On the 7th of October 2018, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary. The church hosted multiple events to commemorate this joyous occasion. Here is what happened.
Anniversary service and celebration
We were honoured to welcome His Holiness Irinej, Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church to lead a service to commemorate 50 years since our consecration in 1968. The service also memorialised members of our congregation who are no longer with us and were part of the community at the time of our construction.
We welcomed HRH Crown Prince Alexander II Karađorđević of Serbia. Our distinguished guests included an entourage of bishops and priests from other parishes across the UK and abroad. This included:
- Bishop Porfirije, Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana;
- Bishop Dositej of the Diocese Of Great Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia;
- Archbishop Grigorios of Tiatera;
- Bishop Mark of the Diocese of Western Europe;
- Bishop Andrej of the Diocese of Austria and Switzerland; and
- Bishop Arsenije of Niš in Serbia.
The afternoon and evening celebrations took place at the Chateau Impney. This included a programme of:
- speeches from our distinguished guests;
- traditional Serbian folk dancing from the Birmingham and London youth groups;
- singing from our young ladies and our guests the Church Choral Society Branko from Niš in Serbia; and
- poems from our youth.
The evening concluded with a Serbian igranka, a communal gathering with music and traditional dancing.
The anniversary afternoon programme also showed for the very first time a documentary produced by our very own Father Nenad and Mr Gary Hawkey. The film tells the story of Lazarica, the origins, the people and the construction. It’s an emotional piece that features interviews with surviving members of the generation that built our church and those who were young children at the time. Here is the trailer.
Heritage Open Day
We opened our doors once again for Bournville Heritage Open Day in conjunction with Birmingham Heritage Week. All places of interest were open to the public as part of this initiative to raise awareness of Birmingham’s and Bournville’s heritage gems.
We welcomed 1,609 visitors, an increase of 403 from the previous year. We were also featured in the Daily Mail.
The open day also marked the start of an exhibition in St Lazar’s Hall. The two-week event exhibited a collection of Serbian medieval fresco copies from the monasteries of Kosovo and Metohija.
This unique occasion marked the first time such art has been displayed in the UK since the Yugoslav Medieval Fresco exhibition of 1953 at the Tate. 350 people visited the exhibition after our open day raising the total number of visitors to nearly 2,000.
We once again hosted an evening of sacred Christian Orthodox choral music featuring five choirs. This is the second time the event has occurred following our sold-out first evening in 2017. Our headline performance was delivered by The Church Choral Society Branko who travelled from Niš in Serbia. The sold out evening was a tremendous success.
All the performances were broadcast live and are available on our Facebook page.