The Old Rectory, Rectory Road, Tolleshunt Knights, By Maldon, Essex CM9 8EZ, United Kingdom
Tel.: (+44) (0) 1621 816 471
The Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of St John the Baptist is a monastic community composed of nuns and monks of various nationalities, and is directly under the Ecumenical Patriarchate. There are around 20 nuns and a smaller number of monks.
The Holy Monastery was founded by Elder Sophrony Sakharov. The founder of the Monastery, later canonised as Saint Sophrony, studied at Moscow’s School of Fine Arts and later studied at the Theological Institute of St. Sergius in Paris.
He began his monastic life on Mount Athos, after departing Paris in 1925. There, at the Monastery of St Panteleimon, he met and lived alongside Saint Silouan. This relationship was a milestone in his life and in his spiritual course. After the passing away of St. Silouan he retreated to the wilderness of Mount Athos. After leaving the Holy Mountain and settling back in Paris, he decided to stay in a Russian nursing home helping the priest there.
In 1958, Elder Sophrony acquired a group of six people, all longing to become monks, under the spiritual direction of the Saint. In the spring of 1959, the newly formed brotherhood of St John the Baptist settled there. The Monastery, from its foundation, had both monks and nuns from many countries, as the Elder was not able to supervise two separate brotherhoods simultaneously. Saint Sophrony stayed at the monastery with his brotherhood until his repose in 1993, at the age of 97.
The Monastery, in 1965, went directly under the canonical jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and thus became Patriarchal and Stavropegic. On November 27, 2019, the canonisation of Elder Sophrony was announced by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. His feast day is on the 11th of July. The current Abbot of the monastery is the Very. Rev. Archimandrite Peter.