St. Andrew's Church in Moscow
Moscow's only Anglican church opened its doors 127 years ago to meet the needs of the city's growing British population.
Seeing as the Scots were the wealthiest members of the community at the time, the church was dedicated to the patron saint of Scotland.
The architect, Richard Knill Freeman, never came to Russia, sending the drawings of the building (a replica of hundreds of Victorian Anglican churches) and his recommendations by post.
St. Andrew's Church in 1884
The first church service was held in 1884. During the October Revolution in 1917 the church tower was used as a machine gun post by the Bolsheviks. The church was confiscated in 1920 and the chaplain expelled from Russia.
For 70 years, the building was put to various uses: a warehouse; a hostel; it even housed a recording studio for the famed Melodiya label.
Church services resumed on July 15th 1991, and during the visit of Queen Elizabeth II on October 19th, 1994, the Russian government agreed to return the building to religious use. Melodiya vacated the premises in 2001. Today, St. Andrew's parish is once again the centre for Moscow's British community.
© Royal Russia. 5 December, 2011