Who are we?
The Holy Protection Cathedral Parish is one of the largest parishes of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of The Russian Orthodox Church (Abroad).
The Diocesan Ruling Bishop resides in Sydney, while the Synod of Bishops is located in New York, USA, with churches in many countries. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has the status of an autonomous Church, affiliated with the Church in Russia through the Patriarch of Moscow.
There has been a Russian presence in Melbourne since the 19th century. Prior to 1949, Russian Orthodox people attended the Church of St Nicholas in East Melbourne (Antiochian Diocese). In July 1949, a meeting was convened to set up the Parish of Our Lady’s Protection. Initially the parish rented church premises in Toorak, then in the city and later in Fitzroy. In 1954, the former Anglican Mission Church of St Saviour’s (6 Oxford Street, Collingwood) was purchased. Subsequently, the 'Melbourne Parish of the Russian Orthodox Church (Abroad) Trust' was registered. In the late 1960s a new Church hall was built.
Since WWII, there have been several waves of Russian migration: from Germany (late 1940s); from China (1950s and 1960s); from the Soviet Union (before 1985) and after Perestroika, to the present.
As well as Russian immigrants, the Church is a spiritual home for Orthodox Christians from many nations. Our services are conducted in both Church Slavonic and English as a reflection of our multi-ethnic parish.
The Church and community complex in Albion Street, Brunswick East was built over many years. The foundation laying ceremony took place on the 5th November 1989. Regular Church services began on the 24th September 2006 (on the day of the full Consecration). The project was made possible through the exceptional generosity of parishioners who donated their time and money. Much of the work was accomplished by volunteers working on Saturdays.
The Holy Protection Parish is a spiritual body and as such gives first preference to spiritual services and activities. However, this worldview encompasses many facets of family and community life. Please see our Community pages for more information.