The DMS fundraising campaign for the restoration of the „St. Stephen“church iconostasis in Istanbul has been finalized.
Initiated on 1 September 2011, the campaign for the maintenance of the St. Stephen church in Istanbul of the St. Stephen Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Istanbul Foundation, achieved a total amount of 12 465 text messages. The restoration will involve new golden gilding and a fine reconstruction of impaired elements. Presently, BGN 21 400 have been raised. The amount of money necessary for the iconostasis restoration of the “St. Stephen” church in Istanbul is estimated at EUR 75 000. The campaign continues through bank transfers and fundraising initiatives. Works on the construction and the façade of the church have begun on 2 September 2011. Works are financed by the Great Istanbul municipality, the Fatih municipality and the Turkish regional administration. Up for renovation are also the curved roof parts and the impaired frame elements. Special chemicals will be used to clean stained and darkened parts. Missing elements will be substituted for exact copies. Exterior parts and foundations will also be renovated. The municipality does not participate financially in the interior and most expensive part of the renovation.
Partners of the initiative: bbt TV, dir.bg, bgvestnik.eu, Dveri na Pravoslavieto, BNT, TV7, Monitor, Novinar, BNR, Evropa TV
The Burgas choir made donations for the iconostasis restoration of the “St. Stephen” church
On 1 April, the Burgas choir, with choir-master Ms Svetla Stoeva, took part in the fundraising campaign for the maintenance of the “St. Stephen” church in Istanbul. The choir performed at a charitable concert in the “St. Ivan Rilski” church in Istanbul. The program included performance of Bulgarian and Russian chants and traditional choir works. The initiative supports the restoration of the unique Iron Church of the Golden Horn. The event was honored by representatives of the orthodox community in Istanbul as well as Bulgarian tourists. Am amount of BGN 550 was raised.
An expertise has been carried out evaluating the condition of the St. Stephen Church iconostasis
Initiated by the St. Stephen Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Istanbul Foundation, on 15 September, the renowned Bulgarian restoration experts prof. Grigori Grigoriev and assistant Vladimir Tsvetkov were sent to Istanbul to carry out a detailed expert evaluation of the condition of the St. Stephen Church iconostasis, that resulted in the following recommendations:
- clearance of the lacquer back coverage of the iconostasis
- uninstalling of wooden back lids of the iconostasis
- replacement of impaired construction elements
- removal of surface staining, anti-fungi and anti-insect maintenance, anti-fire maintenance , consolidation of the iconostasis construction, wooden edging and voluminous upper elements.
- removal of dust, ashes and old lacquer coverage from the golden coverage
- removal of bronze coverage from the royal and side doors
- consolidation of wooden parts in areas of missing primer
- fortification of the primer in areas of missing golden coverage
- reconstruction of missing wooden elements
- paste laying
- new metal coverage laying in coverage missing areas (including metal column edges)
- reintegration of reproductions
- laying of a new protective coating
The complete restoration project is to be elaborated following an approval by the Istanbul municipality, the investor and the investment controller (Turkish companies). The foundation aims at restoring the iconostasis within the complete church restoration, initiated on 2 September by the Istanbul municipality
A national fundraising campaign is set to begin, realized through charitable text messages 17 777
The start of a national fundraising campaign was marked at a BTA press conference on 1 September, that would be realized throught extmessages ( DMS SVSTEFAN) to number 17 777 for all mobile operators. Partners of the campaign are the Bulgarian Charities Aid Foundation and the Bulgarian donation forum.
The campaign aims to raise the necessary funds for the complete restoration of the iconostasis and altar of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on the Golden Horn in Istanbul. The restoration will involve new golden gilding and a fine reconstruction of impaired elements as well as a complete renovation of the altar.
As Zheni Lazarova of the foundation’s managing body declared “We have an obligation to maintain this priceless historic monument so that a part of the world’s cultural heritage and a symbol of our Bulgarian roots is preserved”. She emphasized the iconostasis has not been restored since 1898 (113 years). The project is to be carried out by Turkish restoration experts, that specialize in renovating historic monuments, together with several Bulgarian colleagues.
Vasil Kitov – an architect, manager and consultant to the project, emphasized that the St. Stephen church has been declared the most beautiful one among the nearly 90 churches in Istanbul, and is featured in the Turkish register of historic monuments of national significance. The iconostasis is particularly valuable and finely elaborated, but is currently in a very bad condition.
The women’s Tarnovgrad choir supports the fundraising campaign for the restoration of the altar and iconostasis of the St. Stephen church
On 23 July 2011, at the St. Stephen Bulgarian church in Istanbul, a service was carried out by archimandrite Calist accompanied by a concert of the Tarnovgrad women choir. The event aims to support the donation campaign for the restoration of the iconostasis and the altar, as well as their golden gilding. The event was honored by representatives of the St. Stephen Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Istanbul Foundation, Bulgarians in Istanbul, the Bulgarian consular in Istanbul, a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as well as local tourists. An amount of BGN510 was raised. The choir-master Ms Mariya Pavlova received a donator’s certificate.
TheBulgarian “St. Stephen” church in Istanbul marks its patronal festivities
27 December 2010. The event will be attended by the Vratza bishop Kalinik, the General Secretary of the Holy Synod – bishop Naum and representatives of the St. Stephen Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Istanbul Foundation – organizers of the event.
The Transport workers’ choir, with choir-master PetarMatev delivered and orthodox vocal concert. The mass was honored by Bulgarian guests, arrived to join the festivities. Three years ago, the Bulgarian St. Stephen church in Istanbul was declared the most beautiful church in Turkey. It is the single iron church in the world and is unique in its design.
150 years of Bulgarian Easter
On 3 April 2010, the Bulgarian Easter will mark 150 years of existence. Initiated by the St. Stephen Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Istanbul Foundation, on 3 April the event was celebrated with an Easter service at the Bulgarian “St. Stephen” church near the Golden Horn in Istanbul. Accompanied by a blessing of His Holiness the Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim and the Bulgarian Ecumenical Patriarchate, a divine service and liturgy were performed by the Vidin bishop Sionii. The service was broadcasted live on the Bulgarian National Television.
On 4 April, Pesah Sunday, the service for the so called Second resurrection was performed by bishop Sionii, manciple Angel Ivanov Velkov and archimandrite Evtimii, Attendees will be joined by Bulgarians in Istanbul, usually celebrating Easter at the “St. Ivan Rilski” church of the Bulgarian Exarchate.
The historical beginning of the Bulgarian Easter is marked in 1860 – a year also signifying the beginning of the freedom and independence struggle.
On 3 April in the memorable 1860, a few Bulgarian clerics, led by IlarionMakariopolski, together with several public figures dare to claim the acknowledgement of the independent Bulgarian church.
However, ten years had to pass in order for Bulgarians to receive an acknowledgment of their right to spiritual freedom – achieved through a sultan’s decree of February 1870. As a result, they had the right to determine the administrative organization of the Bulgarian church territory that would further on become the reference point in the search of the Bulgarian political freedom. Almost 80 years passed until the Bulgarian orthodox church was claimed an independent one and equal to the rest of the Balkan orthodox churches.
Festive divine service at the Bulgarian “St. Stephen” church in Istanbul On 27 December 2009 – the orthodox honoring of St. Stephen, a traditional liturgy is performed by a Bulgarian archpresbyter in the Bulgarian St. Stephen church in Istanbul, accompanied by a traditional blessing by the Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim. This year, under the St. Stephen Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Istanbul Foundation, the festive liturgy was led by His Holiness Neofit – the bishop of Russe. The service was also attended by the priests Angel Velkov (of the Bulgarian church community in Istanbul), Ivan Stoychev (Russe) and deacon Ivan Petkov of the Sofia eparchy (born in Istanbul). Entire tourist busses from Bulgaria also arrived in order to participate in the liturgy.
On 18 April (Saturday) 2009, a service was performed at the Bulgarian St. Stephen church near the Golden Horn in Istanbul, honoring the Bulgarian Easter which marked the beginning of the Bulgarian struggle for freedom and independence in 1860.
Hundreds of Bulgarians gathered together to celebrate Easter. Accompanied by the blessing of His Holiness the Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim and the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the service was performed by archpriest Kiril Didov – head of the Sofia “St. Peter and Pavel” church.
110 years since the sanctification of the church
On 8 September 2008, 110 years were celebrated since the sanctification of the St. Stephen Iron church in Istanbul, with a photo exhibition and a festive concert at the Central Military Club in Sofia. Among the artists who took part in the concert were folk music performer Iliya Lukov, “Transport workers choir” with choir-master Petar Matev and vocal band “Cuchuligi”, led by Elena Bozhkova.
On 27 December 2008 (St. Stephen Day), the Bulgarian St. Stephen iron church in Istanbul marked 110 years since its sanctification. Following an invitation of the foundation, hundreds of guests and Bulgarian residents of Istanbul honored the celebration with a festive liturgy led by bishop Neofit and closed by a performance of the Transport workers choir, with choir-master Petar Matev.
Featured in the Bulgarian delegation to Istanbul were the transport minister Petar Mutafchiev, as well as other representatives of the state body, the Bulgarian bishop Neofit, representatives of the Holy Synod, the Plovdiv regional governor Todor Petkov, the former mayor of the city Ivan Chomakov, representatives of the National Assembly. On the eve of the festivity, the delegation was formally received by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, who delivered a festive address and gave his blessings. Following the event, the delegation was received at a dinner at the Bulgarian Exarchate.
WCIF presented the 2007 “Together” awards
You can contribute to the preservation of Bulgarian orthodox church "St.Stephen" in Istanbul by donating online through the web-site for charity campaigns www.zaedno.bg, created by Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation.
Zaedno.bg offers an opportunity to different NGOs and institutions to popularize their charity campaigns and to raise funds for them online.
Zaedno.bg helps people with philanthropic attitudes to find out the idea or the organization that they would like to support and at the same time gives them an opportunity to donate fast and easy through their debit and credit cards.
9 choirs from Yambol, Bourgas, Plovdiv, Sofia and 400 singers took part in the three charity concerts, part of the National campaign for the renovation of the Iron church in Istanbul
The national fund-raising campaign for the full recovery of the Iron church in Istanbul which was declared by foundation “Bulgarian orthodox church “St. Stephen” in Tzarigrad” in June 2005, organised three charity concerts in “Bulgaria Hall” on October 29, 30 and on November 1st .
The concert hall was full and the audience raised on their feet when all the choirs sang the Hymn of the national literates as well as “Our Father” and applauded warmly the choirs.
Media partners of the concerts were: Bulgarian National Television, Bulgarian National Radio, radio „Classic FM”, Information agency „Focus”.
The invitations were printed with the support of „Decart” and Mrs Margarita Vidralska.
Premier of the documentary “The Mother Church”
In connection to the National fund-raising campaign for the restoration of St.Stephen’s church in Istanbul, Foundation “Bulgarian orthodox church St.Stephen in Tzarigrad” commissioned the making of the documentary film “The Mother Church” with author Goran Blagoev and executive producer Penko Roussev. The documentary is an exciting tale of the history and the significance of the Bulgarian holy place at the Golden horn. It is a part of the Foundation’s campaign to popularise and keep the spiritual message which the Iron church carries through the generations of Bulgarians. This makes the purpose of the Foundation – to raise funds to restore the iron construction of the church possible.
The premier was held at the European-Bulgarian cultural centre (Ministry of culture). Warm wishes for success of the campaign were said by the Vicar of the Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim, Nikolay.
Partner of the event was Festa Holding, who supplied the wine.
The documentary “The Mother Church” is programmed to be aired on Channel 1 and TV “Bulgaria” of the Bulgarian National Television on December 27 (St.Stephen’s holiday), on Television “Evrokom” in January, on Television “TV 7” in February, on Vtk and Balkan Bulgarian Television in March.
WCIF presented the "Zaedno" awards for 2007.
On the 24th of July, 2007, on a official ceremony at Grand Hotel Sofia the Workshop of Civic Initiatives Foundation gave the awards for the best annual fundraising campaign. Over 17 nongovernmental organizations participated. “St. Stefen Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Tsarigrad” Foundation received a statue and a charter for "The biggest fundraising" award. It was given by the associated professor Georgi Lozanov to Jeny Lazarova – Foundation Bord Member
First donors to contribute to the campaign were the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), who donated $3,000. Other donors who have already contributed to the campaign are Nadka Guneva 20 EUR; Momchil Rangelov 1000 BGN; Krasimir Gergov 5000 BGN; Viara Ianachkova 50 BGN; Ivelin Atanasov 100 BGN; Mr. Ivan Milushev Kostov – BGN 100; Mr. Nikola Vassilev - BGN 10; B.P.B from Tutrakan - BGN 20; Boris Ivanov Mitev - BGN 100; Plamen Vasilev Dragomirov - BGN 20; Donka Nikolova Dieva - BGN 50; Jivka Koleva - BGN 40; Apostol Georgiev - BGN 100; Maya Bogdanova - BGN 45; Dimitrina Lazarova-Dineva - BGN 100; Hristina and Vasil Velinov - BGN 30; Ivelin Mladenov - BGN 20; Stefan Todorov - BGN 100; Teofana Teofilova - BGN 200; Georgy Eftimov - BGN 80; Gina Tapcheva - BGN 10; Dimitar Dimov - BGN 30; Georgy Stefanov - 700 EURO; Velislava Iordanova - 50 EURO; Vania Ivanova - BGN 300; Ivanka Djoleva - BGN 1000; Ivan Velikov - 200 EURO; Jivka Kondeva - BGN 150; Dina Gospodinova - BGN 20; Stanislavka Dobrovska - BGN 20; Petar Kanev - BGN 20; Dobrinka Gabrovska - BGN 20; Elena Georgiva - BGN 20; Christina and Vassil Velinova - BGN 20; Borislav Lazarov - BGN 30; Georgi Kordov - BGN 20; Polia and Stanimir Koparovi - BGN 20; Klara Dimova - BGN 10; Stoian Karadakov - BGN 50; Iordanka Shopova - BGN 10; Hristo Dimitrov - BGN 50; mr. and mrs. Todorovy - BGN 2600; Ilian Dimitrov BGN 1400; Aneta Todorova BGN 100; Daniela Baleva BGN 40; Iliana Dimitrova BGN 100; Stefan Mitov BGN 80; Zlatina Dobrinova BGN 20;Valentin Todorov BGN 100; A. Iordanova BGN 10; Greta Stepanian BGN 50; Atanaska Angelova BGN 60; Rosica Jekova 100 BGN; Stefan Ianakiev 50 BGN; Liubka Tzvetkova 100 BGN.; Galia Boicheva BGN 10; Kircho BGN 100; Dencho Jeliazkov BGN 100.; Daniela Hristova BGN100; Stephan Antonov EUR 235.Georgi Nikolov BGN22, Zhivka Kondeva BGN50, Georgi Krumov BGN 20 000, Julia Kamberova BGN 50, Delyan Manchev BGN 200, Tzvetan Yolov BGN 20, Plamen Bogdanov BGN 50, Dragomir Dragiev BGN 5, Stanislava Stoyanova EUR50, Elena Todorova BGN20, Dimitar Danov BGN100, Valentin Popov BGN195, Ventzislav Manchev BGN30, Hristo Stoykov BGN20, Darina Zinovieva BGN50, Emil Grigorov BGN150, Georgi Davidkov BGN500, Zoya Simova BGN70, Marina Yordanova BGN100, Dragostina Krumova BGN50, Dimitar Adzhelarov BGN50, Krasimir Dimitrov BGN30, Vasilka Rashkova BGN500, Dimitar Danov BGN100, Zhivka Koleva BGN455, Stefan Hadzifilev BGN100, Dimitar Dimitrov BGN58,67, Ivan Minev BGN1220, Stoycho Andreev BGN100, Violeta Damyanova BGN100, Stefan Bonchev BGN195, Stoyanka Stamenova BGN30, Deyan Genov BGN120, Boryana Ninova BGN50, Zhivka Koleva BGN50, Stefan Bonchev BGN195, Damyan Damyanov BGN200, Georgi Zapryanov BGN100, Maryana Marinova BGN110, Nikola Hadzihristev BGN60, Vanya Ilieva BGN50, donator BGN700, Tzvetelina Stoilova EUR20, Dimitar Plachkov EUR150, Rostislava Todorova BGN100, Gergana Konstantinova BGN100.
The Hristo Prodanov high school in Karlovo raised the amount of BGN1000 at a fundraising auction.
“Elitzi” vocal band with band-master Mr Daniel Ivanov delivered a fundraising concert that raised an amount of BGN125.