A Blagoevgrad priest who works to bring people together

Indulge in the photo gallery produced by Bilyana Marinova from the PGVMSS “St. George The Victorious” in Kostinbrod as her assignment during the first Media Bootcamp organized by the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) and the Fulbright Commission, in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria. In her story she follows the work of Father Nikolay, a Blagoevgrad priest whose flock volunteer in support of vulnerable members of their community.

Father Nikolay is an organizer, who takes part in the charity work of the “St. Nikolay” Orthodox Church in Blagoevgrad.


“Every time of the year is appropriate to make miracles, If we have the opportunity to do it,’’ Father Nikolay says.


The church organizes a bazaar every year, and the funds they receive support a volunteer kitchen that it is opened every Sunday at the church. The funds are given for the preparation of lunch for around 130-150 people from the community who are in need. Several churchgoers who take part in both of the charities do this. Sometimes, the volunteers take their children with them when they have too much work, because they cannot stay home alone


These people are above the age of thirty and want to help the community. Mostly, the people in need are between sixty and ninety years old. Their families are far away from Bulgaria, and the love and attention they get from the volunteers means a lot to them.


The people in the church never set a goal to reach any results or to feel good but they try to make the lives of all members of their community better. The charities fill their free time and they hope that someday they will take part in many other causes. Their new ideas are to build a nursing home or a place for homeless people where they can be accommodated, including older priests and their wives.


The organizers also make special charities twice a year, during Christmas and Easter, and that is the time when they organize the bazaars.