It is with an unspeakable sense of loss that the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies share the news of the death of Father Raphael Armour, our beloved friend, spiritual father, and long-standing Institute Trustee. Father Raphael departed to the Lord yesterday, 25 July 2023.
All those who knew Father Raphael, his parishioners, his friends, the Trustees and staff of the Institute are devastated and in shock at his sudden death.
Father Raphael has been a remarkable presence in the life of the institute, as one of our founding members, then as Chaplain and later as Trustee. For over two decades, Father Raphael has been both at the centre of our Institute’s life and of the Orthodox witness in Cambridge. As the parish priest of the Russian Orthodox Parish of St Ephraim, he has helped shape the Orthodox witness and fellowship in Cambridge and beyond, while his devoted and unparalleled pastoral support was crucial for so many of our students, staff and faculty. In that sense, one cannot overstate the seminal and lasting influence of Father Raphael over the life and work of our Institute.
He was a true spiritual Father, a valued mentor, a dear friend, whose kind, friendly smile and witty sense of humour welcomed all those who so often turned to him for prayer, spiritual counselling or advice. We will miss him terribly. May Christ give strength and peace to Father Raphael’s family, to his wife Presbytera Carolyn and to his son Nicholas. Memory eternal in the community of God’s beloved Saints!