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.
Updated 10 October 2021: The spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and the public health measures implemented to manage it have had a profound impact on life around the world. Our Holy Orthodox Church is not exempt from this.
As Orthodox Christians have done during the many other outbreaks of contagious illness – epidemics and pandemics – throughout history, our parish is offering prayers for God’s mercy, for deliverance from sickness, for the pacification of troubles, and for the strengthening of the faithful with hope. Attending to the wise guidance of Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, we are also taking the COVID-19 public health risk seriously and complying with the precautionary measures mandated by the civil authorities in our state of New South Wales. This includes the suspension of public services and, when public services are permitted, limits on the number of people present and on singing; registration of attendance to assist with contact tracing; and the wearing of facemasks. We offer obedience to these restrictions with the understanding that, as Metropolitan Hilarion has noted, they are being undertaken for our benefit.
We have also introduced a number of simple sanitary measures at parish level. These will continue as COVID-19 restrictions ease. The customary form of receiving Holy Communion remains unchanged.
From the earliest days of parish life in Gosford we have had an informal meal after Sunday services. Although this has been cancelled since March 2020, a change to parish life that many have found difficult, we hope to resume some face-to-face fellowship soon.
We have registered as a COVID-safe place of worship. Our parish COVID-19 Safety Plan, guidance from the higher church authorities, links to public health information, a selection of prayers, and links to streamed liturgical services from other parishes able to provide them, are available here.
Many of our parishioners and friends have asked about the permissibility of COVID-19 vaccines. As with other kinds of vaccination, this is not a matter of spiritual life. Those concerned about health risks arising from COVID-19 vaccines are encouraged to discuss the matter with their own medical professionals. Noting that there are differences within our hierarchy and amongst the faithful concerning the newly developed vaccines, we encourage all to show kindness, patience, and mutual respect.
Updated 10 October 2021: Although places of worship on the Central Coast may be open to fully-vaccinated members of the public from Monday 11 October 2021, our parish will not resume public services until the weekend of 30-31 October. This is to ensure that our parish complies with Public Health Orders and to minimise the risk of breaches of privacy and conflict over vaccination status. Funerals and memorial services may be held provided they comply with current NSW Government rules. We are recomending that baptisms resume in December 2021. From the resumption of services until 30 November 2021, face masks will be required and attendance at regular services will be limited to 32 people, or one person per four squares metres. Attendance at Divine Liturgy during this time - that is, on Sunday 31 October, Sunday 7 November, and Sunday 21 November - will be limited to our regular parishioners and be by invitation only. Provided numbers do not exceed 32, the evening services on Saturday 30 October, Saturday 6 November, and Saturday 20 November will be open to all. For questions about attendance at Divine Liturgy, please email email@example.com.
Our parish is a small one that relies wholly on community support to make ends meet. If you have found this website to be of interest or of use, please consider helping us. Donations may be made directly to our bank account:
St Panteleimon Russian Orthodox Community of Gosford
BSB: 032-596 Account number: 140923
May the Lord bless you!
On Saturday 30 October and Sunday 31 October we will have services for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke. All-night Vigil will be served at 6.00pm on Saturday and Divine Liturgy will be served at 9.00am on Sunday. It is important to note that attendance at Divine Liturgy on Sunday is by invitation only. Provided that numbers do not exceed 32, attendance at the Saturday evening service is open to all who wish to attend. General information concerning attendance at services in our parish as COVID-19 restrictions ease is available here. The NSW Government requirement that face masks be worn whilst indoors at public places up until 30 November 2021 should be noted.
As COVID-19-related restrictions continued into October 2021, no public services were held in our parish on the first three weekends of the month. With just one singer assisting, our parish rector served behind closed doors on the following days: Saturday-Sunday 2-3 October, the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross; Saturday-Sunday 9-10 October, the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost; and Saturday-Sunday 16-17 October, the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost. At each Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read and prayers were offered for our living and departed founders, benefactors, parishioners and friends. Although our church could have been open on the weekend of 16-17 October to those with COVID-19 vaccination, the Parish Council had previously agreed to recommence services in our parish only after the 80 per cent vaccination target is reached in New South Wales and vaccination status has no impact on church attendance.
On Tuesday 5 October, the Parish Council met by teleconference. A detailed 2020-21 financial report was presented by the parish treasurer, and the independent auditor’s report for the financial year was tabled. A decision was made to recommence services in our parish only after the 80 per cent vaccination target is reached in New South Wales and vaccination status has no impact on church attendance. In making this decision, the Parish Council was guided by the desire to avoid conflict in the parish over vaccination status, a concern for individual privacy, and a commitment to compliance with the law. It was further agreed that the 2021 Annual General Meeting of the parish would be convened on Sunday 5 December. The Parish Council is due to meet next in November 2021.
As COVID-19-related restrictions continued throughout September 2021, no public services were held in our parish. With just one singer assisting, our parish rector served behind closed doors on the following days: Saturday-Sunday 3-4 September, the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost and the Apodosis of the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God; Saturday-Sunday 11-12 September, the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost; Saturday-Sunday 18-19 September, the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Monday-Tuesday 20-21 September, the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God; Saturday-Sunday 25-26 September, the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost; and on 26-27 September, the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. At each Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read and prayers were offered for our living and departed founders, benefactors, parishioners and friends. On Sunday 19 September, at Bishop George’s request, the full “Moleben sung in time of devastating epidemic and death bearing pestilence” was served.
As a result of ongoing COVID-19-related restrictions, no public services were held in our parish during August 2021. With just one or two singers assisting, our parish rector served behind closed doors on the following days: Saturday-Sunday 7-8 August, the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost; Sunday-Monday 8-9 August, the commemoration of Great-Martyr Panteleimon; Saturday-Sunday 14-15 August, the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost; Wednesday-Thursday 18-19 August, the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord; Saturday-Sunday 21-22 August, the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost; Friday-Saturday 27-28 August, the Great Feast of the Dormtion of the Mother of God; and on Saturday-Sunday 28-29 August, the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost. At each Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read and prayers were offered for our living and departed founders, benefactors, parishioners and friends.
In 2020 our Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia observed the centenary of its foundation. To mark this historic anniversary, an academic conference will be held in Belgrade, Serbia, in November this year. Titled ‘Links between Times: Conclusions and Perspectives – On the Centennial of the Russian Church Abroad’, the conference has been organised by the Archive of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the website Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad. The conference will be broadcast live. A detailed program with information about registration is available here.
In a Jubilee Epistle to the clergy and faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion writes: “In this special year of the 800th anniversary of the birth of the Holy Right-Believing Alexander, that wise diplomat and ruler, and the centennial of the I All-Diaspora Council – which took place from November 21 to December 2, 1921, in Sremski Karlovci – the Russian Orthodox people living in the Diaspora are called to augmented prayer, the doing of good deeds in all respects, and a private examination of the tablets of history, so that, by drawing from it much-needed strength and inspiration, they might continue in fortitude and renewal of spirit the patient bearing of their life’s cross. We celebrate anniversaries in our lives and honour the jubilee celebrant; so must we also unite ourselves in one common assembly and with great zeal confirm ourselves in Holy Orthodoxy, by no means shaming the memory of the Venerable Prince and of our ever-memorable forebears in the Diaspora, or the honour of our dear Mother – the Local Russian Orthodox Church”. The complete Jubilee Epistle can be read in Russian here and in English here.