The Parish of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God was established in 1956.
|Photo credit: Parish of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God by WilliamBullimore, on Flickr|
Read below for more information from the Russian Orthodox Queensland website:
About the parish
The Russian Orthodox Parish situated at 14 Douglas Rd, Rocklea was founded in 1956 by a Russian immigrant named Reader Evphimiy Shishkoff.
Revolution and Persecution of Christians
Many Russian Orthodox Christians fled Communist persecution during the Russian Revolution. Some of them found themselves in countries such as China, France, Serbia and, in the case Evphimy Shishkoff's family, Persia (now called Iran.) There they stayed until more conflict forced them to become refugees once more. Many thousands of Russians fled China during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960's, but a few also were forced to flee Persia a decade earlier, as the situation there became seriously unstable for foreigners.
The Shishkoffs of Persia
It was there, that Evphimiy Shishkoff, while facing certain death at the hands of Persian revolutionaries, found himself praying to the Mother of God for Her intercessions, so that she might appeal to Her Holy Son, the Lord Jesus Christ that Evphimy and his family might be saved from their impending deaths. It is the Orthodox custom to utilize Holy Icons as an aid to prayer, and it so happens that Evphimiy had been praying to a copy of a very old Russian Orthodox icon known as the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God (named for the city of Vladimir, and believed by devout Russians to be miraculous, having been instrumental in several miraculous historical events.)
As he prayed before the famous icon of the Mother of God, Evphimiy made a promise that if, by some incredible miracle, they were to be survive, then he would build a church in honour of the icon before which he was praying.
Thus it was that against all odds, the Shishkoff family was somehow overlooked by the militants who sought to kill all foreigners, and managed to migrate to Australia, where they settled in the city of Brisbane, and where he began to earnestly make good on his promise.
By 1956, he and his son had purchased a large block of land in the Brisbane suburb of Rocklea, and with their own hands, in their spare time, constructed the original wood and fibro Church building which still stands on our parish grounds. The Church was dedicated to the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God by Bishop Savva (Raevskiy). The Courier-Mail newspaper published an article about the consecration of the Church. It must have been a big deal for the local Australian community, because the Brisbane City Council even went so far as to run a special bus service to the consecration ceremony - something that would not happen today.
More Russian migrants came to Australia throughout the 1960's. They came here with next to nothing and wanted nothing more than to be free from religious and political persecution. The parish grew steadily until it outgrew its original temple, and it was decided to build a larger Church that would adequately accommodate the parish. Thus, planning and construction began in the 1980s and the Church was consecrated in the 1990s. The new Church building is still incomplete, and numerous works are being undertaken by the current parishioners, including gilding of various parts of the interior, reconstruction of the temporary decoration on the cupolas (ie onion domes), and other works.