St. Nicholas Church, Narol MB, is a small Orthodox Church on the east side of the Red River, serving the communities of Winnipeg, and Selkirk, as well as the municipalities of East St. Paul and St. Clements.
Having being founded over a hundred of years ago by the men and women from Western Ukraine, this parish community has adapted to life, at first as a small rural community serving new Canadians, and now as a hub church bordering the burgeoning Winnipeg suburbs, all the while bearing witness to 2000 years of Christianity.
Without forgetting their history and traditions, the parish community of St. Nicholas, has grown into a multi generational and ethnic parish, serving in English and on the New Calendar.
In 2009 the parish commenced a renovation project that produced a new church hall, vestibule and elevator (making it wheelchair accessible building), making a commitment (as God blesses) to continue serving for another hundred years. The St. Nicholas parish family provides a true have of rest, encouragement and hope for all who call it home. The members of this parish family come from both the countryside and the city.
St. Nicholas is served by the Priest Gregory Scratch. A graduate of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, Fr. Gregory attended classes at the University of St. Paul in Ottawa at the Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies. Fr. Gregory was ordained to the diaconate in 2003, serving at the Annunciation Cathedral in Ottawa.. Along with his liturgical and pastoral responsibilities, he also worked as an art instructor at a Veteran’s Health Center. In the summer of 2012 he was ordained to the holy priesthood by Bishop Irénée of Quebec City, and moved with his wife Matushka Taesia, and their four children to Winnipeg to serve the parish of St. Nicholas Narol.
The Archpriest Robert Stephen Kennaugh (affectionately known as Fr. Bob) had been an Anglican seminarian student, and then, like so many others, found a home in the Orthodoxy Church, first as an ordained deacon in the Western rite (under the Antiocian Archdiocese). Latter, after a lengthy diaconate he was ordained to the holy priesthood Bishop Seraphim of the Archdiocese of Canada (OCA) in 1991, and assigned to the parish of St. Nicholas, Narol MB, just out side of Winnipeg. Under his pastoral guidance, the parish of St. Nicholas steadily grew from being a church served intermittently, to a full-fledged parish with a regular liturgical and social life. In the fall of 2012 Fr. Bob retired and was attached as the Rector Emeritus at St. Nicholas Church.
Although she is not retiring, much also could be said about Fr. Bob’s wife, Matuskha Dianne and her time as the choir director at St Nicholas. Her continued work at directing and leading the congregation in singing traditional Galician chant, is made all the more remarkable by the fact that she was born blind. Her commitment, and perserverance in leading the choir and congregation in singing is a blessing.