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 April 2021: The spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and the public health measures implemented to manage it have had a profound impact on social interaction around the world. Our Holy Orthodox Church is not exempt from this. Our parish takes the COVID-19 public health risk seriously and continues to comply with the directives of the civil authorities in this country including limits on the number of people present at services and registration of attendance. We have also introduced 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; the provision of disposable cups from which to receive the warm water and wine (“zapivka”) after Holy Communion; limits on the number of people singing in the choir; and the cancellation of our usual “cup of tea” after services. 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 are available here.
Updated 26 April 2021: Attendance at indoor religious services throughout New South Wales has, since Saturday 13 February 2021, been subject to the two square metre rule. We are permitted 65 people in church because the total area of our church, adjoing hall and choir loft is approximately 130 squares metres. On those occasions when more than 65 people attend we will now manage the numbers in church so as to give as many people as possible the opportunity to venerate the icons, light candles and participate in the services. This means that all are welcome to attend services on the understanding that at larger gatherings it may not be possible to enter the church immediately or to remain inside for the entire service.
We will continue to have a sheet at the candle-desk on which to record attendance and contact details. Care should be taken to sign in upon arrival at church. The completed attendance sheets will be stored securely, retained for four weeks, and only released to the NSW Chief Health Officer if required for the purpose of contact-tracing should there be an instance of community transmission of COVID-19.
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 19 June and Sunday 20 June we will have services for the Great Feast of Pentecost. All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves will be served at 6.0pm on Saturday, and Divine Liturgy will be served at 9.00am on Sunday. Divine Liturgy will be immediately followed by Vespers and the "kneeling prayers" appointed to be read on this day.
On Wednesday 9 June and Thursday 10 June 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 canonical communion was re-established within the Russian Orthodox Church, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read at Divine Liturgy and a moleben of thanksgiving was served following the Prayer before the Amvon. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the exaltation of human nature in Christ, the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the blessing of unity in the Russian Orthodox Church.
On the evening of Tuesday 8 June, the Eve of the Apodosis of Pascha, a small group of our parishioners gathered for the final Paschal Matins of 2021. 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 June and Sunday 6 June we had services for the Sixth Sunday of Pascha. All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the miracle of the physical and spiritual healing of the man born blind (John 9:1-38), of this miracle as a response to those who doubted the divinity of Christ, and of Christ's power to heal our own spiritual blindness.
On Tuesday 25 May and Wednesday 26 May we had services for Mid-Pentecost. Mid-Pentecost is the twenty-fifth day of Pascha, half-way to the Great Feast of Pentecost on the fiftieth day. On this day the Orthodox Church commemorates Christ's teaching in the temple "in the midst of the Judaic feast" (John 7:14-30) and customarily blesses water 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). Matins was served on Tuesday evening and Divine Liturgy with the Lesser Blessing of Water was served on Wednesday morning. At Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.
On Monday 25 May the Parish Council met in person at our parish centre. The usual reports on parish life and finances were tabled and discussed. In view of the ongoing challenges facing the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission (REM) in Jerusalem because of COVID-19 and conflict in the Middle East, the Parish Council resolved to increase the $260 collected for the REM on Lazarus Saturday to $2000. Progress on our new iconostasis was reviewed, and the parish rector’s decision to progress to Stage 2 of the manufacture was ratified. The Parish Council is due to meet again in mid-June 2021.
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.
On Saturday 15 May and Sunday 16 May we had services for the Third Sunday of Pascha. All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. In place of a sermon, the parish rector read aloud Metropolitan Hilarion’s Paschal Epistle in Russian and in English.
On Monday 10 May and Tuesday 11 May we had services for Radonitsa, the Day of Rejoicing. In the Russian Orthodox tradition this is the first day after Pascha on which the departed are commemorated. Matins was served on Monday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Tuesday morning. Following Divine Liturgy a general panikhida was served in church, and later individual graveside services were served at Point Clare Cemetery. This was the first time that services for Radonitsa had been served in our parish.
This year, our parish again had a number of traditional services for Holy Week and Pascha. Matins with the singing of "Behold, the Bridegroom comes" ("Се, Жених грядет" - on the first three evenings) and the exapostilarion “Thy Bridal chamber” ("Чертог твой") was served on Sunday 25 April, Monday 26 April, Tuesday 27 April, and Wednesday 28 April. Divine Liturgy was served in the morning on Great Thursday, 29 April. On Great Friday, 30 April, Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ was served in the afternoon. On Saturday 1 May Midnight Office was served late in the evening, with Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy following in the early hours of 2 May, the Sunday of Pascha. The Paschal Hours and Vespers were served later that morning. Easter baskets with cakes, eggs and other festive foods were blessed following Matins and again following Vespers. In the evening on Friday 7 May Paschal Matins was served, and in the morning on Saturday 8 May, Divine Liturgy was served. Following Divine Liturgy on Bright Saturday the artos was cut and distributed.
The April 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 Paschal edition continues the beautiful glossy colour format introduced in December 2021. Content includes Metropolitan Hilarion’s Paschal Epistle in Russian and English; details of ordinations and clergy appointments; a list of living and departed clergy of the Diocese for commemoration in prayer; a letter from the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in Australia to the NSW Attorney-General concerning confession and mandatory reporting of child sexual offences; a directory of clergy and parishes; ‘Christian Morals and Values Shaping the Future of the Russian World’, a paper presented at a seminar in Germany in 2015; and more. Copies are $5.00.