On Thursday 27 August and Friday 28 August we had services for the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Thursday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Friday morning. As it was 71 years to the day since the first Russian Orthodox services in the Hunter Valley, served in the Anglican Chapel at the Greta Migrant Camp by Archpriest John Lupish, a prayer of thanksgiving was offered at Divine Liturgy. Placed in our church for veneration at these services was a very old hand-painted copy of the wonderworking Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God. This copy, painted in Russia and later taken to China before coming to Australia, was badly burned many years ago but has since, through the grace of God, wondrously restored. The icon belongs to the Erzikoff family who, in an act of great kindness, permitted us to have it in our parish on this day.