When Clive Fairclough is asked whether he had any connection with the Slavic world before he arrived in Moscow earlier this year as the most senior Anglican cleric in Russia, he pauses for several seconds.
“The opposite way around, actually, because I spent 20 years of my life in NATO,” he answers eventually.
It is an unlikely transformation ”” from British army officer in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization devising military strategies to checkmate the Soviet Union, to Anglican chaplain in Moscow. But Fairclough, who is taking courses about the Orthodox Church and planning to learn Russian, drew out a common thread.
“In my entire career I have been a peacemaker,” he said in a recent interview in the parsonage next to St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in downtown Moscow.