Scene from Blue Mountain Fires

As you may have heard NSW was recently hit with the worst fire emergency this decade.
Unfortunately this raging fire also went through the Monastery of St. George, Yellow Rock in the Blue Mountains.

The report so far is as follows:
At Approximately 1:00pm Thursday 17th October, with high temperatures and winds exceeding 110km/h
and with no warning the fire which was near the Monastery suddenly was upon it.

Fr Kyriakos is the Abbott of the Holy Monastery of St George, Yellow Rock.

Fr. Kyriakos’ residence was completely burnt down and with it many books, icons and all vestments were
lost. Father and a few men who were staying at the Monastery at the time fought hard to save the house
but could not. Also external toilets and sheds were burnt.

St George Yellow Rock Katholikon Church

St George Yellow Rock11_Katholikon interior

St George Yellow Rock06_Chapel

The Xenona and the Churches of St. George, St. John the Theologιαn and St. Christodoulos were also under
threat, all fought hard to save them and with the help of God and Panagia were spared from the fire.

St George Yellow Rock05_Xenona (Guesthouse) Interior

So far the Monastery is not safe and authorities will not allow people to enter.

With more high temperatures and winds predicted this weekend, please lets all be joint as one family of Christ to pray for Fr. Kyriakos and everyone who lost their homes. May God bring relief to Yellow Rock and the surrounding area and protect the Monastery from further devastation.

St George Yellow Rock09_Crucifix

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  1. Well what can we say, but to hope and pray that our beloved Father, brother and co-worker in Christ, Fr Kyriakos Stavronikitianos (of Stavronikita, Mt Athos), together with the Monastery volunteers will survive the fires, and that the hard work which has gone into building the monastery will not be destroyed. Recent news reports have indicated that much of the fires were in actual fact started by teenagers living in the area, and the NSW police are conducting further inquiries as to how many were involved and their motives.

    Nevertheless, if there is a possible positive which might come out of this, is that the Greek Australian community, as well as fellow Orthodox Christians, need to begin to recognise the hard work that much of the clergy and Church laymen have done to build up their communities, and to offer the service of Christ’s ministry. It is figures like Fr Kyriakos who has worked earnestly and silently, quite often without support and alone to build a monastery and conduct concurrently its ministry. This labour of prayer and love has been one which he has designed and built with the guidance of God and his own abilities. Yet he has continued to carry on against previous fires and other trials, so as to provide an oasis of prayer and peace to which people can retreat to and take strength from, before facing the trials of the world once again. Yet the monastery is visited not solely by Orthodox, but also by Non Orthodox who not only find their inner peace there, but also admire the beauty of what has become a cultural and heritage site within the Blue Mountains, showcasing local craftsmenship and materials, together with the rich traditions of Orthodox monasticism.

    Therefore, to the Orthodox communities of Australia, it is incumbent that we all must begin to get serious and make more of an effort via offering financial, moral, physical and prayerful support to Fr Kyriakos and the Monastery of St George, because it is to our shame that our apathy and excuses, has left a man like Fr Kyriakos to fight day and night on his own for the development a monastery, and now to fight the fires with his meagre gathering of volunteers and supporters. It is about time the faithful stop crying poor and exclaiming the Church has money in order to abscond from actually assisting or getting involved in their Church from parishes to monasteries, to welfare societies and so forth, and to which Non Orthodox are turning to and appreciating!

    Let us cease deluding ourselves that Australia will always remain as the land of plenty, because the day is coming when governments will not be able (or willing) to provide support, or that the economy will always be able to deliver outcomes of comfortable standards of living and job opportunities. It is in God and in each other we need to invest our trust and energies into so as to find our inner peace and have a support network when the current system falls apart, as it is in other countries. Welcome to the realities of history and the ills of globalisation!

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