When Emperor Haile Selassie went into exile in 1936, he and his family took up residence in Fairfield House in the town of Bath, England. Both the Emperor and Empress Menen were deeply oppressed under immense sorrow at having been driven out by the Italian invasion, and were doubly grieved by the fact that there was no local Ethiopian Orthodox Church for them to turn to in their grief. The Empress made several trips to and extended stays with the Ethiopian community in Jerusalem, the Emperor then wrote a letter to the exiled Echege of Debre Libanos who was living at the Ethiopian Monastery in Jerusalem asking him to send him a tabot (replica ark of the covenant) dedicated to the Savior with two priest and deacons to establish a church in Bath.
The Echege promptly did so sending the tabot of the Savior of the World (Medhane Alem) to England with the required number of clergy. The Emperor and his family set up the new church in the former dining room of Fairfield House and attended mass and prayer services here. It became known as Sidetegnaw Medhane Alem. In 1941, following the restoration of Emperor Haile Selassie to his throne and the defeat of the Fascist Italian forces in Ethiopia, Empress Menen returned to Addis Ababa in early September 1941. The Tabot of Medhane Alem also arrived with her.
Initially a church was built on the grounds of the Haile Selassie I Hospital or Beite Saida Hospital as it was then known (presently the Yekatit 12 Hospital) to serve as the new Medhane Alem church. The Emperor bestowed the title “Meskea-hazunan” on the Church which translates as “Consoler of the Bereaved”, but it continued to be referred to as Sidetegnaw “Exiled” Medhane Alem even to the present day.
The church became a very popular place of worship, so the Emperor built a new church building where it is now In front of Addis Ababa University.