Unique 18th-century church of Finnic Setos people consecrated in Pskov

Pechory, Pskov Province, Russia, March 7, 2023

Photo: pravoslavie.ru Photo: pravoslavie.ru     

A newly restored church of the 18th century was recently consecrated in the Pskov Province.

His Eminence Metropolitan Tikhon of Pskov celebrated the Greater Consecration of the Church of the Great Martyr Barbara in Pechory on Saturday. The church is classified as an object of cultural heritage of federal significance, and this is the first time it’s been restored since it was built in the 18th century, reports Rebirth of Pskov.

Photo: pravoslavie.ru Photo: pravoslavie.ru     

The church is also one of the few of the Orthodox Seto people—an indigenous Finnic minority that has historically lived in the borderlands between modern-day Estonia and Russia. The Pskov Caves Monastery has been an important religious and communal center for the Seto people.

Following the service, Met. Tikhon distributed icons of St. Barbara to all the parishioners.

Photo: pravoslavie.ru Photo: pravoslavie.ru     

The church is unique in that it has preserved an ancient iconostasis. The church has been home to a parish community of Orthodox Setos since the 1920s, and today it is one of the few churches serving the Seto people, with services in both Church Slavonic and Estonian.

The restoration work lasted three years, reports gtrkpskov.ru. It is one of the first fully completed projects of the Rebirth program, which aims to preserve the ancient architecture of the Pskov Province.

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