The 14th Assembly of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand Held at SS Peter and Paul Cathedral

The 14th Assembly of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, attended by clergymen, selected parish delegates and representatives of social organizations was held at the end of March in Sydney. The Assembly was held in a spirit of brotherly love and conciliarity under the wise leadership of His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion, the Ruling Bishop of the Diocese.

The Assembly opened with a moleben at SS Peter and Paul Cathedral, performed by His Eminence Vladyka along with several clergymen of the Diocese, after which a commemorative litany was read at the grave of the first Ruling Bishop of the Diocese, Archbishop Feodor (+1953), which is on the Cathedral grounds, with the commemoration of all the reposed clergymen and diocesan administrators. Then all the delegates headed for the Cathedral hall, where His Eminence Vladyka opened the Assembly with a keynote address. The officers were then elected: Archibishop Hilarion as President, Protopriest Gabriel Makarov, Rector of St Nicholas Cathedral in Brisbaine, as Vice President; Protopriest Nikita Chemodakov, Rector of St Nicholas Church in Fairfield, as Secretary.

Then Archbishop Hilarion delivered a report on his activities and proposed the plan for the next three years. The Diocesan Treasurer, N. Nedachin, then read his financial report, after which the Director of the candle factory, Protopriest Michael Boikov, then spoke. During the second half of the day, the Dean of Victoria, Protopriest Michael Protopopoff, Rector of Dormition Church in Dandenong, proposed some changes to the Normal Parish By-Laws to the Assembly, which were approved unanimously. Following this were reports by parish rectors, who told of their church life in the parishes in detail, recounting the joys and problems faced by Russian Orthodox Christians in contemporary Australia.

Reports were then read by representatives of social organizations, after which the delegates proceeded to elect the members of the Diocesan Council and Auditing Committee. The following persons were elected: Protopriest Michael Protopopoff; Protopriest Nicholas Karypov, Rector of Protection Cathedral in Melbourne; Protopriest Nikita Chemodakov; Protopriest Gabriel Makarov and Protopriest George Lapardin of SS Peter and Paul Cathedral; and Deacon Alexander Kotliaroff of the Church of All Russian Saints in Croydon; and from the laity: N. Nedachin, A. Belotserkovsky, A. Davydov and E. Manuilov. Chosen to form the Auditing Committee were Protodeacon Basil Yakimov of St John the Forerunner Cathedral in Australia's capital; Deacon Vadim Gan of All Russian Saints Church in Croydon; and Subdeacon K. Moshegov of the same church, who is a renowned Sydney eye surgeon.

The Assembly, having heard a report by Archbishop Hilarion, President of the Pre-Council Committee, which is preparing the 4th All-Diaspora Council for clergy and laity, decided to convene an extraordinary Diocesan Assembly to elect delegates to the Council.

In closing the Assembly, His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion expressed his satisfaction at its success and his deep gratitude to all its participants, who love and have great concern for our Church, and congratulated all the members of the Diocesan Council and Auditing Committee with their election. He expressed the hope that all the new servants of the Diocese will work together in the constructive spirit of peace. His Eminence Vladyka also especially thanked the Sisterhood of SS Peter and Paul Cathedral for their care for the Assembly's participants.