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 Spring (September, October and November) 2019 Schedule of Services in PDF format here. A Russian-language copy of the Spring 2019 Schedule of Services can be downloaded here.
On Friday 20 September and Saturday 21 September we will have services for the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God. All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves will be served at 6.00pm on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy will be served at 9.00am on Saturday morning.
Our 2019 parish Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at 12.00pm on Sunday 6 October 2019. A formal Notice concerning the AGM is available here. The Notice includes the AGM agenda, an explanation of why AGMs are held, information about preparation for and participation in the AGM, an explanation of the role of Parish Councils and Parish Council members, and information about the forthcoming Diocesan Assembly. A nomination form for parish office-bearers is available here.
On Saturday 14 September and Sunday 15 September we had services for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Translation of the Relics of Saints Peter and Fevronia of Murom, exemplars of love, faithfulness and family life. All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. Following the Prayer before the Amvon there was a moleben to Saints Peter and Fevronia at which all the married couples in our parish were commemorated by name. Immediately after the moleben the parish rector read the prayers of blessing over a new seven-branched lamp stand for our altar, three new candle stands for our church, a beautiful copy of the “Khabarovsk” Icon of the Mother of God (a gift from Evgenia Druganova and her family) and an icon of the Apostle Paul (a gift from the Douriaguine family in memory of Reader Paul Douriaguine). At the end of the service an announcement was made concerning the forthcoming parish Annual General Meeting.
On Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September we had services for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, for the Afterfeast of the Dormition of the Mother of God, and in honour of Martyr Andrew Stratelates and the 2,593 soldiers martyred with him in Cilicia (+c.284-305 AD). All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. Following Divine Liturgy the parish rector announced that the 2019 Annual General Meeting of the parish would be held on Sunday 6 October 2019.
In conjunction with Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend, our parish has developed and published an explanation of the reasons why weddings cannot be celebrated on certain days and dates and during certain seasons. It incorporates a list of Sundays and Fridays on which weddings can be celebrated that has now been updated to include Sundays and Fridays in 2020. This information, which can be accessed either here or via our ‘Needs’ page under ‘Weddings’, has been prepared to help our parishioners and friends when planning weddings in parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Should anyone have any questions about this information, please contact us.
Our Spring 2019 Schedule of Services - covering September, October and November - is now available. A copy of the English-language Spring 2019 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Spring 2018 Schedule of Services is available here. Printed copies are available in both languages in church as of Sunday 18 August. Services of note during Spring are those for the Great Feasts of the Nativity of the Mother of God on Friday-Saturday 20-21 September and the Exaltation of the Cross on Thursday-Friday 26-27 September. It is to be noted that we will not have services on the weekends of 28-29 September and 16-17 November. On the weekend of 28-29 September Father James will be serving on the Mid-North Coast, and on the weekend of 16-17 November all Diocesan clergy will be serving at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Strathfield, NSW, in connection with the Nineteenth Diocesan Assembly.
On Sunday 18 August and Monday 19 August we had services for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Sunday evening and Divine Liturgy with the blessing of grapes, apples and other fruit was served on Monday morning. We were joined on Monday by friends from our neighbouring parish of Saint Nicholas, Wallsend (Newcastle).
On Saturday 17 August and Sunday 18 August we had services for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, the Forefeast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, and in honour of Martyr Eusignius of Antioch (+362 AD). All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the appointed reading from the Holy Gospel, the account of Christ pacifying the stormy sea (Matthew 14:22-34), and about the courageous example of Martyr Eusignius.
On Tuesday 13 August and Wednesday 14 August we had services for the feast of the Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord and in honour of the Holy Maccabean Martyrs (+166 BC). Prior to Divine Liturgy on Wednseday the Lesser Blessing of Water was served and after the Prayer before the Amvon there was a blessing of honey. In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the faithfulness of the Maccabean Martyrs to God's law, the history of the feast of the Cross on this day, and the way in which so many threads of the experience of God's people were woven together in this liturgical commemoration.
On Thursday 8 August and Friday 9 August we had services in honour of the heavenly protector of our parish, the Great-Martyr Panteleimon. All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Thursday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Friday morning. Joining our parish clergy for Divine Liturgy on Friday was Priest Dionysios Halim, the rector of the Holy Dormition Church in Wollongong, NSW. Following the service on Friday many of those present gathered in the parish hall for a festive meal.
On Saturday 3 August and Sunday 4 August we had services for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, the day of commemoration of the Holy Myrrh-bearer and Equal-to-the-Apostles Mary Magdalene. In anticipation of our parish feast-day of the Great-Martyr Panteleimon on 9 August, His Grace Bishop George of Canberra visited us on Sunday and presided at Divine Liturgy. The Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia sang at Divine Liturgy in place of our parish choir. Serving together with Bishop George and our parish clergy was Archpriest Quentin de Castelbajac, rector of the parish of Saint John the Russian in Lyon, France. A great many of our parishioners were present, together with friends from Newcastle and the Sydney parishes. Prior to the service on Sunday there was a blessing of water and afterwards there was a moleben – or service of intercession – to Saint Panteleimon with the customary singing of many years. Bishop George then presented the Diocesan Cross to Vladimir ("Rick") and Nina Golovin in recognition of their exemplary service to our parish. After the services a festive lunch was held at the East Gosford Progress Hall.
The July 2019 issue of “Word of the Church” (“Церковное Слово”), the official journal of the Australian-New Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, is now available in our parishes. As usual, it contains a range of interesting articles in both Russian and English. In Russian: “Богородице-Казанский Монастырь готовится отметить 60-летие”; “Православный Богословский Институт Святых Кирилла и Мефодия”; “Храмы и их история память о Романовых за Рубежом”; “О неприкосновенности жизни человека с момента зачатия”; and more. In English: material concerning the twentieth anniversary of the Holy Fathers Mission in Warrnambool, Victoria; an article about the July 2019 residential school of the Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Institute; an interview with Metropolitan Onuphry (Berezovsky), Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church; lives of the Orthodox Popes of Rome; and an article about why some priests can refuse to be spiritual fathers. Copies are $5.00.
On 29 May 2019 His Grace Bishop George of Canberra advised parish rectors and monastic superiors that the Nineteenth Diocesan Assembly of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese would be convened at the Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield, NSW, in November 2019. Commencing on the evening of Thursday 14 November and concluding on the afternoon of Sunday 17 November, the Assembly will coincide with Diocesan celebrations of the thirty-fifth anniversary of Metropolitan Hilarion’s consecration to the episcopacy on 10 December 1984. As all Diocesan clergy will be participating in the Assembly and associated commemorative activities, the only services in our Diocese on Saturday-Sunday 16-17 November will be at the Strathfield Cathedral. Information about the Eighteenth Diocesan Assembly, held in Cabramatta in November 2016, is available here.
A group of young families working under the auspices of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin parish in Cabramatta, NSW, is again organising a camp for Russian and other Orthodox children and young people aged 8-17 to be held in Toukley, NSW - here on the Central Coast - from 15 December - 20 December 2019. The cost will be $425.00 per person, or $399.00 if payment is made by 30 September 2019. For those interested, more information is available here.