Great jubilee in Christchurch
On Sunday, 15 December 2013, the church of Saint Nicholas of Myra of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand celebrated the 50th anniversary.
His Grace Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand served the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy with the concelebration of the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia from New Zealand. Also deacon Vladimir Filipovic, priest of the Metropolitanate of Australia-New Zealand of the Serbian Orthodox Church who lives in Christchurch concelebrated to the Bishop.
After the Holy Liturgy a agape feast was prepared, during which the Russian and Serbian people had an opportunity to talk to the Bishop and to celebrate the feast day of Saint Nicholas and this fifty-year jubilee in joy.
The history of this church began at the end of 1940s of the past century. First prayerful gatherings of the Orthodox believers in Christchurch started in June 1949, at which besides many Russian immigrants there were also Serbs who arrived to Christchurch after the Second World War. During 1950s of the past century a great number of the Russian immigrants settled so the construction of a new church began in 1962. The new church, dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra the Wonderworker, was consecrated on 23 December 1963.
This church has been more than 13 years also a home of the Serbian community. Father Zoran Ivanic visited the Serbian community in 2000 for the first time and served the Holy Liturgy in this church. Then fathers Sasa Radoicic, archimandrite Lazar Caran and Ljubomir Kudric cared about the Serbs. As a result of the prayerful gatherings the Serbian Orthodox Missionary Parish of Saint Nicholas was founded in 2009 (www.svetinikola.org.nz).
Source: Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand