St Nicholas Church in the Three Hills in the Presnya district of Moscow, Fr Vsevolod Chaplin’s new parish, in one of the most prestigious neighbourhoods of the capital.
Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the Synodal Division for Church-Society Relations became rector of St Nicholas Church in the Three Hills in the Presnya district of Moscow. On Monday, according to Fr Vsevolod at a press conference at the central offices of Interfax, he intends to develop the outreach activities of his parish vigorously, so that it may establish and consolidate its relationships with nearby government agencies, businesses, universities, music schools, and a neighbouring hospital in the near future. “The parish is not merely a building set on a lot, only concerned with what is going on within its precincts. This neighbourhood has schools, hospitals, businesses, and kindergartens. Moreover, at least, the people who work at these places should know that there is a church nearby, they should be involved in it, and be part of its social and missionary activity”, he said.
During the press conference, we asked Fr Vsevolod whether he has any plans to make special efforts to reach out to the Russian government offices located in the same area. In response, he said that, currently, he is working with government officials on a bill concerning the transfer of property to religious organisations for worship purposes, saying, “This cooperation led to us finding a rather high degree of consensus amongst its key players that left me very pleased. I don’t think that we can combine such negotiations with missionary activities. But, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t ask the believers amongst the officials to come to our parish, it’s so near their offices, why, they could participate in its worship and life”.
St Nicholas Church in the Three Hills in Novovagankovsky Lane was built in the early 20th century, according to plans drawn up by the architect Kaiser. However, according to the chronicles, the wooden church of St Nicholas at the Kennels was present in the neighbourhood in 1628, and the people called it such after the tsar’s kennels were transferred here. In the early 1920s, the church was looted, and, in 1929, it was rebuilt, with the demolition of the bell tower and dome. After the end of the 1920s, the building was a club, and, later, it was the Pavlik Morozov Young Pioneers House. In 1992, the Moscow municipal authorities signed a decree returning the building with its adjoining property to the Church.
28 December 2009
Patriarch’s Ponds in Presnya District. The large white building in the back with the replica of Tatlin’s Tower on the roof is the Patriarch Apartments, a very chi-chi address (one of its residents is the popular singer Alla Pugachyova). The Ponds are part of the setting for Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita (the tram accident takes place there). In general, the area is a rather posh locale.
Now, Fr Vsevolod has one of the most prestigious parishes in Russia. If this does not confirm for you the power that this man wields, you’re a VERY slow learner and there’s little that I (or anyone else, for that matter) can do for you. Fr Vsevolod is, perhaps, the closest confidant to KMG, and this assignment is proof of that. Reflect on the fact that Fr Vsevolod has a real parish whereas his rival Alfeyev has a “rotten borough” bishopric that is only an empty title (there are well over five times the number of people in Presnya raion as compared to the town of Volokalamsk, for instance). SVS puts all its money on the fancy-looking bishop… I prefer to back the more prosaic-appearing priest. I think that you would be wise to follow my example, not that of the absent-minded professors. Cookie the Bookie is that way, folks…