In April 1993 a group of Canadian - Macedonian people had a dream
- To build an Orthodox Church to serve the communities in Durham Region
It's hard to believe that 10 years have passed since the decision was made to
form a church committee. It was a great day for the Durham region families who
attended the first meeting and can proudly call themselves the "founding
families" of the church.
The good news spread quickly throughout the community as the official
announcement was heard on our Macedonian radio program and our weekly television
Members can take pride in being Canadian - Macedonian. Most importantly, we are
grateful to Canada for being our new home. Canada gives us the freedom to speak
our own language, preserve our culture and worship our own churches. The country
has also given us the opportunity to educate our children and let them grow up
to be whatever they dream of.
Since the first wave immigration, Canadian - Macedonians have built: St Clement
in Toronto, St Ilia in Mississauga and St Demetria in Markham. Now we are proud
to have St Nedela in Ajax, Durham region
Why Durham region? There are as many as 20,000 Canadian - Macedonians living in
the Durham region which includes Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Pickering, and
surrounding towns. They are mostly young, hardworking families whose volunteer
time and donations are limited. But as their families grow they will appreciate
a local church.
The beauty of our orthodox religion is that it welcomes everyone. Our children
can learn our language, our dances and traditional songs. With the church now
built we'll be able to hold many more activities like a folk dancing group.
Our first step was to find the land for the church. After many meetings, ideas,
and discussions we decided on location, size and budget. We found the perfect
location that met all our needs at Bayly and Westney Road in Ajax. The lot was
2.5 acres with a price tag of $450,000. With hard work at fundraising events,
the earnings from bingo, some generous donations and annual membership fees, we
purchased the land in March 1995.
We felt it was important to make our mark on the land so we built a temporary
Church (above) where we could meet, hold services and plan for the future
The Rev. Blage Dimitrievski joined us in April 1998 from Macedonia. This was an
important moment for the congregation as we could now rely on our own Priest
dedicated to St Nedela.
Meanwhile the fundraising efforts were never stopped and in February 1999 the
mortgage was paid off. While that was cause for celebration, we knew the
building of a permanent church was cause for celebration, we knew the building
of a permanent church was next on the agenda. The town of Ajax approved all
plans, the architect's plans were ready and the property was serviced with
water, hydro and sewage.
We had the Ground Breaking ceremonies on Sunday, July 23rd, 2000. The laying of
the cornerstone ceremonies was held on Sunday, September 10th with guest His
Beatitude Archbishop Stefan. Construction of the church started in October 2000.
St. Nedela Macedonian Orthodox Church officially opened September 8, 2002. Each
Sunday you'll find Canadian - Macedonian families coming together for prayer and
spiritual guidance. They've formed lasting friendships, and a true sense of
community in such a short time. The congregation continues to grow as the good
news about St Nedela Macedonian Orthodox Church is shared.