History of the Russian Orthodox Church in Christchurch
2013 marks 50 years since the completion and consecration of the Church of St. Nicholas in the city of Christchurch.
Beginning in June 1949 Russian immigrants who settled in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, would meet on Saturdays for evening prayers organized by Eugene P. Pakhomov. (Aboard the ship, the Dundalk Bay.)
Consecration of the grounds
As the orthodox community continued to grow, meetings were held in Sumner, at the house Evgeny Pavlovich himself, who was well versed in church scripture and doctrine.
In 1950, the father Aleksey (Godyaev) was assigned to administer to the Russian Orthodox community in New Zealand. Because he was based in in Wellington, he came to Christchurch only a few times a year. Evgeny Pavlovich continued to organize the community in Christchurch.
1950 saw a large influx of Russian immigrants to New Zealand, many of whom joined the Orthodox community. Eugene P. Pakhomov created a gospel choir, made of member of the community joined by Russian Greek and Serb orthodox believers.
In 1951, in the Opawa area (Vincent Place) parishioners meet at a small cottage they had converted into a church.
By 1962 the community consisted of around 20 families. The Cottage could not accommodate all the parishioners, so funds were raised and the group purchased a small plot land on Brougham Rd to construct a new Church.
Raising the Church Dome
October 8, 1962 Fr. Aleksey performed rites at the base of the temple, and laid the foundation stone of the church. Construction began with the entire community being involved and in December 1963 construction was completed.
December 23, 1963 Fr.Aleksey consecrated the temple in honour of St. Nicholas.