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January 10, 2016 – In Reykjavik, Iceland, the first divine service was celebrated at the St. Nicholas Chapel mounted at a site that had been allocated by the city council. In near future it will be the site of the first Orthodox church to be built in the country. It will be dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and Archbishop of Myra in Lycia.

With the blessing of the head of the Moscow Patriarchate office for the institutions abroad, Bishop Anthony of Vienna and Budapest, the community has purchased a makeshift wooden house and installed a chapel in it. The preparation of the foundation pit and the foundation took over a month. By January 10 the assembling of the chapel had been completed.

The prayer service with the akathistos to St. Nicholas and the consecration of the cross to be mounted on the roof were presided over by Archpriest Timothy Zolotusky, rector of the St. Nicholas Patriarchal Parish of the Moscow Patriarchate in Reykjavik. The installation of the cross, however, had to be put off till the next day because of a storm alert.

Despite of the nasty weather and the working day, people gathered together at the chapel to pray for an early beginning of the construction of the church. United in prayer were Orthodox faithful from Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia and Iceland.

The solemn opening of the chapel was attended by Russian Ambassador to Iceland A. Vasilyev and third secretary of the embassy Ms. O. Mikhailova.

In his introductory remarks, Ambassador Vasilyev pointed to the contribution made by the whole Orthodox community in Iceland to the implementation of the construction project and the longstanding work for it carried out by the rector of the St. Nicholas Parish. He underscored the importance of the event for the unity of the Russian diaspora in Iceland and gave assurances that the Russian embassy in Iceland would continue helping to organize cooperation with the Iceland authorities and to raise funds for the construction of the church.

Archpriest Timothy cordially thanked the Russian diplomatic representation in Iceland in the person of Ambassador A. Vasilyev and his predecessors for their continued and all possible support for the efforts of the Russian Orthodox community to build the first ever Orthodox church in the world northernmost capital city, the site of the St. Nicholas Parish in Reykjavik reports.


DECR Communication Service