St. George Free Serbian Orthodox Church (Forrest, Australian Capital Territory)

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St George Free Serbian Orthodox Church in Forrest, Australia, was formed in 1955, ended in 1963, and refounded in 1992. From 1963-1992, a group of former Yugoslav Royal Military officers registered the 'Free Serbian Orthodox Church St George Inc' organisation with the ACT government, acquired land in the suburb of Forrest, built a church building, a hall which they call to this day 'Serbian Centre Draza Mihailovic', and a monument to Yugoslav General Dragoljub 'Draza' Mihailovic, the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

The First President of the Church-School Community (in 1955) was Vojislav Miletic, who, together with his wife Jelena, became a major benefactor to St Sava Monastery in Elaine, Victoria.

The interior of the church was painted by Czech artist Karl Matzek in the 1970s and 1980s, primarily in the Western mural style.

Since 1992, when the schismatic 'Free Church' came into the Serbian patriarchal fold, it has been visited by several canonical Orthodox bishops, including the Serbian Patriarch Pavle in November 2004. In July 2006, the parish had no resident priest.

In August 2006, in an unrelated matter, Bishop Milutin removed the antimension from the altar of St George's. It is reported that this was due to the church's connection to the Serbian anti-communist freedom fighter Draza Mihailovic; a plaque carrying a dedication to Draza appears at the entrance to the church.

In March 2008, Bishop Irinej removed the antimension from the altar for the second time in two years. It is reported that this was due to a dispute with the property trustees.

Following the dispute with Bishop Irinej, the parish broke off ties with Bishop Irinej's administration and has reverted to its original name of St George Free Serbian Orthodox Church.

Clergy

  • Fr Dusan Popovic (19??-1963)
  • Fr Jakov Jovic (1992-2004)
  • Fr Stanisa Ostojic (2004-2006)
  • Fr Nikola Bilic (2006-present)

See also

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