Parishes in Australia (OCA)

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Parishes in Australia
Jurisdiction OCA
Diocese type Administrative District
Founded 1971
Current bishop Metropolitan Jonah
See(s) n/a
Headquarters Syosset, New York State, USA
Territory Qld and NSW, Australia
Liturgical language(s) Slavonic and English
Musical tradition Russian Chant
Calendar Revised Julian, Julian
Population estimate unknown
Official website Parishes in Australia

The Orthodox Church in America - Parishes in Australia is the name applied to the churches who, in 1971, left ROCOR and asked to be taken under the OCA's protection. It is administered directly by the Metropolitan of the OCA, and has two churches in Australia.

This article forms part of the series
Orthodoxy in Australia
Orthodoxy in Australia Timeline
Statistics of Orthodoxy in Australia
Antiochian Orthodox
Gk Orthodox Archd. of ANZ
GOA Aus - Abp Makarios
Antiochian - Met Basilios
ROCOR - Met Hilarion
Serbian - Bp Siluan
Romanian - Bp Michael
Without local bishop
Pan-Orthodox Synaxes
Episcopal Assembly SCCOCA
Antiochian Orthodox
Greek Orthodox (Aus)
Notable Monasteries
St Anna
Holy Cross
O.L. of Kazan
Proph. Elias
St John Mtn
St Sava (Elaine)
Complete List
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In 1971, in a split from ROCOR, a group of Orthodox faithful applied to the Orthodox Church in America for acceptance.

Saint Nicholas Parish in Bankstown, NSW, was formed in 1959 and worshipped in premises the parishioners built on land leased from NSW Government Railways. In 1971 it was under the rectorship of Archimandrite Veniamin (Garshin) who had resigned as dean of the ROCOR Cathedral in Sydney and departed from that jurisdiction. At that time they petitioned OCA for their acceptance under the omophorion of the OCA Metropolitan. Their petition was quickly granted.

A second parish in Brisbane, Holy Annunciation Church, was formed under the rectorship of Fr Gregory Malisheff and following the example of the Bankstown parish petitioned OCA and was also quickly accepted.

In 1977 a third group, later named the Australian Orthodox Fraternity of St Michael, was formed in Sydney for the purpose of purchasing and organising another parish, under the rectorship of Fr Michael Mersher. In November of that year, Mr Verjbitsky contacted the Uniting Church and was offered a surplus Presbyterian church in Homebush. The building was made suitable for Orthodox worship, including an iconostasis, on January 26, 1978. Fr Michael was the rector from 1978-80, Fr Theodore Michaluk from 1980-86, Fr Leopold in 1986, and Fr Igor Chlabicz from 1987 to the present.

Following the repose of Archim. Veniamin in 1994, the Orthodox Church in America was unable to supply a replacement priest for the Bankstown parish. The parish council of Saint Nicholas approached the Antiochian Orthodox Bishop Gibran and asked if he was able to supply a priest who could celebrate in Slavonic. Hieromonk Andrija (Zoran) Vujisić and later Fr Nicholas Gan assisted on a temporary basis until Fr Mitko Machevski was appointed and commenced services at St Nicholas on 10 August 1996.

The parish later formally changed jurisdictions to the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand. Fr Mitko was appointed rector of the parish, which continues to use Church Slavonic and follow the Julian Calendar.

In 2009, after a number of years without services, Holy Annunciation Church, Brisbane, requested permission to return to ROCOR. As of May 2009, this request is in the process of being formalised, with a blessing having been given to a ROCOR priest to officiate English-language services until the parish is formally under ROCOR.


The OCA Parishes in Australia is an administrative grouping of two churches.

  • St. Michael Orthodox Church, Homebush, New South Wales.
  • Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church, Woolloongabba, Queensland (n.b. in transition to ROCOR).

The Episcopacy

Current Episcopacy

Previous Bishops

  • Metropolitan Herman (Swaiko) of Washington and New York, administrator of the parishes in Australia.
  • Sylvester (Haruns), Archbishop of Montreal and Canada, 1963-1981, administrator of the parishes in Australia, 1972-1981.

External links