On September 21, 2011, the
Nativity of Our Lady, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow
Patriarchate's department for external church relations, celebrated the Divine
Liturgy in St. Nicholas's church of the Nativity of Our Lady at Golutvin, which
is the Moscow representation of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church, called
Chinese Patriarchal Metochion.
Among the worshippers were benefactors of the St. Nicholas church. Some
prayers were said in Chinese. After the liturgy there was a procession with the
Greeting the DECR chairman
on behalf of the church's clergy and parishioners, its rector, Archpriest Igor
Zuev pointed to an essential progress made in the efforts to normalize the
situation of the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church. "We as workers at the
Chinese Metochion have still much to do and we are bitterly aware of our
weakness. But we know that God's power is made perfect in weakness", he said.
In his archpastoral homily on the Nativity of Our Lady, Metropolitan Hilarion
spoke about childbirth as a blessing of God. He stated with regret that
childbirth ceased to be a priority for married couples in our country today as
they give priority now to material welfare. "With this attitude it is difficult
to expect our people to prosper and our population to grow. It happens because
the scale of values upheld by people today does not correspond to God's
commandments", he said.
Addressing the rector of the church, Metropolitan Hilarion expressed the wish
that the number of parishioners of not only Russian but also Chinese background
grew "because it is the only church in Moscow to celebrate partly in Chinese",
He also pointed to a certain progress made in the Russian Church's
cooperation with the Chinese authorities in the efforts to normalize the life of
Orthodox believers in China. "We do not advance with seven-league strides of
course but with small steps. Recently we have been promised that two students
will come from China for training in our theological schools, so that they may
become priests and service in China", he said.
"May this church of St. Nicholas serve as a bridge between the Russian
Orthodox Church and its daughter, the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church", he
said in conclusion.
* * *
Established by the Holy Synod, the Russian Church Mission had worked in China
since 1713. In the early 20th century it considerably extended its
activity to open representations in Harbin, in Dalny urban settlement in
Chukotka, at the Manchuria station of the Chinese Eastern Railway, and finally
in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
The Moscow Representation of the Russian Church Mission in China was
established in 1908. In 1922 the Representation's church was sealed up. In 1978
a part of the building was demolished and in 1990 the church's area became a
In 2007, the Holy Synod in its action on the 50th anniversary of
the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church decided to continue the DECR's efforts to
normalise the situation of this Church in dialogue with the Chinese side and to
open a representation of this Church in Moscow.
In 2011, Patriarch Kirill decreed that a Chinese Patriarchal Methochion be
established at the St. Nicholas church at Golutvin.