Inside St. Sergius Russian Orthodox Church

#Gauteng52, Week 37: South Africa’s Only Russian Orthodox Church

Welcome to Week 37 of my #Gauteng52 challenge, for which I visit and blog about a new place in Gauteng Province every week for 52 straight weeks. This week I visit the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh, in Midrand.

If you’ve driven from Pretoria to Johannesburg, you’ve probably seen it: The white church with gleaming gold domes in Midrand, easily visible from the N3 Highway. Apparently lots of people show up at the gate of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh, simply because they have glimpsed the church from the road and are overcome by curiosity.

Outside the Russian Orthodox Church of St. SergiusThe Russian Orthodox Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh, built in 2003. The domes are covered in very thin gold leaf. Father Daniel, the priest, says it’s less than one kilogram of gold altogether.

If you read my blog, then you know I love visiting churches and places of worship of all kinds. So when I got invited to visit St. Sergius as part of an event organized by the Johannesburg Russian Tea Room Group, I eagerly accepted and invited my friends Ang and Gail.

St. Sergius is the only Russian Orthodox Church in sub-Saharan Africa (the next closest one is in Egypt), and it is spectacular.

Inside St. Sergius Russian Orthodox Church
Inside the church. There are no pews, just a few chairs around the edges, because parishioners usually stand during the 90-minute services.

Ceiling in Russian Orthodox Church That ceiling.

Detail of the ceiling at St. SergiusDetail shot of the ceiling.

Side of the Russian Orthodox Church
The church is built in the shape of a cross. This is one of the two side areas.

Orthodox church ceilingAnother ceiling shot, this one taken from the upstairs gallery where the choir normally sits.

Father Daniel at St. SergiusFather Daniel Lugovoi, the priest assigned to St. Sergius. Father Daniel, along with his wife and children, moved here from Russia for this assignment in 2010.

Father DanielI was charmed by Father Daniel.

I was fascinated by this church, as I am by all churches, and I imagine it would be even more fascinating to go during an actual service. Father Daniel says anyone is welcome at any of the services, although most of them are in Russian. (There are some English services though.) The schedule is here.

Russian Orthodox church entranceThe other side of St. Sergius.

The Russian Orthodox Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh is located at the corner of Wattle and 8th Street in Midrand. Call +27-76-565-2225 or email

Read all of my #Gauteng52 posts and check out the interactive #Gauteng52 map.

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  • Reply janowrite September 13, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    What marvelous photos – a beautiful sanctuary!

    • Reply 2summers September 13, 2017 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks 🙂

  • Reply Gail Wilson September 14, 2017 at 6:23 am

    Fantastic photos.

  • Reply autumnashbough September 14, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    So pretty! Did you ask Father Daniel if he was thrilled to leave frozen Russia for Africa?

    • Reply 2summers September 14, 2017 at 9:15 pm

      Hahaha. I should have. But from the short conversation we did have I gather that he likes it here.

  • Reply Arthur Olsen September 16, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Brilliant blog will be sure to visit it regularly

    • Reply 2summers September 16, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      Thank you. Enjoy!

  • Reply Lani September 17, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Wow. Gorgeous. I’d like to attend a service in this church, too. Love your fascination and this series with religious places of worship. xxoo

    • Reply 2summers September 17, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Thanks! Yeah I want to go back sometime for a service too. Churches look/feel completely different during services.

  • Reply #TheGodProject - St Sergius Russian Orthodox Church Midrand (from the blog JOZI.REDISCOVERED) October 16, 2017 at 8:08 am

    […] For more images and to read about 2Summers’ experience at the church, see her blog post […]

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