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 25 December 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 have taken the COVID-19 public health risk seriously, complying with the precautionary measures mandated by the civil authorities in our state of New South Wales. We have offered obedience to these restrictions with the understanding that, as Metropolitan Hilarion has noted, they have been put in place for our benefit.
As of 24 December 2021, facemasks are again required at all indoor non-residential settings in New South Wales, including services at places of worship. In response to rising COVID-19 case numbers, we have reintroduced a number of simple sanitary measures at parish level. We continue to offer the appointed prayers. Our 2020 parish COVID-19 Safety Plan, guidance from the higher church authorities, links to public health information, and a selection of relevant prayers are available here.
Updated 25 December 2021: From Wednesday 24 December 2021, the NSW Government requires face-masks and the recording of contact details at all services. There are no density requirements, but those attending services are encouraged to maintain social distancing to the extent possible.
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!
To our great sorrow, our longtime parishioner Nestor Petroff departed this life in the early hours of Sunday 16 January 2022. His funeral will be served at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, 3 Vernon Street, Strathfield, at 10.00am on Monday 24 January 2022. There will be a parastas, or Great Panikhida, in our church in Gosford at 6.00pm on Sunday 23 January 2022. As a result of COVID-related delays at Rookwood Cemetery and other logistical challenges, the burial will take place at Rookwood at 10.00am on Friday 4 February 2022. Further information will be provided in due course concerning services for the fortieth day on Thursday 24 February 2022.
On Saturday 5 February and Sunday 6 February we will have services for the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. All-night vigil will be served at 6.00pm on Saturday and Divine Liturgy will be served at 9.00am on Sunday. This year, the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost will be Zaccheus Sunday, so named because of the reading from the Gospel of Luke (Luke 19:1-10) concerning the conversion of Zaccheus the tax-collector, one of the great Biblical models of repentance. This Gospel reading is always appointed to the final Sunday before the beginning of the preparatory period for Great Lent.
On Tuesday 18 January and Wednesday 19 January we had services in honour of the Great Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Theophany. All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Tuesday evening and Divine Liturgy with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Wednesday morning. The rector was assisted on Tuesday evening by Deacon Michal Matys. At Divine Liturgy, the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read. As is customary at this time of year, we were joined by friends from Sydney holidaying on the Central Coast.
On Saturday 15 January and Sunday 16 January we had services for the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday before Theophany. Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. The rector was assisted at Matins by Deacon Michal Matys and at Divine Liturgy by Deacon Michal and Protodeacon Martin Naef. At Divine Liturgy, the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read. Following Divine Liturgy a panikhida was served for our newly-departed parishioner, Nestor Petroff, and a moleben was served for the health of Protodeacon Constantine Moshegov of the Archbishop's Chapel of All Saints Of Russia (Croydon, NSW), Sister Anastasia of the Presentation of the Mother of God Convent (Bungarby, NSW), and all those suffering illness as a result of the coronavirus.
Updated 19 January 2022: On Thursday 6 January and Friday 7 January we had services for Christmas, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ. Our small church had been beautifully prepared beforehand with green vestments and a Christmas tree. All-night Vigil – Great Compline, Matins and the First Hour – with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Thursday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Friday morning. As Protodeacon Martin Naef had again been asked to assist with the hierarchical services at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, our parish rector served alone. At Divine Liturgy Craig Koppman received Holy Communion for the first time. At the end of Divine Liturgy, we had a brief moleben of thanksgiving to observe the anniversary of the deliverance on Christmas Day in 1812 of the Russian Church and Empire from the invasion of the French and twelve other nations. In place of a sermon at Divine Liturgy, the parish rector read aloud Metropolitan Hilarion’s Nativity Epistle in both Russian and English.
With the blessing of Bishop George, on Monday 3 January December the parish rector received Craig Koppman, a longstanding and well-known friend of our parish, into the Orthodox Church by chrismation. Upon his reception into Orthodoxy Craig took the name Alexander in honour of Saint Alexander Nevsky. Craig has a rich history of involvement in our parish from the very earliest days, having assisted with fundraising, building, and social events. He and his wife Tammey (née Golovin) were married in our church in 2006, and their daughters Emily and Chloe were baptised here. We warmly congratulate the newly illumined Craig-Alexander, praying that our merciful God will grant him good health and many years!
On Saturday 1 January and Sunday 2 January we had services for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday of the Holy Fathers, and in honour of Saint John of Kronstadt (+1909). All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday. As Protodeacon Martin Naef had been asked to assist with the hierarchical services at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, Strathfield, our parish rector served Divine Liturgy alone.
This year, like 2020, was dominated by the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and the public health measures implemented to manage it. Our parish had no public services from Saturday 3 July until Saturday 30 October – a period of almost four months! – and various other restrictions were in place for the entire year. We had five baptisms: Marta Apale, Yana Starikova, Amy Newcombe, Michael Trigg, Maria Rezk and Richard Elphick. Stan Baric and David Baric were received into Orthodoxy by confession of faith and chrismation. George Biankin and Amy Newcombe were married in our church in June. Prayers were offered on the two-hundredth anniversary of the assassination of Emperor Paul I of Russia and the fiftieth anniversary of the repose of Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy. Together with the Wallsend parish we provided an English-Russian wall calendar commemorating the First All-Diaspora Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Our website provided updated information to help with the planning of weddings and instructive material about Sunday commemorations and readings and certain Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church. We arranged for the manufacture of a new iconostasis for our parish centre and saw with great satisfaction that much progress was made during the year. Our parish rector made pastoral visits to the Mid North Coast of New South Wales in January and May. All the news from 2021 can be read here. Glory be to God for all things!
On Saturday 25 December and Sunday 26 December we had services for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers. All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. For Divine Liturgy our church was full, with regular worshippers joined by friends from Sydney and elsewhere holidaying on the Central Coast, and many received Holy Communion. Our parish rector was assisted at Divine Liturgy by Protodeacon Alexander Kotlaroff of Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, Strathfield. Our choir, led by visiting conductor Reader Nektary Kotlaroff - the conductor of the Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia - and augmented by many visiting singers, sang beautifully. The Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.
On Sunday 5 December the parish rector baptised Maria, the infant daughter of Rafael and Olesya Rezk and a baby sister to Sylvia, Ricky, Arseny, Seraphim, Stephan, and Varvara. Maria, who was baptised in honour of Saint Mary of Egypt, had as her godparents Oxana Sharpe and Konstantin Belikov. We warmly congratulate Rafael and Olesya and their family, together with Maria’s godparents, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised handmaiden many years!
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 Saturday 4 December and Sunday 5 December we had services for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, the Afterfeast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple, and in honour of the Holy Apostles of the Seventy Philemon and Archippus. Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy, the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read and the newly-illumined servants of God Stanley Baric, David Baric and Michael Trigg received Holy Communion for the first time. Following Divine Liturgy an announcement was made concerning the parish Annual General Meeting to be held that afternoon.
On Saturday 4 December, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple, the parish rector baptised the infant Michael, the first child of Ben and Ekaterina Trigg. Michael, who was baptised in honour of the Holy Archangel Michael, had as his godfather Alexander Smirnov. We warmly congratulate Ben, Ekaterina and Alexander, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised servant Michael good health, every blessing from above, and many years!
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.
With the blessing of Bishop George, on the evening of Wednesday 1 December the parish rector received Stanley Baric and David Baric, father and son, into the Orthodox Church by confession of the Orthodox Faith and chrismation. Upon his reception into Orthodoxy Stanley took the name John in honour of Saint John of Damascus; David retained his name in honour of Righteous David the King. We warmly congratulate Stanley and David, and pray that God will grant His newly-illumined servants many years!
In conjunction with Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend, our parish has developed and published an explanation of the reasons why weddings cannot be celebrated on certain days and dates and during certain seasons. It incorporates a list of Sundays and Fridays on which weddings can be celebrated that has now been updated to include Sundays and Fridays in 2023. This information, which can be accessed either here or via our Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals page, has been prepared to help our parishioners and friends when planning weddings in parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Should anyone have any questions about this information, please contact us.
The December 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 Metropolitan Hilarion’s 2021-22 Nativity Epistle in Russian; ‘Скорбней Юбилей’, a Russian-language article about the centenary of the 1922 Soviet decree confiscating church valuables; details of clergy movements and awards; a Russian-language list of living and departed Diocesan clergy for commemoration in church and in private prayer; ‘The Relationship Between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia in the period from 1950 until 1969’, the text of a lecture presented to the ROCOR Centenary Conference; and more. Copies are $5.00.