NAKHODKA, RUSSIA: November 19, 2013
Delegates of the Russian Church Abroad and the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God Visit the Unfinished Iveron Church in Khmylovka and Life-Giving Trinity Church in Port Vrangel
On November 19, 2013, the second day of the visit of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign" to Nakhodka Diocese, a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia accompanying the holy image visited the old and new Church of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, still under construction in the town of Khmylovka. They also visited the rectory, which dates to pre-Revolutionary times.
The new Iveron Church is being built in the middle of town, near the rectory. The first church was built when the town was known then as Khmelevka-now Khmylovka-in 1915-16. It could accommodate 500 worshipers. In the Soviet period, after the murder of its rector, Father John, a priest would make the trip to Khmylovka from the town of Vladimiro-Alexandrovsk. At the end of the 1920’s, the church was made into a social club. In the 1930’s, the town church was confiscated by the local kolkhoz. The building stood until 1967, when it was demolished.
In the early 1990’s, over ten families of old Russian refugees from Australia repatriated to Russia and settled here. Among them was Fr Rufus Tobolov, who had the idea of rebuilding the church. When an Orthodox parish community was formed, the believers were given the old post-office building, where they set up a church. Fr Rufus became the parish rector.
With time, concrete blocks were acquired for building a permanent church. The parish was given the church rectory from the pre-Revolutionary period. The laying of the foundation occurred in 2010. On September 18, 2011, His Grace Bishop Nikolai (Dutka) of Nakhodka and Preobrazhensk performed the consecration of the cornerstone for Iveron Church. Vladimir Remezov, Chief Architect of the City of Nakhodka, participated in the planning of the church, which measures 8 x 21 meters.
The guests were accompanied by representatives of the Nakhodka Diocese, headed by His Grace Bishop Nikolai of Nakhodka and Preobrazhensk. The delegates also met with Russian immigrants from Australia who moved with the former Rector of Iveron Church, Protopriest Rufus Tobolov to Primoriye in the mid-1990’s.
After leaving Khmylovka, the delegation went on an excursion of the Rosmorpor Navigational Complex on Cape Kamensky at the entrance to Port Vrangel. The center controls the movement and safety of vessels in Nakhodka Bay.
After the tour, the delegates headed to Port Vrangel, where they visited the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity, whose rector, Protopriest Alexander Zholobos, told them about its history.