UOC community restoring church on the "road of life" from Irpin and Bucha
The community of St. George the Victorious in Irpin, led by the rector, is restoring the church that was damaged in the fighting.
At the entrance to St. George’s Church in Irpin, Kyiv region, parishioners are restoring their damaged shrine with their own resources, reports Archpriest Volodymyr Molnar, the rector of the church. The church is located on the so-called "road of life" that was used for evacuation from Irpen and Bucha to Kyiv at the beginning of the war.
Father Volodymyr said that the UOC community had been building the temple for many years. Its construction was blessed by the late Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan). First, a small wooden chapel was built and services were held in it. At the same time, construction of a large temple was going on. When they were about to invite His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry to consecrate the temple, the war began.
"When there were active hostilities, our church, to our great regret, was shelled, it was seriously damaged," explained the priest, adding that the small wooden church caught fire from a direct hit by a shell and burned to the ground. There is a room under the wooden temple where people used to sleep during curfew and hide with small children during the shelling.
"We were hiding from the shelling because we were very afraid for ourselves and our children's lives. There were many people in the large temple, we were hiding from the shelling. In the minor temple that is burnt down now a lot of people were hiding every day. They crossed the Irpen bridge escaping the shelling and spend the night here," said Tetiana, a parishioner of the church.
A shell hit also destroyed the parish house where the rector and his family lived. Despite all the hardships, the rector believes that it will be possible to rebuild the major church, which "has also suffered from direct hits and shrapnel, and requires considerable restoration work."
"We believe that with God's help, with the blessing of the Lord and with the prayers of our Church, the Lord will give strength to rebuild this temple complex, so that people will come to this temple, bring their prayers for the health of the living, and we will pray and do pray for the repose of the soldiers, peaceful citizens and innocent murdered babies," the priest stressed.