Back to Welcome Page

THE ANTIOCHIAN ORTHODOX MISSION
IN CHRISTCHURCH

Priest: Revd Fr. Victor Didenco,
21 Bunyan Street, Christchurch.
Tel.: (64 3) 981 7796
Mobile: 029 981 7796
Services are being held at 75 Queenspark Drive, Parklands, Christchurch

                


                        
             

Sundays:
10 am Divine Liturgy.


Until recently services were held  at 395 Memorial  Ave.

                     

Fr Jack celebr
ates during Fr Victor's trip abroad


     

VISIT OF METROPOLITAN PAUL
ORDINATION OF DEACON MAX ATHANASIUS, 2005

Our Metropolitan Archbishop came to Christchurch on Friday, March 25 for a clergy symposium for NZ, which was also attended by numerous members of the Canterbury missions. During this weekend he ordained Max Athanasius Perkins as Deacon at a Liturgy at 9 am on Saturday 26. He also presided at Fr Victor's regular Sunday Liturgy at 10 am on the 27th, . the second Sunday in Lent. Fr Jack was afflicted with a most awful cold and had to miss the Friday evening, and was able only to sit at the back for the other services. This had the remarkable result of allowing him to observe how perfectly everyone managed without his assistance; which bodes well for the future. Unfortunately Howick, Auckland was not able to be represented, but Wellington and Dunedin were. 
                                                       [PIX]


<>
<>THOMAS SUNDAY, 2004
<>

<>Fr Jack visited the Christchurch community and took part in the meeting that followed. Here are some pix:
<>

<>         
<>
<>

<>Having sung his own Mass at Ashley, Fr Jack was not exactly dressed to participate - but had to give an address anyway
<>

        


<>

<>
<>
<>
<>       
<>
<>

<>The Easter Feast was by no means over yet......
<>

       

<>



<>And the celebration mingled happily with a parish meeting to choose a committee and discuss future accomodation of the Church:
<>
<>
<>

<>



<>WATCH THIS PAGE FOR FURTHER NEWS
<>
<>



<>2003
<>
<>Holy Week:
<>
<>Thursday, April 24.
<>
<>6 pm: Matins of 12 Gospels
<>
<>Holy Saturday, April 26.
<>
<>Midnight: Resurrection Service
<>
<>

<>We are grateful to Professor Shilov for these photos of Saturday night's services:
<>
<>
<>
<>Whereas about 20 remained for the blessing of Easter foods around 3 am, the service
<>began at midnight with perhaps 80 present. Certain important parts, such as the Gospel,
<>the Lord's Prayer, and the homily of S. John Chrysostom, were read in Romanian and
<>Slavonic by Fr Victor, and by Fr Jack in English.
<>




WEEKLY SUNDAY SERVICES IN CHRISTCHURCH CITY

  Fr Victor is fluent in Romanian, Russian, and English. The services are being held in these languages in proportion to those attending. It is our hope that this congregation, which already numbers around 30, will attract a wide variety of Orthodox people. Fr Jack and Fr Michael, who have their own centres of worship, will support Fr Victor with their presence whenever they are free. We hope before long to be able to report the establishment  of a unified administrative organization for our whole mission in Canterbury: Christchurch, Ashley, and Diamond Harbour.



HISTORY

 From the beginning (1973) of  Fr Jack's time at S. Michael's, Dunedin  he made visits back to his home town of Christchurch. In 1973, about a year after his ordination, he was able to obtain permission to borrow the S.Nicholas Church in Brougham Street belonging to the Russian Church Abroad, and Mr Walter Barbara rallied the whole Lebanese community for a service at which Maurice Ayoub sang, and the Russian Choir, who had promised to do some answering, stood in amazed silence at his magnificent singing.

 Unfortunately Mr Barbara died soon after this, and it was never possible to assemble the whole community  in this way again. Nevertheless, visits using the Russian Church continued until 1978 when the Russian Church Abroad began to take a stricter attitude to other jurisdictions. Mr Max Perkins and Mr John Fry, Anglicans, were received at the last of these services.

 From then on, services were held mostly in S, Mary's, Addington, the Vicar, the Revd Leicester Kyle, being a friend of Fr Jack's. At times the little Church of S. James, Harewood, was used, especially for the Western Rite for which it was suitable. But from 1982 services were held at Ashley when Fr Jack visited. However, the attendance of the born Orthodox was not very high, and the experiment was tried of holding the occasional service in the S. Saviour's Chapel at Cathedral Grammar School. After a few times, however, this was proving no more successful than Ashley, and so lapsed except for the occasional wedding or christening.

 During Met. Paul's visit to Canterbury, plans were made to hold a monthly Liturgy and try to revive attendance among the Lebanese and other "born" Orthodox, with services again in Christchurch as well as at Ashley and Diamond Harbour.

The Chapel at Cathedral Grammar School is on the corner of Chester St West and Park Terrace. It was originally the West Lyttelton Church, and Fr Jack served in it when he was Vicarof Lyttelton. Later the people of Lyttelton decided that they could unite in the use of the original Holy Trinity Church, and S. Saviour's was moved to Cathedral Grammar. For reasons of convenience it was placed on the corner, facing West, but to those who remember it from Lyttelton, experience re-orientates the Chapel as soon as they go in the door. This Chapel was used until the beginning of 2003, but, with the coming of Fr Victor into our Archdiocese in January, another place had to be found which would be available for services each Sunday.

          


Back to Welcome Page