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 12 November 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 has not been exempt from this.
As Orthodox Christians have done during the many other outbreaks of contagious illness – epidemics and pandemics – throughout history, our parish has offered 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 continue to take the COVID-19 public health risk seriously and comply with ongoing precautionary measures mandated by the civil authorities in our state of New South Wales. This includes limits on the number of people present in church 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.
In 2020 we introduced a number of simple sanitary measures at parish level. These remain in place as COVID-19 restrictions ease. The customary form of receiving Holy Communion remains unchanged.
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.
Updated 12 November 2021: From Monday 8 November 2021 attendance at religious services in New South Wales is subject to the two square metre rule. We are permitted 65 people because the total area of our church and choir loft is approximately 130 squares metres. As it is rare for more than 65 people to attend services in our parish, restrictions on attendance have effectively been lifted.
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 25 December and Sunday 26 December we will have services for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers. All-night Vigil will be served at 6.00pm on Saturday and Divine Liturgy will be served at 9.00am on Sunday. NOTE: We will have services on this weekend rather than the weekend of 18-19 December so that the feast of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, celebrated on 19 December, can be observed in our neighbouring parish of Saint Nicholas, Wallsend.
On Sunday 5 December our parish held its 2021 Annual General Meeting. The 2021 Annual Report was presented and accepted. The path of parish life and plans for the future were discussed, following which Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin, Anna Kourbatov, Anne Nielsen, Nina Golovin, Kate Marcotrigiano and Alexei Kozlovski were elected to serve on the 2021-22 Parish Council.
On Friday 3 December and Saturday 4 December we had services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple. All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning. At Divine Liturgy, the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.
Our 2021 Annual Report, including the independently audited 2020-21 Financial Statements, is now available. It includes information about the governance of our parish and gives a little parish history. It also summarises the life and activity of the parish in 2020-21 and provides details of some future projects. A copy of the report, which will be formally presented to our parish Annual General Meeting on Sunday 5 December 2021, is available here. We encourage our parishioners and friends with questions or comments concerning our Annual Report to contact us.
Our Summer 2021-22 Schedule of Services - covering December, January and February - is now available in PDF format. A copy of the English-language Summer 2021-22 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Summer 2021-22 Schedule of Services is available here. Printed copies in both languages are available in church as of the weekend of 20-21 November. Services of note will be for the Great Feasts of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple on 3-4 December; the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) on 6-7 January; the Baptism of the Lord (Theophany) on 18-19 January; and the Meeting of the Lord on 14-15 February.
On Saturday 20 November and Sunday 21 November we had services for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Archangel Michael and the other Bodiless Hosts: Archangels Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel, Barachiel and Jeremiel. All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. As Protodeacon Martin Naef was assisting at the hierarchical service for the patronal feast of the Archangel Michael parish in Blacktown, our parish rector served Divine Liturgy alone. The Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read, and there was a blessing of honey following the Prayer before the Amvon. After Divine Liturgy, a collection was taken up to benefit the Fund for Assistance of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and an announcement was made concerning the parish Annual General Meeting to be held, God willing, on Sunday 5 December 2021.
On Saturday 6 November and Sunday 7 November we had services for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Martyrs Marcian and Martyrius, notaries of Constantinople (+355 AD). Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. As Saturday 6 November was Saint Demetrius Saturday, a day of commemoration of the departed, a general panikhida was served immediately before Matins on Saturday evening. It being the centenary year of the First All-Diaspora Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, we commemorated the ever-memorable archpastors and pastors of our Diocese and of the Russian Diaspora, particularly the renowned Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy (+5.11.1971), together with our own parishioners and relatives and the many clergy and monastics of the Russian Orthodox Church who have departed this life as a result of the coronavirus. A number of people attending the panikhida brought non-perishable foods to be passed to a local charitable organisation for relief of the homeless. At Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read. Following the Prayer before the Amvon, a prayer of blessing was read over new black vestments for our altar-servers. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) and the importance of using the time we have in this world to properly prepare ourselves for the world to come. Following Divine Liturgy, an announcement was made concerning the parish Annual General Meeting to be held, God willing, on Sunday 5 December 2021.
On Sunday 7 November Saint Jonah’s Russian Orthodox School Committee, a Sydney-based charitable organisation supporting initiatives in education from a Russian Orthodox perspective, hosted an online forum on home education. Participating in the forum were Bishop George, Archpriest George Lapardin, members of the Committee, teachers from within the Russian Orthodox community, and parents considering home education. Presentations were given by two home educators, Katherine Iliuk and our own Matushka Marie Carles. Matushka Marie, who has over 25 years’ experience as a home educator, spoke about the reasons for home-schooling, the various methods of home-schooling, the practicalities of each method, and the pros and cons for parents and children. Candidly reflecting on her own experience as a home educator, she emphasised the need to consider the long-term personal, social, and occupational implications of home-schooling for the children involved. Following the presentations, participants were able to ask questions of the speakers, share their own experiences, and make comments.
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.
The October 2021 issue of “Word of the Church” (“Церковное Слово”), the official journal of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, has recently become available in our parishes. This edition continues the beautiful glossy colour format introduced in December 2021. Content includes, in both Russian and English, Metropolitan Hilarion’s Jubilee Epistle; details of clergy awards and movements; an appeal and a statement from Bishop George relating to the COVID-19 pandemic; ‘Why Keep the Ten Commandments’; material on Saint Alexander Nevsky; ‘About the Power of a Child’s Prayer’; ‘The Beginning of Construction of the First Church [in Australia] in Memory of the All-Russian Wonder-Worker, St John of Kronstadt’; and more. Copies are $5.00.