Sura Convent restoring historic building and church at the birthplace of St. John of Kronstadt

Arkhangelsk, May 15, 2014

The two-storied house (vicarage) of Priest George Makaveev is being restored in the Sura village (the Pinega district of the Arkhangelsk region). St. John of Kronstadt was born in this village in 1829. The historic wooden building was designed by its proprietor, Fr. George. Archpriest John of Kronstadt, visiting his native places, used to stop in this house.

The house is currently considered to be in a dangerous state. It is necessary to replace the Roof and frame of roof, to fix the heating system, to install the boilers, to repair the stoves, to renew windows. Moreover, it is necessary to restore the foundation, to replace rows of beams and rotten beams, to panel the house and to paint the walls. Also, interior furnishing of the building and provision of St. John of Kronstadt house Church with all necessary facilities are needed.

“It is not easy to understand what is guiding us to take a seemingly overwhelming task upon ourselves. Only a believer is familiar with the invisible power, which attracts you to fulfil the Divine plan,” the Convent Abbess, Mother Mitrofania (Mikolko) shared her thoughts.

She stressed that the house of Fr. George Makaveev was a historic and cultural heritage. “It must be preserved as memorial. But restoration of the house is, first of all, a restoration of the church. The Lord chooses Himself where a house for Him should be built on the earth. There cannot be doubts that the Lord blessed founding of the church of dear Father John. Otherwise the miracle of renovation of the Icons of the Savior and of St. John of Rila would not have occurred in it,” said the abbess.

The convent is asking the faithful to take part in reconstruction of St. John’s of Kronstadt Church at his birthplace.

The community for women was founded in the Sura village in 1899 on St. John’s of Kronstadt initiative. In 1900 the community was reorganized as convent, which in 1907 already had a dependency in Arkhangelsk. Ivanovsky (of St. John of Rila) Convent in St. Petersburg was at first founded as a dependency of the Sura Convent as well.

The convent, where in 1915 there were about 200 nuns, was widely involved in charity activities, and was a center of education in Sura and neighbouring lands. The convent was closed in 1920s.

On October 4, 2012, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church resolved to restore St. John’s Convent in Sura. The convent plans to revive the charity activities: to establish an orphanage for orphaned girls, almshouses for lonely elderly people, a Sunday school, to revive various crafts, to render aid to villages, to restore buildings and churches of the convent.


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