Father Nektarios Serfes - Royal Martyrs Of Russia
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Charles Sydney Gibbes in 1925
Charles Sydney Gibbes in 1925

The Spiritual Journey Of Charles Sydney Gibbes In Russia

"An Englishman In The Court Of The Tsar"

by Christine Benagh

Introduction by Father Nektarios Serfes:

From England, Charles Sydney Gibbes went to St. Petersburg, Russia and eventually became the tutor of Grand Duke Tsarevich Alexis, the son of His Imperial Highness Tsar Nicholas II and Her Imperial Majesty Tsarina Alexandra. It was the Tsarina who had heard of the great talents of this English tutor and summoned him to come to the Alexander Palace to teach the Tsarevich Alexis proper English, as well as all the Royal children.

For more then ten years Charles, now usually called Sydney, offered his ability as an English language to the young Tsarevich Alexis, and whilst engaged in this he began to get to know the rest of the household of the Imperial Family of Russia. In the process of giving lessons he developed a deep respect and love for all the members of the Royal household. In return, the Royal members had a humble respect for Sydney, as a noble friend. In the course of time, as everyone began to learn of the grievous illness of the young Tsarevich Alexis, the Tsar and Tsarina found Sydney most patient and understanding of the difficulties and daily struggles of the Tsarevich.
Archimandrite Nicholas (Gibbes) 1938.

Archimandrite Nicholas (Gibbes) 1938.

While tutoring the children of the Royal household, and while also living occasionally in St. Petersburg, Sydney Gibbes became spiritually interested in the Russian Orthodox Faith. He was so inspired by this faith, that eventually after the martyrdom of the Royal Family and his escape from Russia through Siberia, then from China to the Philippines, on joyfully to Jerusalem, and then finally back to his homeland England, he converted to the Russian Orthodox Church. After some time he became a Russian Orthodox monk and a priest. The pious custom in the Orthodox Faith is that when you become a monk you change your name, and now Sydney became known as Father Nicholas (Gibbes), and he totally dedicated the rest of his life to the memory of the Imperial Martyrs of Russia Tsar Nicholas II the Family. He established a Orthodox Church in Oxford, England, as a result brought more spiritual awareness of British Orthodoxy to England.

Christine Benagh, the author of "An Englishman In The Court Of The Tsar" has spent a great deal of time intensely researching the life of Charles Sydney Gibbes, commencing with his early years in England, and when he moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, which eventually won him a great reputation for the English language throughout the country, and when he was employed by the Royal Court, where he spent a great deal of time mostly as a personal tutor to the young Tsarevich Alexis. In a most respectful and honorable manner Christine Benagh gives the reader from the results of her outstanding research a clearer picture of not only the personality of Tsarevich Alexis, but also the rest of the Imperial household. Sydney was deeply effected by the way both the Tsar and Tsarina brought up their children in the Royal Court, he is also very much moved by the Russian Orthodox piety of the Imperial Family, which later has a deep spiritual effect on his own life.

Mrs. Benagh's well understands very well not only the historical situation in Russia, but also the spiritual teachings of the Russian Orthodox Faith, showing how all the members of the Imperial household found enormous strength in their faith. She gives the reader great insight concerning this faith, making it possible to understand the inner struggles experienced by the Imperial Royal Martyrs Tsar Nicholas II and Family, and especially how they managed their daily lives before the Revolution in 1917, the very difficult time afterwards while under house arrest, and their eventual martyrdom in Ykaterinburg on July 17, 1918. All of the members of the Imperial Royal Family of Russia were deeply religious, and this was indeed a blessing for them all, as they experienced true spiritual peace throughout their lives, and especially during the last two tragic years.

The author has great insights in reference to historical accounts of what was happening in Russia during the lives of the Imperial Romanov Family, up until their Martyrdom, and important factual historical information from the period following their deaths. The reader will become well informed of the accounts of the martyrdom of the Imperial Royal Family, before Charles Sydney Gibbes eventually left Ykaterinburg, as Sydney was determined, through his devotion and respect for all the members of the Imperial Romanov household, to find out what really happened to them at the Ipatiev house, and also to discover the facts concerning the burial of the August Martyrs. The information he received astonished him, and he recounts the horrific murder of the Imperial Romanov Family. He believed that all the members of the Royal Family were indeed martyred on that fateful night of July 17, 1918. We never hear of any information from him that he ever believed
An Englishman In The Court Of The Tsar
"An Englishman In The Court Of The Tsar"
by Christine Benagh
Buy this book now!
that any member of the Imperial Romanov Family escaped, even when he later became a Russian Orthodox priest in Oxford, England.

I would strongly suggest that this book: "An Englishman In The Court Of The Tsar", be a part of your research and understanding from both a historical and theological point of view about the lives of the Imperial Royal Martyrs Tsar Nicholas II and Family. It will give you greater insights concerning the August Martyred Family of Russia, as well as an honorable account of the life of Charles Sydney Gibbes himself.

You will certainly begin to appreciate the complete devotion and love that Charles Sydney Gibbes had for all of the Imperial Royal Martyrs, and how they themselves deeply affected the rest of his life, which eventually brought him on the path of his own salvation. Thanks to the author Christine Benagh, who has brought to our attention this honorable and respectful tutor and priest Father Nicholas (Gibbes).

The author, Christine Benagh indeed has my deepest appreciation for bringing us a greater understanding, through her outstanding authorship, of the great love all of the Imperial Royal Martyrs Tsar Nicholas II and Family had for God, the Russian Orthodox Faith, for one another, and the people of Russia to whom they were completely devoted, even in martyrdom! I recommend that you all read this book, as you will be enlightened by it. The book is well informed, as well presented. Well done Christian Benagh!

In purchasing this book you can write to:

Father Nektarios Serfes
2618 West Bannock Street
Boise, Idaho 83702
$27.00 plus 15% p. & h. Profit from this book will help feed the homeless in Boise, Idaho.

May the Lord Our God remember the departed soul Priest Nicholas, in His Kingdom, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen!

Holy Royal Martyrs Tsar Nicholas
and Family,
Pray Unto God For Us!

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b a c k - t o p e-mail : fr-d-serfes@serfes.org. July 20, 2001