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 Winter (June, July and August) 2018 Schedule of Services in PDF format here. A Russian-language copy of the Winter 2018 Schedule of Services can be downloaded here.
Our next services will be All-night vigil at 6.00pm on Saturday 30 June and Divine Liturgy at 9.00am on Sunday 1 July, the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost. At these services we will celebrate the memory of Saint John the Wonderworker of Shnghai and San-Francisco (+1966 AD).
The Royal Passionbearers of Russia - Tsar Nicholas II and his family - and their faithful companions were cruelly and unjustly murdered by the Bolsheviks in the middle of the night of 16-17 July 1918. Our parish will mark the centenary of their martyrdom with solemn midnight services. On the evening on Monday 16 July All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves will begin at 9.30pm, and Divine Liturgy will begin in the early hours of Tuesday 17 July. At these services we will also commemorate Grand Duchess Elizabeth, Nun Varvara, and those martyred with them at Alapayevsk during the night of 17-18 July 1918. A brief moleben to the Royal Passionbearers with a prayer of repentance will be served at the end of Divine Liturgy. Holy Royal Passionbearers of Russia, pray to God for us!
On Saturday 16 June and Sunday 17 June we had services for the Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint Metrophanes (Mitrofan), first Patriarch of Constantinople (+c.326 AD). Amongst the saints also commemorated on this day were All Saints of Belorussia, an icon of whom was set forth for veneration during both services. Receving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy on Sunday was the newly-baptised Christopher Newton. Following the Prayer before the Amvon prayers of blessing were read over a copy of the revered Georgian Icon, “Glory of Iveria” ("Слава Грузинской Церкви") - a gift to our parish from Alexei Kozlovski and Svetlana Bolonina – and a set of liturgical books containing all the services for the first and last weeks of Great Lent – a gift from Evgenia Druganova. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the importance of not “having it both ways” in the spiritual life, and of seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
On the weekends of 2-3 June and 9-10 June a number of volunteers gathered at our parish centre to prepare for and begin work on the construction of the new second floor. The teams working under Rick Golovin's leadership included Vlad Golovin, Chris Karmadonoff, Josh Koppman, George Karmadonoff, Craig Koppman, Joe Carles, Victor Bendevski, Philip Bendevski, Nickolay Kravchenko, Greg Alexandrovsky and Con Yakimov. The hall flooring was removed on Saturday 2 June and in a huge effort over two days on 9-10 June the hall air-conditioning unit and all the ducting was moved; the steel posts, bearers and joists for the floor above the hall were put in place; and the wooden flooring for the upper level was laid. Our Head Sister Nina Golovin fed the workers on Saturday 9 June and Kate Marcotrigiano prepared lunch on Sunday 10 June. God willing, the team will be back on site on the weekend of 23-24 June to install the choir loft in church. In addition to these major efforts work will continue on gyprocking and plastering, the electrics and the air conditioning, and the construction of an office and storage units upstairs.
On Saturday 9 June the parish rector baptised one year-old Christopher, the son of Joel and Svetlana Newton. Christopher was baptised in honour of the Martyr Christopher and had as his sponsors Pressica Taber and the parish rector, Archpriest James Carles. We warmly congratulate Joel, Svetlana and Pressica and wish the newly-illumined servant of God Christopher many years!
On Sunday 3 June our parish published an educational leaflet, 'What is prosphora?'. This leaflet, prepared in collaboration with our neighbouring parish of Saint Nicholas, Wallsend (Newcastle) explains the symbolism and use of prosphora, the small loaves of bread offered during Divine Liturgy. The leaflet also explains the commemoration of the names of the living and the departed at Divine Liturgy. Printed copies are available in church.
On Saturday 2 June and Sunday 3 June we had services for the First Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of All Saints. At the end of Divine Liturgy a brief moleben was served for the children and young people of our parish, our Diocese and the whole Russian Orthodox Church Outisde Russia, the Sunday of All Saints being the Day of Youth of the Russian Church Abroad. As 3 June (22 May on the Julian Calendar) was also the feast-day of All Saints of Ufa - a group of twentieth-century martyrs and righteous ones from the Bashkortostan region of Russia - their icon and a cross containing the relics of Righteous Moses of Ufa (+1983), Righteous Zosima Ennatskaya (+1935), and Blessed Barbara Skvorchikhinskaya (+1966) - three of the most revered saints of Ufa - were set forth for veneration. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the different paths to holiness of these three saints and of the need for each of us to pursue our own path to holiness.
Our Winter 2018 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available in PDF format. A copy of the English-language Winter 2018 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2018 Schedule of Services is available here. Printed copies in both languages are now available in church.
On Saturday 19 May and Sunday 20 May we had services for the seventh Sunday of Pascha and in honour of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council convened in Nicaea in 325 AD. In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the history of the First Ecumenical Council and the enduring importance for Christian life of the decisons that it made.
On Wednesday 16 May and Thursday 17May we had services for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning. As it was on this feast-day in 2007 that the Act of Canonical Communion between the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate was signed, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read after the Augmented Litany and a brief service of thanksgiving was served following the Prayer before the Amvon. After the dismissal the parish rector spoke briefly about the traditional significance of the feast-day and about the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church.
On the evening of Tuesday 15 May, the Eve of the Leave-taking of Pascha, a small group of parishioners gathered for the final Paschal Matins of the year. In accordance with the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, Matins was served as it is during Bright Week – sung in its entirety, and with the doors to the sanctuary open. The icon of the Resurrection of the Lord was then returned to the sanctuary, the Shroud of Christ was removed from the Holy Table, and the church was made ready for the festive services for the Ascension of the Lord.
On Saturday 5 May and Sunday 6 May we had services for the Fifth Sunday of Pascha - the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman (John 4:5-42) – and in honour of the Great Martyr, Trophy-bearer and Wonderworker George (+303 AD). In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the extraordinary conversation of Christ with the Samaritan Woman Photini by Jacob’s Well, her conversion and martyrdom, and the help received over the centuries through the prayers of Saint George. For the first time in our fourteen years at West Gosford refreshments were not offered after the service, our hall and kitchen having been closed in preparation for the construction of a second floor above the hall and a choir loft at the rear of the church. We hope to have this work finished by late July 2018.
Mid-Pentecost is the twenty-fifth day of Pascha, half-way to the Great Feast of Pentecost on the fiftieth day. On this day we commemorate Christ's teaching in the temple "in the midst of the Judaic feast" (John 7:14-30). Although we were again unable to have services on Wednesday 2 May, the day of Mid-Pentecost itself, on the eve of the feast we had Matins followed by the customary blessing of water. The blessing of water occurs on this day as a sign of the grace of the Holy Spirit and with reference to the "living water" promised by our Lord Jesus Christ to all that believe in Him (John 7:37-38).
The April 2018 issue of the official journal of the Australian-New Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia is now available in our parishes. In addition to the Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion in both Russian and English, there is a range of interesting articles in both languages. In Russian: "Догмат о Пресвятой Троице"; "Царь-Освободитель - 200 лет со дня рождения Александра II"; and more. In English: "Why on the right hand: The meaning of [wedding] rings in the Orthodox Tradition”; "A few tips on helping your children grow to become faithful Orthodox adults"; and more. Also included is a list of Diocesan recipients of the Partriarchal Medal commemorating the centenary of the re-establishment of the Patriarchate in the Russian Orthodox Church and a list of living and departed Diocesan clergy for commemoration in prayer. Copies are $5.00.
The Holy Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church took place in Moscow from 29 November 2017 until 2 December 2017. On Monday 4 December 2017, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple and the centenary of the enthronement of Patriach Tikhon (Belavin) as Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria officiated at Divine Liturgy in Christ the Saviour Cathedral, concelebrating with the Primates of the majority of Local Orthodox Churches and a multitude of hierarchs and other clergy. Links to a selection of documents approved by the Council and news items relating to this historic event in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church are set out below.
These documents and news items, together with many others, are available in Russian here.