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) 2019 Schedule of Services in PDF format here. A Russian-language copy of the Winter 2019 Schedule of Services can be downloaded here.
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.
On Saturday 20 July and Sunday 21 July we had services for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the appearance of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God in 1579 AD. All-night Vigil with the singing of the Magnification of the icon was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy with a moleben before the icon was served on Sunday morning. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the history of the Kazan Icon and the long Christian experience of help through the prayers of the Mother of God.
On Saturday 20 July the parish rector baptised Dominic Sytin, the infant child and second son of Dmytro Sytin and Hanna Sharandak. Dominic, who was given the name Michael in baptism in honour of the Holy Archangel Michael, had as his godparents Igor Salyamon, Inna Saliamon, Yuriy Petrenko and Melania Scodellaro. We warmly congratulate Dmytro, Hanna, and Dominic’s godparents, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised servant good health, every blessing from above, and many years!
On Thursday 11 July and Friday 12 July our parish clergy Archpriest James Carles and Protodeacon Martin Naef, together with a number of our parishioners, participated in services for the patronal feast of the Diocesan Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Strathfield, NSW. On Thursday evening All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served with Bishop George presiding. On Friday morning there was the Lesser Blessing of Water, a hierarchical Divine Liturgy, and a moleben to the Holy Preёminent Apostles Peter and Paul with a procession around the church. At the services on Thursday evening and Friday morning the Cathedral clergy and clergy from other Sydney parishes concelebrated. At the end of the service on Friday many parishioners were presented with beautiful parish Certificates of Appreciation for their work in support of the Cathedral. A great many people then gathered in the parish hall for a festive lunch. At lunch the Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia gave a brief concert. A series of photographs can be viewed at the Cathedral Facebook page here, and some video footage of parts of the service can be viewed here.
On Saturday 6 July and Sunday 7 July we had services for the Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Glorious Forerunner, Prophet and Baptist John. These were the first services in our church following repainting the the rehanging of our icons. As Protodeacon Martin Naef had been invited to serve at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral on Sunday, our parish rector served Divine Liturgy alone. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the miraculous circumstances recorded in the Holy Gospel concerning the birth of Saint John the Baptist, of the place of Saint John in the life of the Orthodox Church, and of the enduring relevance of his call to repentance.
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.