First services held in Donbass Church of Royal Martyrs in shape of a ship

Oleksandro-Kalynove, Donetsk, January 22, 2018

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The first services in the Church of the Holy Royal Martyrs in Oleskandro-Kalynove in the Konstantinovsky Distruct of the Donetsk Province were celebrated on January 7, the feast of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The church is built in the shape of a ship, reports the Gorlovka Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The service was celebrated by parish rector Archpriest Vladimir Shutov, with the residents of the surrounding villages and towns present. Clergy from several deaneries also concelebrated the Divine Liturgy in the church on the third day of Nativity. Services will be held regularly in the newly-opened church on Saturdays and Sundays, with a moleben on Mondays.

The church, in the shape of a ship, is adorned with seven gold domes. The carved oak iconostasis was made by master carpenters from the neighboring city of Konstantinovka. The icons were painted by masters from Kiev.

The church was specifically built to accommodate a greater number of worshipers, as people come from various surrounding points to worship together. The church is large and spacious: 98 ft. high and almost 5,400 sq. ft.

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The construction of the church lasted for six years, involving the entire community. The community has yet to buy a chandelier, to complete the iconostasis and frescoes, to install the bell, and to assemble the ventilation system. The new church was built near the adapted-room where the community previously worshiped for 14 years.

The community began working on the new church itself, and then the donations came. Rector Fr. Vladimir believes “it’s not necessary to wait for someone to do something for us. We have to start everything ourselves, as much as we are able.”

The building in which the church was constructed is old. It belonged to a local landowner before 1917. From the beginning of the revolution until 1965 it was home to a school, and later a kindergarten. The building was closed from the beginning of the 1990s, gradually decaying, until the local faithful procured it for their new church.

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