Australian and New Zealand Diocesan Council Meeting

diocesan_council_july_2016On Thursday 23 June 2016 meetings of the Board of the Russian Orthodox Church (NSW) Property Trust and the Diocesan Council were held at the Diocesan House in Croydon, NSW.  Participating in this full day of meetings were Diocesan Administrator Bishop George, Diocesan Chancellor Mitred Archpriest Michael Protopopov, and Diocesan Council members Archpriest George Lapardin, Priest James Carles, Protodeacon Alexander Abramoff, Nicholas Nedachin, Alexander Bialocerkowski, Lubov Cowall and Nicholas Wirubov. Metropolitan Hilarion participated in the meeting of the Property Trust by telephone.

The Board of the Russian Orthodox Church (NSW) Property Trust consists of all the members of the Diocesan Council.  Building on work done earlier in 2016, at the June meeting a process for standardising and simplifying the execution of documents by the Board was agreed to.  In addition, decisions were made concerning the issue of Certificates of Trust for properties held by the Trust and the disbursement of funds received under the NSW Government Community Building Partnership.

At its meeting the Diocesan Council reviewed the status of planned commemorative activities. Particular attention was given to the Diocesan commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the repose of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco on 2-3 July 2016 and the Twentieth Anniversary of Metropolitan Hilarion’s service as Ruling Bishop of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese in November 2016.

A committee of the Diocesan Council was formed to commence discussions with the Directors of the Fraternity of the Holy Cross concerning the future of the Fraternity.  This committee is expected to commence its work in July 2016.

Archpriest George Lapardin gave a report on youth work in the Diocese in which he touched on plans for the future.  Financial assistance to the forthcoming “Concord of Orthodox Youth” («Содружество Православной Молодежи») pilgrimage to Crimea was approved.  Grigory and Dimitri Metlenko gave a brief presentation to the Diocesan Council on the work undertaken by Syezd Australia to improve the organisation of the annual Diocesan youth conferences.

The Diocesan budget was discussed at length.  A proposal to both simplify and broaden the base of the Diocesan levy system was endorsed.  It was agreed that the sale price of candles would increase to $1.50 for the small candle and $3.00 for the large candle with effect from 1 July 2016, the first increase in 10 years.  Although it was resolved that the Diocese would continue to order candles from its current supplier for the foreseeable future, a decision was made to order, on a trial basis, a larger candle from the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Bombala.

A range of other administrative and policy matters were discussed, the most important of which was the work health and safety responsibilities of the Diocesan Council.

The Board of the Russian Orthodox Church (NSW) Property Trust and the Diocesan Council are scheduled to meet next on Thursday 22 September 2016.  It is expected that this will be the final meeting of the current Diocesan Council before the Diocesan Assembly convenes in November 2016 and elects a new Diocesan Council.