Bulgarian Orthodox Church Patriarch Neofit marked his 72nd birthday on October 15 with the consecration of a new church in Sofia’s Lozenets residential areas.
The church, the Lifting of the Holy Cross of the Lord, is at the corner of the James Bourchier and Cherni Vruh boulevards, near the Marinella Hotel, formerly the Kempinski.
In this area, residents of Sofia erected a cross in celebration of the 1878 Liberation from Ottoman rule. The cross was visible from afar in the city because of the high spot where it was placed. Kept in previous years in the Church of the Transfiguration, the cross has been transferred to the new church.
Construction of the new church began in 1998 but progress was delayed because of an internal dispute in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church with the setting up of a so-called “Alternative Synod”. Construction continued, with alterations to the original design, in 2015.
Neofit, formerly the Metropolitan of Rousse, has been Patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church since February 2013, following the death of long-serving Patriarch Maxim.