The 16th Conference of Clergy and Laity of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand

The 16th Conference of Clergy and Laity of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand was held at SS Peter and Paul Cathedral in Strathfield, Australia on the 26th-27th of December.

His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Australia and New Zealand spoke to the Editor of the Unification newspaper on the events planned for the conference:

“This diocesan conference is held every three years. It is a very important part of diocesan life. The participants in these conferences gather from various parts of Australia and New Zealand and get the opportunity to socialize as well as discuss ongoing matters. Such meetings unify the clergymen and laity of our diocese. The conferences include reports on recent events in the diocese since the previous conference, and more important questions which affect the entire diocese are discussed and resolved. A new Diocesan Council is elected at these conferences, consisting of five priests and five laypersons. The members of the Council become the closest advisors of the diocesan ruling bishop. Between conferences, the Council convenes every two or three months and makes decisions on important administrative and managerial matters.”

The conference began on Sunday after lunch with a moleben in the Cathedral and a litany over the grave of Archbishop Theodore, with the commemoration of the deceased active figures of the diocese. Among the important attendees of this conference was the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Australia, VN Morozov, and the President of the Council of Compatriots of Australia, IK Savitsky.

After the service, the participants posed for photographs in front of the Cathedral.

On Monday, the conference members heard reports by the treasurer and audit committee, discussed and confirmed amendments to the Rules for Clergymen. They also heard a report on the diocesan Youth Committee. The Diocesan Executive Committee will convene a gathering of wardens, treasurers and representatives of parish sisterhoods.

The conference lasted for two days, and after the items of the regular agenda were completed, a moleben of gratitude was performed in the Cathedral. On Tuesday, the 46th Orthodox Youth Conference will convene at Avoca Beach near Sydney, which will include young people age 18-35. Metropolitan Hilarion will participate in this conference.

Vladimir Kuzmin, Sydney