Saint Panteleimon's is an Orthodox Christian parish of Russian tradition serving the New South Wales Central Coast and the northern suburbs of Sydney. We are a parish of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, a self-governing part of the Russian Orthodox Church. Established in 2000, our parish is one of the newest in our Diocese. Download an English-language copy of our Autumn 2015 Schedule of Services in PDF format here. A Russian-language copy of the Autumn 2015 Schedule of Services can be downloaded here.
Saint Panteleimon Russian Orthodox Church
4/7 Comserv Close; WEST GOSFORD, NSW 2256 Australia Detailed Map
The May 2015 meeting of the Parish Council - 12/05/2015
The Parish Council met on Tuesday 12 May 2015. The usual pastoral, financial and administrative reports were heard. The meeting was advised that the rector was expected to be abroad during October 2015, participating in the delegation accompanying the visit of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God to the Yekaterinburg and Ufa Dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church. Plans for the celebration of the Great Feast of Pentecost (Sunday 31 May) and the feast of Saint Panteleimon (Sunday 9 August) were discussed, and a decision was made to purchase certain items required for hierarchical services. A number of applications for the renewal of parish membership were considered and approved. The Parish Council plans to meet next on Tuesday 16 June 2015.
Services on 2-3 May: Bishop George's visit and a memorial service for Archbishop Theodore (Rafalsky) (+1955) - 03/05/2015
On Saturday 2 May and Sunday 3 May we had services for the Fourth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Paralytic. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday our parish had the honour of receiving His Grace, Bishop George of Canberra, Vicar of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese and Diocesan Administrator. The was Bishop George’s first service away from the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral since arriving in Australia on Thursday 16 April. Following the dismissal, a memorial litia was served for the ever-memorable Archbishop Theodore (Rafalsky) (+1955), first Russian Orthodox Bishop of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand, the sixtieth anniversary of whose repose it will be on Tuesday 5 May. Before these prayers were offered, the parish rector gave a brief overview of Vladyka Theodore's life and his work in laying the foundations of the Australia-New Zealand Diocese. After the service our parishioners and friends gathered for a festive meal with Vladyka George in the parish hall.
Stormy weather on the Central Coast - 22/04/2015
On Wednesday 22 April we were scheduled to resume our twice-monthly moleben and akathist to Saint Panteleimon, this observance having been set aside during Great Lent to make way for the Lenten services. On the evening of Monday 20 April, however, wind and rain struck the New South Wales coast with great intensity, the effects being felt with particular severity on the Central Coast and in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. Our church and parish centre lost access to power in the early hours of Tuesday morning and remained without it until the morning of Saturday 25 April. As a result, access to our church and the surrounding units was restricted to daylight hours. Although a few of the faithful braved the inclement weather and drove to church on Wednesday evening, the service was unable to proceed. Our next moleben and akathist to Saint Panteleimon - in Slavonic - will be on Wednesday 13 May.
Services on 18-19 April, Thomas Sunday - 19/04/2015
On Saturday 18 April and Sunday 19 April we had services for the Second Sunday of Pascha, Thomas Sunday. On Sunday our regular parishioners were joined by friends from Sydney and by Mrs Lubov Cowall, Diocesan Council member and the Senior Sister of the Holy Protection Cathedral in Brunswick (Melbourne), Victoria. At the end of Divine Liturgy the Prayer at the cutting of the Artos was read and the blessed bread was distributed to the faithful. In place of a sermon, the parish rector read aloud the 2015 Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion.
Holy Week and Pascha in Gosford - 12/04/2015
From the evening of Great and Holy Thursday until the Sunday of Pascha there were seven services in our parish: Matins of Great and Holy Friday with the reading of the Twelve Gospels, Vespers of Great and Holy Friday with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ, Matins of Great and Holy Saturday with Lamentations before the Tomb of Christ, Vespers of Great and Holy Saturday with the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, an early Midnight Office and Paschal Matins on Saturday evening, and Paschal Vespers late on Sunday morning. This year there was no midnight Paschal Divine Liturgy as the parish rector was serving in Wallsend. The Paschal services were nevertheless particularly well-attended, with approximately 150 people gathering for Midnight Office and Paschal Matins, and many gathering for Vespers and the blessing of kulichi and eggs on Sunday morning.
Matins of Great and Holy Monday and Wednesday - 07/04/2015
Since 2005 it has been the custom in our parish to serve Matins of Great and Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on the first three evenings of Holy Week - Sunday, Monday and Tuesday respectively. At these solemn and beautiful services the troparion "Се Жених грядет в полунощи" ("Behold, the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night") is sung, and later - after the reading of the canon - a trio sings the exapostilarion "Чертог Твой" ("I see Thy bridal chamber adorned"). The icon placed in the middle of the church is one depicting Christ "the Bridegroom". This year, services were held only on the evenings of Sunday 5 April and Tuesday 7 April, the parish rector serving All-night Vigil for the Great Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God in Wallsend on the evening of Monday 6 April.
Services on 4-5 April, Palm Sunday - 05/04/2015
On Saturday 4 April and Sunday 5 April we had services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday. On the preceding Friday the church had been cleaned and beautifully decorated with palms. On Saturday evening All-night Vigil was served with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil, five loaves and – as is customary on this feast-day – the blessing of palms and pussy-willows. Many people were present for this service, at which our full choir sang under the direction of Olga Itsikson. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday 50 people received the Holy Mysteries, amongst whom were the newly-baptised handmaidens of God Catherine Elphick and Raisa Anisimova, both receiving Holy Communion for the first time. At the dismissal a collection was taken up to benefit the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. Following Divine Liturgy, a panikhida was served for Elena Lucia Radu, it being the fortieth day of her repose. Many stayed behind afterwards for a lunch of BBQ fish prepared by our Ladies’ Auxiliary, Palm Sunday being one of only two days on which fish is customarily permitted during Great Lent. UPDATE: Our collection for the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem raised $638.25.
A Baptism – Raisa Anisimova - 04/04/2015
On Saturday 4 April the parish rector baptised Raisa Anisimova, the mother of our parishioner and chorister Katia Waters. Her sponsor at baptism was Nina Belachova. Also present were Raisa's grandchildren Elizabeth and Thomas, with whom - together with her husband Nikolai and Katia's sister Elena - she is now united in the Orthodox faith. In preparation for Raisa's baptism, The Office for receiving those coming to our Holy Church from Islam was served on the afternoon of Friday 3 April. May God grant his newly-enlightened handmaiden Raisa many years!
Services during the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Weeks of Great Lent - 01/04/2015
For many years now it has been our custom to serve Great Compline at 7.00pm on Wednesday evening of the Second, Third, Fourth and Sixth Weeks of Great Lent, and on the evening of Wednesday of the Fifth Week to serve Matins with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete and the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt. Because of its great length, this service commences at 6.00pm. Together with Vespers and the "Passia" at 6.00pm on the first four Sunday evenings of Great Lent these services set the tone for the season of repentance and help us support our fasting with increased prayer. This year we were again able to have all of these services, with many of those who attended helping with the reading of the psalms and prayers.
Deacon Constantine Moshegov elevated to the rank of Protodeacon - 19/04/2015
On Sunday 19 April, Thomas Sunday, Deacon Constantine Moshegov was raised to the rank of Protodeacon by Metropolitan Hilarion during Divine Liturgy at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Strathfield. Protodeacon Constantine - who is also a well-known eye surgeon - has served in our parish many times and is the brother-in-law of our own Deacon Martin Naef. We warmly congratulate Father Constantine on his elevation and wish him many more years of faithful service to the Holy Orthodox Church. Axios! A Russian-language article with photographs is available on the Diocesan website here.
The ordination of Deacon Simon Polorotov - 18/04/2015
On Saturday 18 April, Bright Saturday, Simon Polorotov was ordained to the diaconate by Metropolitan Hilarion during Divine Liturgy at Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Fairfield, NSW. The newly-ordained Deacon Simon is the older brother of Protodeacon German Polorotov and will undertake his clerical service at Fairfield, filling the position vacated by Father German upon his move to the Tweed Heads parish. Father Simon is a long-term friend of our parish, he and his family having donated the icons of Equal-to-the-Apostles Grand Duchess Olga and Blessed Xenia of Saint Petersburg that adorn our iconostasis at West Gosford. We warmly congratulate Father Simon on his ordination to the diaconate and wish him many years of faithful service to the Holy Orthodox Church. Axios! A photo-report is available on the Fairfield parish website here, and an article in the Russian-language newspaper "Unification" can be viewed here.
The induction of His Grace Bishop George as Diocesan Administrator and Bishop of Canberra - 17/04/2015
On Thursday 16 April and Friday 17 April our parish clergy, Priest James Carles and Deacon Martin Naef, participated in festive services to mark the commencement of Bishop George’s service as Bishop of Canberra, Vicar of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia and Diocesan Administrator. At Divine Liturgy on Friday morning thirty-eight priests and deacons of our Diocese concelebrated with Metropolitan Hilarion, Bishop George, Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Archdiocese, and clergy from the Greek and Serbian Orthodox Churches. A number of our parishioners were also present for Divine Liturgy, with Matushka Tatiana Naef, Anne Nielsen and Katia Waters all later representing the parish at the official luncheon together with the clergy. We welcome Bishop George to our Diocese and look forward to his first pastoral visit to our parish as Diocesan Administrator. A Russian-language article with photographs is available on the Diocesan website here.