Introduction by Father Demetrios 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.
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.