According to the recollections of the events’ participant Valery Pronnikov, in 1988 the Rus cristening 1000th anniversary celebration in Norilsk was held at a very high level.
Soon, Pitirim the Metropolitan Volokolamsky and Yuryevsky, who had headed the publishing department of the Moscow Patriarchate for a quarter of a century, expressed a desire to see Norilsk personally. Before the trip, according to Valery Pronnikov, the Lord was interested in how the director of the Norilsk Combine would react to the proposal of building an Orthodox church in the northern city.
One of the most revered Russian Orthodox Church hierarchs first flew to Norilsk in 1990. During this visit, the Metropolitan Volokolamsky and Yuryevsky Pitirim together with the Norilsk Combine director Anatoly Filatov and the mayor Yury Smolov decided the fate of the first church on the Norilsk land construction.
A year later, the first stone of the church was laid in the name of the of the Mother of God Of All Who Sorrow Joy Icon. By September 1993 the construction of the church had already been completed.
The Lord Pitirim saw the construction of the future church when he arrived at the Norilsk city status 40th anniversary celebrating, and was pleased with how things were going. Ten years later, in 2003, when the church in Norilsk received the status of a cathedral from the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II, the Metropolitan Volokolamsky and Yuryevsky died.
Text: Varvara Sosnovskaya, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive