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

by | Sep 13, 2017 | #Gauteng52, Arts and Culture, Johannesburg, Religion | 11 comments

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 rector@st-sergius.info.

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


  1. janowrite

    What marvelous photos – a beautiful sanctuary!

    • 2summers

      Thanks 🙂

  2. Gail Wilson

    Fantastic photos.

  3. autumnashbough

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

    • 2summers

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

  4. Arthur Olsen

    Brilliant blog will be sure to visit it regularly

    • 2summers

      Thank you. Enjoy!

  5. Lani

    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

    • 2summers

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

  6. Gideon

    The presence of God is a quiet humbling and yet a joyful experience.. been a member of this congregation since 2009.
    Heather, your photographs are a beautiful representation of this church as it really is. Thank you.

    • 2summers

      Thanks so much, Gideon.



  1. #TheGodProject - St Sergius Russian Orthodox Church Midrand (from the blog JOZI.REDISCOVERED) - […] For more images and to read about 2Summers’ experience at the church, see her blog post […]

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