8.VI. 1992 God bless the sacred cause of preservation of village temples that are decaying and defaced for the sacred cause of the preservation village temples.

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II

(The letter contains request for the Patriarch Alexei II’s blessing of Svetlana Melnikova, the head of the “Village Church” Center)


Our aim is to preserve as many neglected village churches, as possible by arranging urgent anti-damage works, and draw attention of the society to the necessity to solve this national problem — rescuing rural temple, the heart of Russian village

Work was started in 1988. Donations from charitable organizations, from companies and private people provided the financial means needed

The movement for the restoration of churches all over Russia was started at the end of the nineteen eighties but unfortunately was not represented outside of Moscow and other big cities. Svetlana A. Mel’nikova is devoted to the cause of the revival of Russian culture and worked in the Organization for the Protection of Architectural Monuments. Together with like-minded people she created the charitable foundation «Village Church».

The charitable foundation «Village Church» formulated a program called «Village Church of Russia» that provides funds for emergency and preservation work on abandoned village churches, and thus to provide conditions for the resumption of worship and then to gratuitously hand the restored churches over to the villagers.

The final restoration of these churches is being gradually carried out by the newly emerged parishes.