On November 4, on the feast of the Kazan Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, performed the great consecration of the Kazan Church in the city of Westeros (Sweden).
The newly built spacious church was built from a wooden log house in the traditions of Russian church architecture. The project was implemented with the financial assistance of the Foundation for the Support of Christian Culture and Heritage, as well as donations from private benefactors and parishioners.
The archpastor was co-served by Archpriest Viktor Lyutik, dean of the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in Sweden and rector of the Intercession Parish in Helsinki (Finland), Archimandrite Kliment (Huhtamaki), dean of the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in Norway and rector of the Olginsky parish in Oslo, Abbot Nikita (Dobronravov), rector of the Kazan Church in Westeros, Priest Pavel Makarenko and Priest Alexander Piskunov.
Among those praying in the church were the Ambassador of Belarus to Sweden, D.L. Mironchik, and the adviser-envoy of the Russian Embassy in Sweden, V.A. Lyabin.
At the end of the rite of the great consecration, Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk installed Roman Lazunin as an altar reader, and then celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the newly consecrated church.
At the small entrance, in pursuance of the Decree of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, Priest Pavel Makarenko was awarded the right to wear a gold-colored pectoral cross.
After his release, Vladyka preached a sermon and warmly congratulated the parish community on the consecration of the church. The DECR Chairman emphasized the personal care of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church for the successful implementation of the Kazan Church construction project. Metropolitan Anthony also expressed gratitude to the Foundation for the Support of Christian Culture and Heritage for helping to finance the construction.
With the blessing of His Holiness the Patriarch, the DECR Chairman presented awards to the clergy who arrived for the holiday in consideration of their work for the benefit of the Holy Church and in connection with the commemorations. Archpriest Viktor Lyutik was awarded the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh (II degree) and the medal "Patriarchal Gratitude", and Archimandrite Clement (Huhtamaki) – the Order of St. Innocent (III degree) and the Patriarchal Diploma. Patriarchal awards were also awarded to parishioners who worked particularly hard in the construction of the church.
In response, Priest Pavel Makarenko thanked Metropolitan Anthony for performing the rite of consecration of the Kazan Church and fatherly care of the parish in Westeros.
At the end of the service, the hierarch, accompanied by the rector, inspected the parish house built on the prikhram territory, where, in particular, a Sunday school, a library and a refectory will be located.