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 26 July 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 parish sanitary measures including the provision of hand sanitiser at the entry to the church; giving the faithful the option of not kissing the Holy Gospel, the icons, the chalice, the Cross, or the hand of the priest; cleaning icons regularly with methylated spirits; the provision of disposable napkins for use when receiving Holy Communion; and the provision of disposable cups from which to receive the warm water and wine (“zapivka”) after Holy Communion. 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. This has been cancelled for the duration of the current pandemic, a change to parish life that many have found difficult. We hope that face-to-face opportunities for much-needed Christian fellowship will become possible again soon.
We have registered as a COVID-safe place of worship. Our parish COVID-19 Safety Plan, relevant statements from church authorities, 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 worried about COVID-19 vaccines are encouraged to discuss their concerns with their own medical professionals. Noting that there are differences amongst the faithful concerning the newly developed vaccines, we encourage all to show kindness, patience, and mutual respect.
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 Sunday 11 July and Monday 12 July, in compliance with COVID-19-related Public Health Orders in New South Wales, we had closed-door services in honour of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Sunday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Monday morning. At Divine Liturgy on Monday the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read. In addition to our parish clergy, just two others were present to help the services to proceed.
On Saturday 3 July and Sunday 4 July, in compliance with COVID-19-related Public Health Orders in New South Wales, we had closed-door services for the Second Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday of All Saints who have shone forth in the Russian Land. In addition to our parish clergy, just two singers were present to allow for Divine Liturgy to be served.
Our Winter 2020 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available in PDF format. Services of note during this period include those for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord on Wednesday-Thursday 9-10 June; for the Great Feast of Pentecost on Saturday-Sunday 19-20 June; for the Protomartyrs of China on Wednesday-Thursday 23-24 June; for the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist on Tuesday-Wednesday 6-7 July; for Saints Peter and Paul on Sunday-Monday 11-12 July; Bishop George’s visit on Sunday 8 August; the commemoration of Saint Panteleimon on Sunday-Monday 8-9 August, and for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord on Wednesday-Thursday 18-19 August. A copy of the English-language Winter 2021 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2021 Schedule of Services is available here. Printed copies in both languages are also available in church.