you!

The objective of the reflexions of this year’s congress is to reflect on the foundations and characteristics of liberty in Christ:

  • In what ways does the Church suggests we live out this liberty?
  • What barriers obstruct the achievement of this liberty within the ecclesial community?
  • What difficulties need to be overcome so that the Church’s message of liberty might be better received in contemporary society?
  • In what ways does the quest for liberty in modern society’s potentially converge with the liberty offered by the Holy Spirit?
  • What relationships might the Church maintain with the state and society, particularly when the integrality of the human person is not respected in society or reduced to a secular dimension?

Provisional program

Saturday 29/10/2022 Sunday 30/10/2022 Monday 31/10/2022 Tuesday 1/11/2022
Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
Lecture 1
Lecture 3
lunch/ departures
Lecture 2
Lecture 4
from 18h00
Workshops 1
Workshops 2
Vigil (Vesperal Matins)
Soirée :
The Mission of the Fellowship Today


Additional information, subject to change:

  • Conference 1: The Philosophy of liberty today
  • Conference 2: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

– How is human liberty achieved in the body of Christ which is the Church?

– Christian asceticism – and ecclesial experience on the path to liberty.

  • Conference 3: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Cor 3:17)

– Diversity in the Church, from division to mutual enrichment.

  • Conference 4: “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Luke 20:25)

– Can the Orthodox church free itself from the state to organize independently?

– Christian engagement and the defense of human dignity.

  • Conference 5: “We are the house [of the Son], if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.” (Heb 3:6)

– What models of liberty can the world today find in the Church?

This encounter (meeting) will be an occasion to regroup in smaller workshops whose themes will center on diverse questions related to the responsibilities of Christians, in particular Orthodox Christians, in the West:

  • Cultural and liturgical diversity in the Church;
  • Ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, in particular with Judaism;
  • Coordinating liturgical, family and parish life;
  • The transmission of faith;
  • Marriage, the couple, and sexuality;
  • Bioethical and Ecological challenges…

With the participation of:

  • Mother Aimiliani (hegumen of Our Lady of All Protection monastery, Bussy, France)
  • John Behr (parish priest, Patrologist, teacher at the Universith of Aberdeen, United Kingdom)
  • Jean-Francois Colosimo, (director of Cerf editions, Orthodox theologian, historian of religions, Paris, France)
  • Father Chrstophe d’Aloisio (parish priest, ecclesiologist, Orthodox Institute St. Jean the Theologian, UCLouvain, Brussels, Belgium.
  • George El Hage (researcher in Patristics, president of Syndesmos)
  • Michel Eltchaninoff (Editor in chief of Philosophy Magazine, founder of the association: The New Dissidents)
  • Zoïa Svetova (journalist, former member of the Official Surveillance Commision of Russian Prisons, Moscow, Russia)