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Faith Matters

Faith Matters

The German pastor, Gerhard Hechler, arrived in St. Petersburg with a bright red statuette of Martin Luther in his luggage - and won the hearts of his Russian parishioners. Refusing to confine his activities to conducting services in the parish church, the pastor actively sought dialogue with other Christian communities and made a pilgrimage to the ancient monastery of Valaam,

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The German pastor, Gerhard Hechler, arrived in St. Petersburg with a bright red statuette of Martin Luther in his luggage - and won the hearts of his Russian parishioners. Refusing to confine his activities to conducting services in the parish church, the pastor actively sought dialogue with other Christian communities and made a pilgrimage to the ancient monastery of Valaam, a bastion of Russian Orthodoxy.
 

This report introduces us to a remarkable man, who still approaches the world with childlike curiosity after many years’ experience as a pastor. We follow the dramatic history of St. Peter’s Church, which the Soviets converted into a swimming pool. We view the life of the present-day parish, flourishing in the vibrant metropolis of St. Petersburg, and we journey through the magnificent landscape of Karelia to the island monastery of Verlaam.