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13.12.2013.

Anniversary of death of Father Valerijan Štrbac

On 18 December 1953 Father Valerijan Štrbac was appointed to serve as the priest for the Serbian community in the north of England.  He was instrumental in converting a former Mount Carmel Methodist church in Boothtown, Halifax, to become the very first official Serbian Orthodox Church in the north of England.  This building was purchased in a dilapidated state but after much renovation was finally completed and consecrated on 26 September 1954 and became the parish of the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity.

He continued to work tirelessly for his parish and was deeply involved in all aspects of church life both spiritually and in the community.  He led a very modest and humble life, always putting the needs of his parishioners first.  Many of the first born generation in the North will have fond memories of attending Sunday/Saturday school sessions diligently led by him, instilling in many a sense of Serbian identity and culture.  

On the initiative of Father Valerijan, the present church in Bradford on Little Horton Lane was purchased in 1976 and involved another lengthy adaptation and reconstruction project.

He died on 24 November 1977 whilst overseeing the work in the church and sacrificed himself to the very end to ensure that the task was completed. His final recorded words were: “be in unison and complete this holy task”.

With the passage of time, the headstone of Father Valerian’s grave started to deteriorate and was in need of replacement. The Church Committee of the Serbian Orthodox Parish in Bradford decided to erect a new headstone.  We raised the necessary sum required through kind donations from contributors   and were able to successfully erect a new headstone which is unique in design.

On Sunday November 24th 2013, which also marks the 36th anniversary of his death, a memorial service dedicated to him and the blessing of the new headstone was held with Father Zarko Nedic and Father Aleksandar Ilic officiating. Over 100 people attended the occasion, including special attendances from Nedjo and Biljana Nonkovic who came from Dubai, Aleksandar Popovic from Switzerland and Milan Popovic from Leicester. Food prepared by the Serbian Sisters’ Association of the Church was served in the church hall afterwards.

 

Photo gallery: Anniversary of death of Father Valerijan Štrbac
Anniversary of death of Father Valerijan Štrbac


 


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