ICON.2025, 4. A group of ten families in Melbourne initially purchased the present St Mary's Indian Orthodox Church building in Coburg East, Melbourne 12 years ago. This was originally built as an Anglican Church to serve a small congregation in Coburg. The dedication stone at the entrance of the church reads 'The Memorial Church of St Peter'. A medium sized stained glass window had been built into the eastern wall, high above the altar. This beautiful window depicts the scene of the apostles at the lake side, a few days after the resurrection of our Lord. Even though Peter and three other Disciples of Christ had been fishing all night, Peter is the only figure shown in the picture, collapsed in his boat. He looks tired and exhausted after a fruitless night of fishing and is looking up at someone standing near the shore. The net on one side of the boat has a huge haul of fish. Peter's _expression is one of amazement as though his inner eye had just been opened. You could almost hear the cry, "It is the Lord." This beautiful stained glass window miraculously survived a major arsonist's fire in June 2004, even though the fire damaged the roof over the altar. Sadly the Indian Orthodox community, who purchased the building, did not keep the name of St Peter, at the insistence of the priest who was here at that time; but they did retain this stained glass window. Irrespective of the name change, it will always have the aura of St Peter associated with it.
Wherever the apostles established the parishes, it was under the name of the Mother of God, so also the first parish in Australia was named under the patronage of St.Mary. The church venue is not the priority; once when a parish is named under a saint, as far as I know, the renaming again is not the practice when the location is changed. The Orthodox Church is known under the banner of catholic, apostolic, one and holy superlative. We dont have inter- communion with any other church, that includes Anglicans, other than with our own sister churches. As there are no religious wars in Heaven, the Queen of Heaven may not be despised by st.peter or vice versa. The Melbourne parish is the important label that is used for establishing this parish under a name in the first place, not the venue. If we have the discretion of accepting a Christian from another church by the Mooron anointment, there is theological validity in keeping the same patron saint when we change the worshipping venue. However, we havent defaced the banner of the apostle; his name and the memorial glass window is still there, together with the name of the Mother. The saints live together happily, just like great men think alike.