Century-old Chapel in Western Europe Gifted to the Russian Orthodox Parish for Easter

The picturesque wooden chapel - built of Canadian maple - will be 111 years old this year. . .


Часовня в приходе Серафима Саровского в Намюре Денис Дубровин/ТАСС

The parish of Seraphim of Sarov of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) in Namur received as a gift for Easter a historic building of a wooden chapel, which it had previously rented from an association that manages the city's church property. Parish head Sergei Petrosov told the congregation after the service and the consecration of kuliches.

"The owners of this church signed a notarial deed of donation of this building and plot to our parish. From now on, this church belongs to all of us, all parishioners. Therefore, I appeal to everyone to take part in fundraising to repair this church," Petrosov said, noting that the chapel will be 111 years old this year.

"I believe this is not a random Easter gift. We've been here for a long time and prayed here, but always felt kind of temporary here, and now the Lord has blessed us with this place that we can now take care of as if it were our own. This temple has been reclaimed for decades, and now we see that our prayers were not in vain," Father Dmitri Yatsun, rector of the parish, who also serves at parishes in Mechelen and Kortrijk, told TASS. He said that all these parishes exist only with funds of local Orthodox communities, so he himself has to combine the functions of a priest with the secular work of an industrial electrician.

After the service, Father Dmitry, along with some Easter treats donated by parishioners, went to one of the refugee camps in Belgium from Ukraine, where he also held a short service.

The Chapel of Seraphim of Sarov is a wooden structure with a red tile roof, located in one of the most picturesque quarters of Namur, the old city citadel, built on a rock in the center of the city, at the foot of which the river Sambra flows into the river Meuse. The building overlooks the city that lies in the valley. The chapel is now maintained by the efforts of the parishioners and regular services are held here. It was leased to the Russian Orthodox Church by the Catholic Church in Belgium in 2007. The first Orthodox service was held there on April 14, 2007. This chapel is one of the few Orthodox structures in Belgium, where all the buildings are traditionally built side by side, built on a separate plot of land, and it is possible to conduct a procession around it.

According to Petrosov, the chapel was built in 1911 and was known in Namur as the Canadian Chapel. The building was erected by 14 families of Namur residents, according to one version, its name comes from the fact that it was built of Canadian maple. The chapel was only able to survive because it was built of very high quality wood on a solid foundation on solid rock. The building has been recognized as part of Namur's cultural heritage.

Source: tass.ru (Russian)

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