Below are a few thoughts and observations regarding the topic of whether King Alfred of England might one day become a Saint of the Orthodox Church.
There are Orthodox Christians in our days who advocate declaring King Alfred of England (849-899) a Saint of the Church.
Orthodox Christians are certainly free to advocate or campaign for the future glorification (canonisation) of a beloved Orthodox Christian who has reposed. Yet there are some difficulties with the idea of glorifying King Alfred. For example, he never had a cultus. That means that the Orthodox Anglo-Saxons who were his contemporaries did not see him as a man distinguished for holiness of life (or, at least, there is no evidence they did). And who is in a better position to judge the matter, his contemporaries or we who are alive a thousand years afterwards, and have no personal knowledge of this great King?
The first authority to declare King Alfred a Saint was a cluster of 19th century Anglo-Catholics in England. These men represented the high-church wing of Anglicanism. Could some Orthodox be assuming King Alfred is a Saint because they own Anglican-produced Lives of Saints which list Alfred? Could they be reading these sources uncritically, assuming that Alfred's inclusion means he had a cultus long ago? That is possible, but inconclusive. Mere chronological sequence proves nothing about cause and effect. An Orthodox individual who hopes today that King Alfred will be named a Saint, is not (necessarily) following the Anglican precedent.
[above: statue commemorating King Alfred of England]
I have some concerns peripheral to the question of King Alfred, which I'll state broadly. I have read a number of articles and internet posts which make conclusions about the ecclesiastical situation prevailing a millennium ago in England. Some of these conclusions tend towards the notion that England was Orthodox until 1066, falling into Roman Catholicism and schism only afterwards, as a result of the Norman invasion. To me it seems that this notion springs from a romanticised love of all things Anglo-Saxon, rather than any dogmatic, canonical, or other objective criteria. Between the Normans invading in 1066, and the Anglo-Saxons defending, there was no difference in religious beliefs, in Filioque usage, in church ritual, or in reverence towards the Roman Papacy. (Perhaps a case can be made that the Anglo-Saxons had more reverence for the Papacy, while the Normans had more political-military ties with it, rather cynical ties which had just recently been forged.)
Most of this notion that the Norman invasion resulted in "Roman Catholicism being imposed on England" seems to originate in the writings of Dr. Vladimir Moss. I respectfully disagree with Dr. Moss about this, even as I am grateful for his work in presenting to Orthodox readers the lives of Anglo-Saxon Saints in English.
But back to the 9th-century King Alfred. We're left with three difficulties: (a) King Alfred at no time had an Orthodox cultus; (b) there are no surviving relics of him; and (c) so far there has been no sign from God that God wills him to be glorified by the Church on earth. Of course, anything can happen.
Here is what can safely be said: To this day, King Alfred remains an unfadingly bright exemplar of pious Orthodox monarchy. And to this day English-speaking Orthodox Christians owe the rich flowering of tenth-century English Orthodox culture, great monuments of liturgy and sainthood and literature, to the vision, tenacity, and piety of Alfred.
May he rest in peace blissful and eternal!