The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Australian and New Zealand Diocese

St.George Russian Orthodox Church

Church History

In 1965, with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Savva, the initiative group of the Russian Orthodox people, who lived in the Sydney area of St. George, decided to create a new Church and parish. In October 1965 by decree of His Eminence Archbishop Savva, Father Nikolai Starikov, who arrived in 1963 to Australia from China, was appointed as Rector of this Parish.

About 200 local Russian Orthodox Russians families from China joined this Parish. Soon after the plot with a large building, which was previously a Baptist Praying House, was purchased near Carlton station. Although the building was in good condition, it required repairs and alterations to convert it to Russian Orthodox Church.

On Palm Sunday 1966, Father Nikolai Starikov consecrated new Church in the name of the St. George the Martyr. To prepare Church for first Easter, parishioners led by Father Nikolai Starikov worked tirelessly until midnight. The new Church was not fully equipped and internal decorations were not completed, only temporary iconostasis was fitted, but it did not stop consecration of a new Church, the raising of the Cross and the first Divine Liturgy in the Church made by His Eminence Archbishop Savva and Father Nikolai Starikov.

In subsequent years, Father Nikolai, the Parish Council and the Sisterhood worked tirelessly decorating the Church and the Church Hall. Father Nikolai hand carved ornaments for the new iconostasis, made by Greek parishioner E. Dimitriadis. The icons on the iconostasis were brought from China by Father Nikolai. In those years Chinese Government started elimination of religious communities, but Father Nikolai managed to obtain the permission from Chinese authorities to take out from China to Australia all icons of the iconostasis and some church utensils from the St. Nicholas Church in Harbin, including the Icon of St. Nicholas. This Icon of St. Nicholas was later, in February 1967, fitted by Father Nikolai and parents into a beautiful case and stand of the of Russian Saturday school in Sydney. On the ceiling of the Church eight large paintings were placed on the theme of the Christ suffering and crucifixion.

In June 1972, Rector Nikolai Starikov died suddenly at the age of 55 years. For six years, being Rector of St. George’s Church, Father Nikolai has created a strong and large Parish, the memory of him will be long preserved among the parishioners.

After the death of Father Nikolai Starikov, Father Mikhail Konstantinov became Rector of the Church. In 2005 by decree of His Eminence Archbishop of Sydney and Australia-NZ Hilarion, Father Alexander Korjenevsky was appointed as Rector of the St. George’s Church.