Timeline of Orthodoxy in Australia
|This article forms part of the series|
Orthodoxy in Australia
|Orthodoxy in Australia Timeline |
Statistics of Orthodoxy in Australia
Gk Orthodox Archd. of ANZ
|GOA Aus - Abp Stylianos|
Antiochian - Met Basilios
ROCOR - Met Hilarion
Serbian - Bp Siluan
Romanian - Bp Michael
Without local bishop
| Antiochian Orthodox |
Greek Orthodox (Aus)
O.L. of Kazan
|Proph. Elias |
St John Mtn
St Sava (Elaine)
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This is a timeline regarding the presence of Orthodoxy in Australia.
- 1810 First known Orthodox (Russian) permanent resident arrives in Australia. Wife of a British Military officer freshly arrived from the Peninsular War.
- 1820 April: First Orthodox service in Australia. Held at Kirribilli Point (Sydney) by Fr. Dionisii, a Russian Orthodox chaplain on the Vostok.
- 1850s: Massacres of Orthodox Christians by the Ottoman Turks in Greece, Lebanon, Mount Lebanon, Syria, and other parts of the Middle East see a great displacement of Orthodox from these regions.
- 1868: Fr. Christoforos Arsenios settles at Clermont in Central Queensland. No record exists of any services conducted.
- 1880s: Numbers of Greek and Arabic speaking Orthodox arrive in Australia. Later Russians arrive as well.
- 1890s: Russian, Syrian, and Greeks set up community worship groups where all involved are welcome. Commmunity churches are organised.
- 1896: Archimandrite Dorotheos (Bakaliaros) is first resident priest who functions as such. Conducts services in Melbourne and Sydney.
- 1897: Joint Greek, Russian, and Syrian Orthodox communities in Sydney (New South Wales) and Melbourne (Victoria) are established.
- 1898 May 29: Foundation stone laid in Sydney of the first Orthodox Church in Australia (included Greek, Russian and Syrian worshippers and contributors). Dedicated to Holy Trinity.
- Greek-speaking Patriarch of Antioch deposed. Intense lobbying underway between Antioch and Constantinople. Relations become acrimonious.
- Patriarch of Jerusalem considered neutral in this dispute and asked by community churches to send out priests for Australia and New Zealand.
- The Church of Jerusalem appoints Fr. Seraphim Phocas to Sydney and Fr. Athanasios Kantopoulos to Melbourne.
- 1899: Refusal of the Patriarch of Constantinople to recognise the newly elected Arabic-speaking Patriarch of Antioch and All the East causes a parting of the way between the Greek speaking Orthodox and the Arabic speaking Orthodox around the world including Australia. Russian speaking Orthodox also suffer in the fall-out.
- 1900: Foundation stone laid in Melbourne of first exclusively Greek speaking Orthodox Church. Dedicated to the Annunciation.
- 1902: Church of Greece takes responsibility for Greek parishes in Australia from the Church of Jerusalem.
- 1903: Fr. Nikandros Bettines arrives in Melbourne from Zakynthos, sent by the Archbishop of Athens.
- 1908: Patriarch of Constantinople arbitrates and awards jurisdiction of Greek parishes in Australia to the Church of Greece.
- 1913: Fr. Nicholas Shehadie appointed Patriarchal Exarch for Australia and New Zealand by His Beatitude Gregorious Haddad Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East.
- 1913: First Exarch of Australia and New Zealand, Fr. Nicholas Shehadie arrives in Sydney and serves as parish priest of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Surry Hills.
- 1917: Bolshevik revolution in Russia sees large numbers of Russians and allied peoples displaced and fleeing genocidal massacres there and in satelite countries over the next 10 years. Many flee to western Europe, and then North America, and South America. Others flee to Asian Russia and then to China, Japan, South East Asia, Philippines, and Australasia.
- 1919: Exarchate of Australia and New Zealand is confirmed as permanent by Patriarch of Antioch.
- 1920 May 23: Foundation stone laid at Walker and Redfern Streets Redfern, Sydney, by the Vicar-General of the Diocese of Sydney, for the first exclusively Syrian Orthodox church in Australia. Right Reverend Father Nicola Shehade becomes pastor of Redfern, and continues as Exarch of Australia and New Zealand.
- 1920s: Genocidal massacres in modern Turkey following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire see millions of people displaced. Large numbers of Orthodox flee to the new world including North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Oceania.
- 1924 March 7: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Australia and New Zealand established by Ecumenical Patriarchate.
- 1925: First Russian church acquired in Brisbane. Was dedicated to St. Nicholas.
- 1929: Metropolitan Christoforos (Knitis) deposed, exiled to Samos.
- 1930s: First Russian Orthodox priest in Sydney, Father Methodious, resides with Antiochian Orthodox family of Anis and Aman Birbara. Until the purchase of a house in Moore Park, and its conversion into a church, Archimandrite Methodious held all his Sydney services at the Antiochian Orthodox church of St. George Redfern.
- 1931 September 18: Timotheos (Evangelinidis) elected Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Australia and New Zealand by Ecumenical Patriarchate.
- 1932 July 26: Metropolitan Timotheos (Evangelinidis) arrives in Australia.
- 1934 May 15: Exarch Nicholas Shehadie (Antiochian) passes away from asthma. Funeral at St. George Redfern is presided over by Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Timotheos.
- 1935: Father Nicholas' son Michael is ordained deacon, then priest, on behalf of the Patriarch of Antioch, by Metropolitan Timotheos.
- 1936: First Orthodox church established in Western Australia, under Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, dedicated to Ss. Constantine and Helen.
- 1947 April 22: Archimandrite Theophylactos (Papathanasopoulos) elected Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Australia and New Zealand by Ecumenical Patriarchate.
- 1948 Nov: First Russian Orthodox Bishop Theodore (Rafalsky) arrives in Australia. He studied theology in Russia before World War I with Sydney's Antiochian Orthodox priest Fr. Michael Shehadie.
- First Ukrainian Orthodox services held in Canberra by Fr. A. Theodorovych.
- 1949: First Serbian Orthodox services held by Fr. Sv. Sekulic.
- 1950: First Bulgarian Orthodox parish in Melbourne.
- 1952: First Estonian Orthodox parish established by Fr. D. Juurma.
- 1955/56: Bishop Sava becomes Bishop of Australia and New Zealand (ROCOR).
- 1958 August 2: Metropolitan Theophylactos (Papathanasopoulos) killed in car accident in Melbourne.
- 1959 April 27: Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Ezekiel (Tsoukalas) of Australia and New Zealand arrives in Australia.
- September 1: The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Australia and New Zealand becomes the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand, and Metropolitan Ezekiel becomes Archbishop.
- 1961: St Andrew's Brotherhood set up by Archbishop Ezekiel for the improvement of Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan services.
- January: First Greek Orthodox Clergy-Laity Congress held in Sydney.
- June 19: Land purchased for Greek Orthodox St George Monastery, Springwood.
- 1964-1969 Fr. Nicolas Mansour is Patriarchal Vicar-General of the Antiochian Orthodox Church in Australia and New Zealand
- 1965: Second Greek Orthodox Clergy-Laity Congress held in Sydney.
- 1967: Father Nicolas Mansour appointed Exarch of Antiochian Orthodox Church in Australia and New Zealand, bestowed with pectoral cross and adorned with it by Greek Orthodox Archbishop Ezekiel at request of Patriarch Ignatius of Antioch
New Generation of Bishops
- 1969: Archimandrite Gibran (Ramlawey) dispatched from USA by Patriarch Ignatius of Antioch to investigate future of Antiochian Orthodox Church in Australasia.
- October: Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Australasia established by Holy Synod of Antioch.
- November: First Antiochian Orthodox hierarch, Bishop Gibran (Ramlawey) of Australasia, returns to Australia and commences duties as Patriarchal Vicar of Australia and New Zealand.
- Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Iakovos of Philadelphia arrives as Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to investigate future of Greek Orthodox Church in Australia and in New Zealand.
- 1970: Sister Dorothea places St Basil's Homes for the Aged under the patronage of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
- 1971 Orthodox Church in America presence begins in Australia with reception of one disaffected ROCOR parish in Bankstown, New South Wales, along with three priests.
- Simultaneously Polish Orthodox presence begins in Australia with reception of a disaffected priest from ROCOR.
- 1972: Third Greek Orthodox Clergy-Laity Congress held in Sydney.
- 1974: Bishop Nikolai (Mrdja), elected First Serbian Orthodox hierarch for Australia; enthroned December 30.
- 1975 February 13: Metropolitan Stylianos (Harkianakis) of Miletoupolis elected Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia.
- 1979 September 22: Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Churches of Australia established, with the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Archbishop of Australia as permanent chairman.
- 1981 January: Fourth Greek Orthodox Clergy-Laity Congress held in Sydney.
- 1982: First Greek Orthodox National Youth Conference held at University of Melbourne. Resolution passed to hold Greek Orthodox National Youth Conferences every second year thereafter, with Greek Orthodox State Youth Conferences held on the alternate year.
- 1983: Greek Orthodox St Andrew's Brotherhood revived and better organised by Archbishop Stylianos.
- 1985 January 27-29: Fifth Greek orthodox Clergy-Laity Congress held in Brisbane, Queensland. Congress resolves to contruct a local theological college.
- May: Construction of St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College commences. College prepares to open in 1986.
Local Theological School
- 1986 February: St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College begins teaching.
- 1988 September 13: Moscow Patriarchate establishes first parish in Melbourne, dedicated to Holy Trinity.
- 1989 January: Sixth Greek Orthodox Clergy-Laity Congress held in Melbourne.
- Moscow Patriarchate established second parish in Sydney.
- 1991-94: Schism occurs from Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. Patriarchate of Jerusalem accepts schismatic parishes and begins jurisdiction in Australia. Great protests from Archbishop Stylianos and Patriarch Bartholomew ensue, culminating in an expanded Greek-speaking synod and the excommunication of the bishops that went to Australia. Jerusalem withdraws from Australia, causing those parishes either to unite to local schismatic bishops or to join old-calendarist synods.
- 1992: First visit of an Orthodox Patriarch to Australasia. Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch and All the East visits the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.
- 1993 January: Seventh Greek Orthodox Clergy-Laity Congress held in Sydney.
- 1996 February: Modern English version of the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom is published by Professor David Frost for the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.
- Nov: First Visit of Ecumenical Patriarch.
- 1998 Jan: Eighth Clergy-Laity Congress (Greek Orthodox) held in Sydney.
- 1999 Jan: Bp. Gibran, Patriarchal Exarch for the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, reposes.
- March: The Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Australasia raised to the status of Archdiocese by Holy Synod of Antioch and All the East.
- September: Archimandrite Paul Saliba, parish priest in Washington DC, USA, elected Metropolitan Archbishop of Australia and New Zealand by the Holy Synod of Antioch.
- 2002: St. Andrew's Orthodox Press established to publish The Greek-Australian Vema, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese.
- 2003: The Hobart Schism. The Greek Orthodox Community in Hobart (formed prior to the 1970s) ask a schismatic clergyman to replace their rector; the incumbent rector founds new parish, excommunicating all Greek Orthodox in Hobart that did not follow him. The schism was later healed when the Community returned to the Archdiocese, leaving two parishes in Hobart.
- 2004: Permanent Romanian Orthodox priest in Western Australia.
- 2006: St. Andrew's Orthodox Press publishes The Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom in hardback.
- October: Bishop Irenej succeeds Bishop Milutin as the Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Australia and New Zealand.
- 2008: Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand established, led by Bishop Mihail (Filimon) of Australia and New Zealand.
- 2010: First Episcopal Assembly of Bishop in Oceania. Divine Liturgy concelebrated by bishops from Greek (Australia and New Zealand), Antiochian, ROCOR, Serbian and Romanian dioceses and archdioceses, followed by meeting and a declaration issued. Bishops met annually after this.
- Nikanor (Savic) of Athos, Australia and New Zealand glorified by the Church of Serbia.
- 2011: Archimandrite Iakovos (Tsigounis) elected Bishop of Militoupoleos, auxiliary to Archbishop Stylianos in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.
- 2012 Apr: First 'synaxis' of all canonical priests of Victoria, with bishops, at Oakleigh, Melbourne.
- 2013 Jan: The end of the OCA presence in Australia (with the repose of Fr Ian Bojko in Brisbane).
- May: First concelebration of bishops and priests from most canonical jurisdictions of the Episcopal Assembly, commemorating the Edict of Milan.
- Chryssavgis, Fr M., & Chryssavgis, Fr J., Persons and Events in Orthodoxy: Historical Moments in the development of Orthodox Christianity (with a chapter on Australian Orthodoxy), Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, 1985.
- Institutional Profile of St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College.
- Major events in the history of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia.
- History of the Holy Orthodox Church: Orthodoxy in Australia
- Parish History of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).
- St George Cathedral and its People - Past, Present and Future - history of the Antiochian Orthodox Church in Australia (Sydney) and the parish of St George Cathedral