The Moscow Village Fête

Moscow Village FeteThe Moscow Village Fête was held again for the ninth year in a row on Saturday 14th September. Curious Russians peering over the wall of the late 19th century Anglican Church on Voznesensky Pereulok in Moscow were bemused to see kids running around with painted faces, food and drink stalls, the resident chaplain, Reverend Dr. Canon Simon Stephens, releasing a bunch of coloured balloons into the autumn sky and adults and children alike enjoying themselves playing silly games, which only the British can invent.

Completed in 1884, St. Andrew’s Church was taken over by the Bolsheviks in 1918 and confiscated by the Soviet Government in 1919. Selection_001The Church tower was used as a machine-gun post during the October Revolution of 1917 and a number of provisional government supporters were shot in the churchyard. Until 1964 when it became a recording studio for the State record company Melodiya, the church and parsonage served as a hostel and partly to accommodate diplomats from Finland 
and Estonia. Following the visit of
Queen Elizabeth II in 1994 the
church was officially allowed to
return to its original purpose
as a place of religious
worship, although, with
the exception of the 
parsonage, property 
rights have not been 
reassigned and remain
 with the Russian State.

Proceeds from the 
fête were donated to
 the church restoration 
fund and the Taganka Childrens Fund in
 equal proportions.
 This tradition is now well established and will certainly continue next year.