On January 5 the Right Reverend metropolitan Korniliy of Moscow and all Russia accompanied by proto-priest Leontiy Pimenov and proto-deacon Victor Savelyev arrived at Sidney (Australia). A lot of Christians solemnly welcomed the metropolitan at the Old Believers’ church of the Nativity of Chirst, where the metropolitan led the festive divine service.
On January 7, on the day of the Parish feast the archpriest’s liturgy was celebrated and the water-blessing Supplication service with the Procession was conducted. The service was attended by many guests from different corners of Australia. Comparatively small church of the Nativity of Christ could not accommodate all assembled Christians, therefore the blessing of water took place in the church yard. After the divine service during the festive meal the parishioners expressed their gratitude to metropolitan Korniliy for the long-awaited visit.
The deputy-ambassador of Russia in Australia Y. Yeryomin and the President of the Russian society I.Savitsky came to congratulate the parishioners with the Parish feast.
On Friday, January 8, metropolitan Korniliy accompanied by the members of the delegation and the parishioners visited the home for the elderly in the Cabramatta medical complex, built about 40 years ago for Russian emigrants. At present there are a few Old Believers living at the home, whom metropolitan Korniliy congratulated with the Nativity of Christ.
In the evening of the same day the metropolitan met with the Right Reverend Sofroniy, archbishop of Canada, America and Australia (of the Belaya Krynitsa metropolis). Proto-priest Leontiy Pimenov and proto-deacon Victor Saelyev also took part in the meeting. It took place in the house of the dean of the church of Annunciation and Dormition of Sydney proto-priest Timofey Ovchinnikov. After the mutual greetings the Nativity of Christ was glorified according to tradition and then father Timofey and matushka Natalia invited the guests to share the festive meal. During the conversation the question of the mutual relations between the metropolises were touched upon, for the decision of which metropolitan Korniliy suggested to restart the work of the commission for the preparation of the common Council to form a better mutual understanding between the brotherly metropolises. In conclusion of the conversation metropolitan Korniliy told about his recent visit to Jerusalem to install an icon-lamp at the Threshold of the Court Gates.
On Saturday, January 9, metropolitan Korniliy visited the Russian cemetery of Sidney where bishop Iosif Basargin, proto-priest Ioann Starosadchev, priest Ioann Kudrin, priest Kiril Ivanov who had been the pilots of the Australian parishes lie buried. Metropolitan Korniliy performed the memorial service at the cemetery and pronuonced a homily in the memory of the deceased.
On Sunday, January 10, after the Divine liturgy the assembly of the community of the Church of the Nativity of Christ took place. The assembly was led by the President of the community Mikhail Moiseevich Ovchinnikov. The parishioners of the church unanimously expressed their wish to remain under the spiritual guidance of the Moscow Metropolis. The speakers persistently asked the metropolitan to send them a priest from Russia and expressed their firm confidence that once he is there, the community life will liven up, the divine services will become regularly, the Sunday school will be opened.
At the assembly some differences between the statute of the community of the church of Nativity of Christ and a standard statute of a community of the Russian Orthodox Old Believer Church were noted. The metropolitan suggested to rework the statute in order to change the paragraphs concerning the duties and rights of the dean of the community, making them closer to the norms, accepted in the ROOBC.
On Monday after a sightseeing tour around Sidney the metropolitan said goodbye to the parishioners of the Church of the Nativity of Chirst and departed for Moscow.