Villagers Restore a Grand, Ruined, Rural Church, a Story Repeats Across Russia (VIDEO)

The action called "Reviving Holy Sites in Russia" took place in the settlement of Novofetinino in Vladimir region. Its main goal was to draw attention to the plight of one of the unique cultural monuments in the region.  

Novofetinino has a rich history. This year it celebrates two memorable dates: 450 years since the founding of the settlement and 180 years of its landmark Church of All Saints.

The church was built in 1842 by Countess Natalia Zubova, a daughter of Alexander Suvorov - one of the greatest military commanders in Russian history, in memory of the victory over Napoleon.


At the time it was a large settlement, home to an annual trade fair, therefore the local noblesse decided it was only right to build a large church there. The place started to decline some years before the Revolution of 1917. After the revolution brought atheists to power, the church was closed down and abandoned, as were thousands of churches across Russia. Nowadays, the gorgeous building remains in a deplorable state, though first restoration works on it were started as long back, as 2010.  Local residents could only clear away the debris from inside the church and the surrounding area, installed windows and doors, and mounted a bell on the belfry. However due to a lack of funds, the restoration works had to be suspended and the church never regained its original appearance. Yet, local residents are still looking for ways to get the job done.

Says Yelena Lebedeva, head of the administration of Razdoliyevskoye municipality, where Novofetinino belongs: “The restoration of the church is very important for the settlement residents: it unites people and is most important for patriotic education of our young people”.  

The ultimate goal is to get the status object of cultural heritage of federal importance. Besides, there are plans to set up a standing exhibition in honor of Suvorov's descendants. Mainly – his daughter Natalia Alexandrovna - a member of the "Imperial Women's Patriotic Society”.

Galina Ananyina, chairwoman of the "Women's Patriotic Society: “Today  very often we talk about historical memory. It should not only be preserved, but it should be revived. It is very sad to see a church in this desperate condition. Today there are 4,500 thousand ruined churches across Russia and this, actually, amounts to ruined history”.

Village head Leonid Nikolaenko is certain that preservation of historic monuments amounts to passing the cultural code on to the future generations, cultivating a sense of patriotism. “Today, when it is particularly important to remember the history of our state, he says, the preservation of cultural heritage is of paramount importance. Therefore, the Novofetinino residents still cherish hope that we shall soon have the Church of All Saints, a place of strength for hundreds of parishioners, restored.