Fairfield City Open Libraries: Heritage Blog

Christmas time at the Russian Orthodox Churches

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Golden cupola on the Russian Orthodox Church, Cabramatta & icons inside the St Nicolas’ Russian Orthodox Church, Fairfield.

St Nicholas’s Russian Orthodox Church, Fairfield

With the influx of Russian immigrants after World War II, the Russian people needed a place to worship according to their traditions. In 1952, with the support of the Russian community, a block of land located in Barbara Street, Fairfield was purchased and construction for a new church began. Due to financial constrains, a temporary timber building was erected and the church was finally completed and opened in 1956. The present Archpriest, Fr Nikita Chemodakov has been with St Nicolas since 1978 and still leads the popular Mass services each weekend.

For additional information on St Nicolas’s activities or history, please visit their webpage here

Russian Orthodox Church, Cabramatta 

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Midnight Mass at the Russian Orthodox Church, 2007. Photographer Danny Huynh

The Russian Orthodox Parish at Cabramatta was formed in 1949 by a small group of Russian immigrants. In 1953, they enlisted the help of a Russian architect, Mr Michael Miklashevky, who drew up the plans for the construction of the new church on John Street, Cabramatta.

According to an account from the Advance (06/02/1969) – “the ancient Russian style architecture of the church with its unusual design, size and form and the gold coloured cupola and cross has been long a landmark in Cabramatta. The total height from ground level to the top of the cross is 110 ft (33.53 m). There are two galleries, one one either side of the central part. A special large gallery for the accommodation of the choir is situated above the main entrance. The church can accommodate 600 people.” 

The church was officially open on the 1st of February 1969 by Bishop Konstantin. In 1981, the Advance reported that Father Alexis, one of the two priest then at Cabramatta, and commercial artist Tonia Ganin had undertaken the task of “covering every inch of the interior walls” of the church with iconic paintings.

[Source: “Foundation of Faith: Christian churches in the Fairfield area” by Beverley Donald, pp.127-131. & “Rituals & Traditions” by Fairfield City Museum & Gallery, pp 36-42]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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