Father Mitko Machevski

The Very Reverend Protopresbyter Mitko Machevski was born on 25 July 1954 in Ratevo, Yugoslavia (an area now locally known as the Republic of Macedonia), the second son (of four boys) to parents Gjorgji and Jana.  Mitko went to primary school, years 1 to 8, at Rusinovo, followed by ecclesiastical training at Sveti Kliment Ohridski Seminary for five years and tertiary studies in Philosophy and History at the University in Skopje.  He was then drafted for one year of compulsory military service, which he served in Belgrade.  After his discharge he returned to Ratevo and married Zorka Milcovska, a teacher.

Mitko was ordained to the priesthood in the Macedonian Orthodox Church and sent to serve the town of Valandovo, in southern central Macedonia; during his service there, his daughter, Alexandra, was born.

In 1982, Fr Mitko was sent to Australia to serve in Rockdale, followed by Queanbeyan, under Metropolitan Timotej in the Macedonian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.  After five years, he was granted a canonical release and returned to Valandovo, Macedonia.  Spending a year there, Fr Mitko returned to Australia with both he and his popadia finding secular employment.  However, in 1995, Fr Mitko suffered an industrial accident, crushing his lower spine, now held together by 22 screws.

In 1997, he was invited by Bishop Gibran to join the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand and to serve the small congregation at St Nicholas Church in Bankstown, then part of the OCA, in an honourary capacity.  His success was due in part to Bishop Gibran's encouragement for the parish to follow Slavonic usage, including the Old Calendar.

Fr Mitko, in 2001, was elevated to protopresbyter by Metropolitan Archbishop Paul, and St Nicholas Parish was accepted from the Orthodox Church in America into the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand.  Metropolitan Archbishop Paul, in 2004, encouraged the parish to purchase the land that the church was built upon from the NSW government.  After the parish did this successfully, Fr Mitko returned to part-time secular employment, continuing as parish priest of St Nicholas Church.
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