Celebration in the village of Nikolskoe on Bering Island in the Komandorski Archipelago near Kamchatka, the native people are related to the Aleuts of Alaska
The easternmost Orthodox church in Russia shall be built on Bering Island in the Komandorski Islands. At present, no Orthodox church building exists in this island group, although the history of Orthodoxy in these parts goes back some two centuries. The first church in the islands was built at the beginning of the 19th century, according to Fr Viktor, the rector of the parish of St Nicholas in the village of Nikolskoe, which is located in the archipelago.
On the orders of Grigori Shelekhov and Nikolai Rezanov, in 1799, the Russian-American Company delivered the materials for four churches by sea to the Komandorski Islands, the Aleutians, and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski. Ss Nicholas and Innocent church in the islands was dedicated to St Nicholas the Wonderworker, the patron of sailors and fishermen, and to St Innocent of Irkutsk, the Enlightener of Siberia. Only incomplete church records have been preserved to the present day, the earliest records available are dated 1902. A new church was erected in the 1890s, but, it was closed after the October Revolution, with the building becoming first a local club, and, then, a hostel. In 1983, the old church building burned down.
The new church shall be built in a different location, as the old settlement, where the old St Nicholas church was located, is in an area prone to tsunamis. Plans are for the new building, 15 metres (49 feet) in length and 10 metres (33 feet) in width, to be erected first in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski, then, it shall be dismantled for shipment by sea to the Komandorski Islands. A site in the centre of the village of Nikolskoe has been selected, in accordance with local zoning ordinances.
27 October 2008