Metropolitan of Moscow and All Rus’ Andrian (Alexander Gennadyevich Chetvergov; February 14, 1951 – August 10, 2005) was the primate of the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church from 2004 to 2005. He was born into an Old-believers’ family, hailing from a renowned lineage of Kazan merchants, the Chetvergovs.
In 1974, Alexander graduated from the Kazan Aviation Institute and also received an elementary arts education. He worked as a design engineer, first in the Central Design Bureau of the Optical Mechanics Plant and then in the Special Design Bureau of Sports Aviation.
In 1980, Alexander married Natalia Aleksandrovna Shtryneva, who hailed from a family of Nizhny Novgorod Old-believers.
In 1986, he left secular work and began working at the Kazan Old-believers’ Church. Alexander took the most active part in the restoration of the church – the design and manufacture of the iconostasis. He mastered a number of working specialties: driver and welder, carpenter and roofer. He also studied church arts and crafts: protopsaltes and service leader, restorer of icons and bookbinder. Later he was elected president of the church community.
From 1995, Alexander also worked as an iconographer. He painted the iconostasis for the Yekaterinburg Old-believers’ church community and prepared the construction of the iconostasis for the newly built Cathedral church of the Novosibirsk and All Siberia Diocese in the city of Novosibirsk, as well as painted some of the icons for the iconostasis.
In 1998, Alexander was widowed, with a son and two daughters in his care.
On October 17, 1999, Alexander was ordained deacon to the Kazan Church and at the Holy Council, he was elected as a candidate for bishop. On May 14, 2000, he was ordained to the priesthood and in 2001, he received monastic tonsure.
On April 29, 2001, Alexander was ordained to the rank of Bishop of Kazan-Vyatka, becoming at that time the youngest Old-believers’ bishop. He turned his attention to the development of publishing activities and under his leadership, were published such books as “The Life of Saint Paul of Kolomensk”, “The Life of Saint Benedict of Nursia”, a collection of historical essays “Salt of the Earth”.
At the Holy Council on February 9, 2004, he was elected Metropolitan of Moscow and All Rus’. The enthronement of the newly elected Metropolitan took place on February 12, 2004 in the Old-believers’ Intercession Cathedral in Moscow (in the Rogozhskoe settlement). The metropolitan proved to be a supporter of openness towards the outside world. So, at the Holy Council of the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church in 2004, he said:
In order to carry out missionary activity, today there is no need at all to embark on long journeys, to make our way to the deaf places where people live, unenlightened by the Gospel. Such people today are abundant around us … It is necessary to note the importance of our external activity. Old-believers are not yet accustomed to show their spiritual activity in the outside world, satisfied that the state has finally left them alone and provided an opportunity to deal with their problems. However, it is obvious that such attitudes lead to self-isolation, weakening and degeneration. This situation must be resolutely changed.
Metropolitan Andrian was a supporter of the dialogue between the Old-believers and the Moscow Patriarchate, while maintaining the full independence of the RPSC. During his travels throughout Russian regions, he met with the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church. He was the first primate of the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church who visited the Edinoverie Church (which is under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate).
Despite his ailments (he suffered from ischemic heart disease, had two myocardial infarctions and heart surgery) metropolitan Andrian was very active. He undertook 7 archpastoral journeys, visiting 23 regions of Russia, including those in the Asian part of the country, and he also visited Ukraine and Moldova.
Metropolitan Andrian managed to establish close ties with the Moscow Government and as a result, two churches were transferred to the Church, Voitovich Street was renamed Old-believers’ Street and funding was procured for the restoration of the spiritual and administrative center in the Rogozhskoe settlement.
Under his leadership, the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church was enriched with two bishops and he personally ordained 5 priests, 8 deacons, 7 readers and 3 candle-bearers. With metropolitan Andrian’s direct participation in the Rogozhskoe settlement, on September 1, 2004, the Old-Rite Theological School, which closed in 1918, resumed its activities. A publishing department was also formed and publication of the “Messenger of the Metropolitanate” journal was resumed. With the assistance of the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church, a number of academic and cultural events were also held.
In 2005, under the metropolitan’s leadership, celebrations were held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the reopening of the churches’ altars at the Rogozhskoe settlement.
On August 10, 2005, metropolitan Andrian died unexpectedly in the Kirov oblast as a result of a heart attack that occurred during the traditional Old-believers’ Velikoretskoye religious procession, which was headed by the metropolitan. It happened on the bank of the river Gryadovitsa, 40–50 kilometers from the city of Kirov. In September 2005, a memorial cross was erected at the place of the deat́h of metropolitan Andrian.
On August 14, 2005, in the Intercession Cathedral of the Rogozhskoe settlement in Moscow, the burial service was led by the spiritual father of the departed head of the Old-believers’ Church, bishop of Kiev and All Ukraine Sabbatius (Kozko), in co-service with the locum tenens of the Moscow throne, archbishop John (Vitushkin) and bishops Sylvanus (Kilin) and Korniliy (Titov). He was interred at the Rogozhskoe cemetery in Moscow.
In 2006, the book “546 Days of the Old Belief in the 21st Century” was published, dedicated to the activities of metropolitan Andrian as the head of the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church.
On July 22, 2016, a stone was laid in metropolitan Andrian’s home city of Kazan, Tatarstan, on the site of a future monument in honor of the metropolitan. The monument was opened on December 6, 2016. A solemn ceremony was held in the square in front of the cathedral of the Kazan-Vyatka diocese of the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church. The opening ceremony of the monument was attended by the president of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, the metropolitan of Moscow and All Rus’ of the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church Korniliy (Titov), the head of the Kazan Executive Committee Denis Kalinkin, and representatives of the Kazan-Vyatka diocese of the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church and other traditional religious confessions and governmental bodies.