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MOCMV FOUNDERS

HISTORY

The Macedonian Orthodox Church of St. George (MOC St. George) at 52-54 Young Street Fitzroy an inner suburb of Melbourne Australia was constructed and established by The Macedonian Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (MOCMV) in 1960 and is an integral and indivisible part of MOCMV. 

In the mid 1950’s MOCMV was formed as an unincorporated Association and in 1956 it resolved amongst other things to establish a Macedonian Orthodox Church in Melbourne Australia with autocephalous status. For this purpose, it appointed a steering Committee to look for a suitable site and seek assistance and advice to enable it to achieve its aim. During these early days they sought assistance from other established churches and obtained a favourable response from the local priest at St. Luke Church of England and subsequently the support of the Archdeacon of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne who advised and guided them through the necessary steps to achieve their aim of building and establishing the church. In due course they also received moral support and assistance from the local Syrian Orthodox Church.

It was decided to name the church the “Macedonian Orthodox Church of St. George” (MOC St. George) and to build it at 52-54 Young Street Fitzroy. The church building was constructed during 1959 and 1960 after obtaining a court order that overruled the objections from the Greek, Serbian and Bulgarian Orthodox Communities and Churches. The MOC St. George at 52-54 Yong Street Fitzroy was consecrated on 7th August 1960 and was the first Macedonian Church in the Diaspora. 

The sacred act of consecration of MOC St George was performed on 7 August 1960 (to coincide with the celebration of Macedonian National day of Ilinden) by a delegation of clergymen led by Bishop Naum a Bishop sent by the then autonomous Macedonian Orthodox Church with its seat in Skopje Macedonia (at the time under the canonical jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church). MOCMV made it clear that it would not accept any kind of jurisdiction connecting its church of St. George with the Serbian Orthodox Church or its Patriarch.

On 17 July 1967, the Macedonian Orthodox Church Ohrid Archdiocese unilaterally announced its autocephaly and independence from the Serbian Orthodox Church. In the years that followed this announcement MOCMV agreed for its MOC St. George (the great martyr) to be affiliated and receive spiritual guidance from MOC-OA and its duly appointed representative without in anyway compromising its self-governance or constitutional independence.

Most of the Macedonian people in Melbourne and Victoria and Australia embraced the establishment of MOC St. George and attended and used the religious services provided with large numbers of Weddings, Christenings and funerals being held in the church.

By the late 1980’s the vast majority of parishioners attending and using the religious services provided by MOC St. George at 52-54 Young Street Fitzroy were residing in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne and although still attending the church in Fitzroy were increasingly finding it difficult and began to complain and blame MOCMV for not establishing a church in the Northern suburbs.

Consequently, the MOCMV resolved that it must establish a church in that area and in October 1990 MOCMV purchased 512 High Street Epping the property being located on the south boundary of its existing Community Centre at 514-516 High Street Epping for the purpose of building and establishing either a new Macedonian Orthodox Church or relocating its existing Macedonian Orthodox Church of St. George in Fitzroy with the preferred option being the establishment of a new church.

MOC-OA’s persistent refusal to provide a priest to MOCMV for a second church anywhere in Melbourne and thus affectively forcing MOCMV to relocate the church of St. George from Fitzroy to Epping. Today the Church in Epping is our primary Church, with the Church in Fitzroy, remaining a beloved part of our history.

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