The Macedonian community of St George and Sutherland Shire celebrated the official opening of the new Chapel of the Holy Trinity at Woronora Memorial Park, Sutherland last Saturday.
The chapel was officially opened and blessed by His Eminence Metropolitan Petar the Diocesan Bishop of the Macedonian Orthodox Church Diocese for Australia and New Zealand.
The occasion was marked with a special service attended by almost 200 members of the local Macedonian community.
Two Bishops also travelled from Macedonia for the official opening and blessing, Father Rubin Bojceski and Father Mitko Mitrov.
They were assisted by Father Dimce Voinovski of the Macedonian Orthodox Church “Holy Mother of God" in Liverpool.
The Chapel of the Holy Trinity is also known to the community as the Macedonian Temple and is a scaled replica of a 9th century Macedonian Church.
It is the first in the world to be built within cemetery grounds outside of Macedonia.
The chapel is built in the traditional Byzantine style of the 14th century with the interior featuring detailed iconography.
Woronora Memorial Cemetery was selected because of the large Macedonian community in St George and Sutherland Shire.
The chapel was built John Todorovski, Zoran Becvski and Steve Kostovski.
It was built from funds raised by the Macedonian community over the past two years.
It has been built as a place of comfort to families where they can pray for the souls of relatives who have passed.
Woronora Memorial Park chief executive officer Graham Boyd welcomed guests to the official opening and blessing.
He said the chapel is a symbolic first and is a centrepiece for the Macedonian Orthodox community.
“The hard work, time and dedication that has been placed into creating and building every piece of this Chapel by the Macedonian community is a true testament to its beauty,’’ Mr Boyd said.
“The builder has done a marvellous job.
‘’The Chapel of the Holy Trinity symbolises God’s relationship with our community based on heart and love,’’ he said. “This place is now part of the continuing story of the church that started with a spark in history being the vision of the “Man from Macedonia”.
‘’A vision given to the Apostle Paul almost two millennia ago to spread the good news of God’s love.’’