Church Ministry

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

Mark 6:34

Fr. Georgy was ordained in 1989. His pastoral principles have been formed mainly under the influence of his spiritual mentors: Protopriest Vsevolod Schpiller, Archimandrite John (Krestyankin), Archimandrite Tavrion (Batozsky) and Protopriest Vitaly Borovoy.

Fr. Georgy dedicates a large proportion of his time to spiritual direction of Transfiguration Brotherhood, a community of those who have chosen the path of communal life within the church. This kind of living requires patience, humility, mutual forgiveness and reconciliation, self-denial and brotherly love on a daily basis. It eliminates the possibility of simply projecting a chosen self-image as opposed to being who you really are. The life and ministry of the Brotherhood’s spiritual director inspires and gives energy not only to the members but also to the numerous friends of this Orthodox church movement.

Fr. Georgy seeks to bring the church together in prayer thus facilitating the discovery of the Eastern Orthodox tradition’s holistic and multidimensional nature and enabling reflective and responsible participation in church services. He leads worship at Saint Philaret’s Institute Chapel on Saturdays, the eves of great feasts and during the first and the last weeks of the Great Lent. Chapel services are performed mostly in Russian. On Sundays, Fr. Georgy usually concelebrates the Divine Liturgy at Moscow Novodevichy Convent.

Trinity Church in Elektrougli

In September 1989, Fr. Georgy Kochetkov was appointed Senior Priest to the Trinity Church parish in Elektrougli, Moscow region. More often than not at the time, church buildings were given back to the church in a derelict state, which was also the case with Trinity Church. It stopped functioning as a church in 1937. The church bells were thrown down and the building was alternately used as an iron warehouse, a granary and a topographic station. Its vaults collapsed over time, and locals pilfered bricks for their private needs. Fr. Georgy converted a basement opposite Trinity Church into a temporary church hall by equipping it with a consecrated altar. Against all odds, the church drew together a great number of people including the famous academician Sergey Averintsev, Leningrad reemigrants Natalia and Igor Saharov and others. It was mostly Fr. Georgy’s friends and Transfiguration Brotherhood members from Moscow who attended weekly services rather than locals who had long turned away from faith.

Theotokos of Vladimir Cathedral at the former Sretensky Monastery

At the end of 1990, Fr. Georgy was appointed to Theotokos of Vladimir Cathedral at the former Sretensky monastery. The monastery was closed down during the Soviet era and its premises were used as household administration of the Unified State Political Department of People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (OGPU-NKVD). After 1958 the building housed restoration workshops. It was with great difficulty that the brotherhood, which reopened and renovated the church, was able to move the restorers out. The church premises immediately started hosting a Sunday school, a catechetical school, the Moscow Christian Orthodox Graduate School, theology courses, an icon workshop, an Orthodox children’s nursery and many more. Towards the end of 1993 and in 1994, an information war was launched against Fr. Georgy and the brotherhood. Violence ensued and new owners took over the church inflicting damage in the process.

Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Pechatniki

In 1991, Fr. Georgy became parish priest of the church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Pechatniki, another church that had remained closed throughout the Soviet times and was reopened by the brotherhood. The church’s premises housed the Arktikproekt Trust and later, after 1960, the Museum of the USSR Navy. The church candle desk was replaced by a tobacco kiosk. In the course of a year, the brotherhood held processions and negotiated with the museum directorate regarding vacation of the premises, then helped to dismantle the exhibition. In the years that followed, the church was restored by the brotherhood. However, the church building was also expropriated as a result of a crude provocation in 1997 aimed at besmirching Fr. Georgy and the brotherhood.