HISTORY OF THE HOLY CHURCH BUNAVESTIRE-BELU
The first settlements appeared in the Belu district after 1877, and between 1900 and 1910, due to the fast growing of population in the Belu neighborhood, the church organization in its own right appears. The first Committee for the building the church in the Belu district was established on February 27, 1911.
The money raising campaign for the construction of the church started in 1911 and a Chapel was built in the same year, on 23 Giurgiului street. This chapel that was demolished in 1958.
The plan to build a new church, in the Șerban Vodă commune, was approved by the superior church authorities and the Parish Committee. The land where the church is currently located, on 29A Giurgiului Street, was donated in 1922 by P.S. Nifon Nicolescu, Bishop of the Lower Danube. It was decided that the new church should be built on this land and, on April 29, 1925, the place was sanctified. On 29th of June 1925, the foundation stone was laid. Nine years later, on June 29, 1934, the church was dedicated to „The Annunciation of the Mother of God” and „The Holy Apostles Peter and Paul”. It should be noted that it was the first church in Bucharest made of steel concrete. The works advanced fast enough, the expenses being borne by the Church House, using the Fund for Building a Church, which was donated by the trader Petru Mihail and his wife, Anastasia, topped up by the significant contributions collected from parishioners following the initiative of the Church Committee, as well as of the Serban-Voda Cultural House, headed by Captain Opriş Ştefan, the later having a purely church section.
From technical perspective, the church was designed by engineer Ignat N. Mateescu, under direct control and supervision of the Ministry of Cults ( Church House).
The construction works started and were completed under the guidance of parish priest Popescu Petre. The parish torch passed in 1941 from Fr. Popescu Petre to Fr. Alexandru Delcea, followed by Fr. Vasile Ionescu and by Fr. Nicolae Grosu in 1966 and by Fr. Nicolae Voinescu in 1968. Other priests who served this church were: Priest Ion – Popescu – Creanga, († 21.05.2004), Priest Tonciu Ion († 16.05.2002)), as well as deacon Copacianu Dumitru († 03.10.2004),). They endowed the church with its own heating station in 1970.
The initial mural painting is the work of painter Anastasie Damian, and, between 1969 and 1971, the fresco painting was restored by painters Eugen and Eremia Profeta.
The ”Buna Vestire Belu” church is one of the beautiful churches of the capital, with an original and distinct architectonic style. The furniture from interior, the lecterns and the bishop’s chairs, the imperial candlesticks, the altar screen and the wainscot on walls and on pillars are sculpted by sculptor Anghel Dima, as an entity in massive oak-wood in a very special harmonious assemble. At the consecration, the patriarchate of the Romanian offered a valuable bronze candelabrum.
The founders of this Holy Church, who passed away, deserve to be forever evoked: Petru and Anastasia Mihail, Bishop Nifon – Bishop of Low Danube, Priest Petre Popescu, Churchwardens Tiberiu Dragomirescu and Ghenea Dumitrescu, as well as the counsellors who made all their efforts to support the church: general Stefan Opris, Ioan Franțescu, Tiberiu Dragomirescu, Nicolae Cenușă and others.
On September 1st, 1988, Priest Aurel Bărîcă (former Giurgiu Archpriest) was appointed as Parish Priest of this church, after the retirement of Fr. Voinescu Nicolae. Fr. Aurel Bărîcă was Parish Priest until March 14, 2011. . († 11.02.2022). In 1989 the parish House was subject to capital repair works.
Between 1990 and 1993, a Chapel was built in the parochial cemetery, having a room dedicated to Christian agapes. executed by Simona Tudor and consecrated by Holiness Bishop Teofan Sinaitul, Patriarchal Bishop-Vicar in October 1993. In 1988, on September 1, he was appointed parish priest Aurel Bărîcă (former archpriest of Giurgiu), after the retirement of Fr. Voinescu Nicolae. Priest Aurel Bărîcă was a parish priest until March 14, 2011. In 1989, maintenance repairs were made to the parish house.
Between 1990-1993, a Chapel was built in the parish cemetery, inside which there is a room used for Christian agapes. The chapel of the parish cemetery – located in str. Srg. Nițu Vasile nr.3, sector 4 – is adorned with fresco painting executed by Simona Tudor and was consecrated by His Grace Bishop Teofan Sinaitul in 1993.
In 1998, the parish house was subject to capital repairs. In 1999, the parochial common room was rebuilt, and was equipped with a new library. In 2000, capital repairs were executed for the roof of the Church, for the exterior and for the terrace of the Church. In 2003, the bell tower was under capital repair works, while in 2004 the outside painting and the floral belt were restored. Architect-painter Samoila Crisan repainted the interior of the Church between 2005 and 2009.
On 1st of July 2005, Nicolae Pușcaș was appointed as priest in this Church.
On 1st of November 2007, Daniel-Alexandru Bărîcă was appointed as priest in this Church.
On 1st of November 2018, Mircea-Emanoil Popescu-Argeș was appointed as priest in this Church.
On 1st of April 2023, Petre Sperlea was appointed as priest in this Church.
On March 15, 2011 Priest Daniel-Alexandru Bărîcă was appointed as Parish Priest.
With the High Blessing of His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, on June 4th, 2016, All pious Archimandrite Gheorghios Giannios, the parish priest of the Parish ” Dormition of the Mother of God” in Evxeinoypoli-Greece, brought parts of the Holy Relics of the Holy Martyr Haralambie and of the Holy New Martyr Rafail, and on November 5, 2016, Fr. Gheorghios brought parts of the Holy Relics of Saint Athanasius the Great, archbishop of Alexandria, of the Holy Hierarch Nectarie from Eghina and of the Holy Great Martyr Ephraim the New. These Holy Relics, together with the culion and the girdle from the relics of St. John the Russian, were placed in the church, for worship, in the reliquary made at the Workshops of the Romanian Patriarchate. The reliquary was consecrated, on June 4th, 2016, at the Vespers service, by His Grace Timotei Prahoveanul, Bishop-Vicar of the Holy Archdiocese of Bucharest.
Since 2011, having the High Blessing of His Beatitude Daniel, the Patriarch of Romania, with the diligence of the Parish Priest Daniel Bărîcă – supported by the priests of the church, by the members of the Council and by the Parish Committee, as well as by the parishioners and worshippers of this holy Church – the following works were done: the refurbishment of the oak paneling of the interior and of the iconostasis of the Church; the full consolidation of the terrace, in front of the Church, and its restoration, inside and outside; the restoration of the ornamental pillars of the terrace and of the porticos at the entrances to the Church’s courtyard; consolidation and tessellation of the pedestal of the Church fence, as well as the painting of the metal fence; the restoration and complete tessellation of the Church’s pedestal and the repair of the exterior of the Church; restoration, consolidation of the interior floor of the Church and its plating with granite; realization of the church’s underfloor heating system and endowment with two new condensing boilers; endowment of the chancellery and of the parish house with a new power station; granite cladding of the pillars of the interior of the Church and of those at the main entrance; replacing the downpipes around the Church with new ones, made of zinc; execution of the metal candle holder in the churchyard; the construction of new metal doors, with double-glazed windows, at the three arches of the Church façade; execution of new pieces of carved furniture at the Holy Altar and in the Church; equipping the Church with four air conditioning units; execution of a new supply corner, made of oak wood; restoration of icons of the iconostasis and interior of the Church; restoring icons from the exterior of the Church and making mural icons, in fresco technique, at the arches of the Church façade; cleaning the candelabrums of the church and adding new elements to them; the cleansing and silvering of the lamps of the Church; execution of a reliquary for Holy Relics, at the Workshops of the Romanian Patriarchate; endowment of the church with 40 beech wooden chairs, upholstered; installation of a new sound system; making a new lavatory in the churchyard, etc.
Most of the works executed between 2011-2016 were sponsored by the Administration of Monuments and Touristic Patrimony (A.M.P.T.) of Bucharest City Hall. A large part from the funds required by these works came from own funding or smaller sponsorships from the worshippers.
On May 7, 2017, after the completion of the works, the consecration service of the church was celebrated by His Grace Timotei Prahoveanul, Bishop-Vicar of the Holy Archdiocese of Bucharest, together with a chosen group of priests and deacons. The event was honored by the presence of His Beatitude Daniel, the Patriarch Romanian Orthodox Church, who spoke the Word of Teaching and awarded distinctions to clergy and worshippers who helped materially and morally in the accomplishment of the church’s works.
On September 14, 2019, P.C. Archimandrite Gheorghios Giannios brought, from Greece, a fragment of the Relics of Saint John the Russian. On November 8, 2020, a new reliquary was consecrated by the Holly Father Timotei Prahoveanul, in which fragments of the relics of Saint Nektarios and Saint Ephraim were placed. Archimandrite Gheorghios also brought, on May 28, 2023, fragments of the relics of Saint George the Great Martyr and of Saint Mary Magdalene, which were placed in the church reliquary in the church. Both reliquaries for the Holy Relics were made at the Workshops of the Romanian Patriarchate.
The rotive in the Church Porch on the first consecration of the Church – June 29, 1934:
„In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We built this place dedicated to the Annunciation and Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Bellu Parish, with the contribution of the parishioners from the first generation and the „Petre Mihail” religious fund, on the site donated by P.S.E. Nifon. The consecration of the foundation took place on June 28, 1925, during the Î.P.S.D.D. Dr. Miron Cristea, the first Patriarch of Romania, under the reign of M.S.R. Ferdinand I, the unifier of the nation, and the consecration of the church under the rule of M.S.R. Charles II, in the year 1934. Praise God, bless those who have sacrificed, taken care and decorated this Holy Place from generation to generation. God’s blessing upon us all forever. Amen. Committee.”
The rotive in the Church Porch on the second consecration of the Church – May 7, 2017:
„REMINDER: IN THE NAME OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY AND WITH THE PROTECTION OF THE MOTHER OF THE LORD, THE HOLY CHURCH DEDICATED TO THE ” Annunciation ” AND „HOLY APOSTLES PETER AND PAUL” WAS BUILT BETWEEN 1925-1934 AND CONSECRATED ON JUNE 29, 1934. AFTER 70 YEARS, WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE PARISH COUNCIL, OF THE BELIEVERS AND THROUGH THE DILLIGENCE OF PRIEST AUREL BARICA (PARISH PRIEST BETWEEN 1988 – 2011), THE ROOF WAS CHANGED, THE CHANCERY WAS BUILT, THE BELL TOWER WAS CONSOLIDATED AND THE PAINTING WAS RESTORED (UNTIL 2010). SINCE 2011, WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE MUNICIPALITY, THE PARISH COUNCIL, THE BELIEVERS AND THROUGH THE EFFORT OF PRIEST DANIEL-ALEXANDRU BARICA, THE GENERAL RESTORE WORKS OF THE CHURCH WERE CARRIED OUT: THE BASE, TERRACE AND ORNAMENTAL PILLARS WERE CONSOLIDATED AND MOSAICATED; THE FENCE AND EXTERIOR OF THE HOLY PLACE WERE RESTORED, THE FLOOR WAS CONSOLIDATED AND THE HEATING WAS DONE; THE INTERIOR WAS PLATED WITH GRANITE, THE PAINTING OF THE ARCHES WAS DONE; THE CANDLESTICK, THE METAL DOORS AT THE ENTRANCE, THE PANGAR AND THE FURNITURE WERE MADE; THE ICONS OF THE ICONOSTASIS AND THE MURALS OUTSIDE WERE RESTORED; THE POLYCHANDRES HAVE BEEN CLEANED; THE ICONOSTASIS AND PANELS HAVE BEEN REDONE; THE COURT YARD WAS PAVED.
IN THE 10TH YEAR OF THE ARCHPASTORATE OF HIS BEATITUDE DANIEL, THE PATRIARCH OF THE ROMANIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, THE CHURCH WAS CONSECRATED, ON MAY 7, 2017, BY THE HOLLY FATHER TIMOTEI PRAHOVEANUL, BISHOP-VICAR OF THE ARHIDIOCESE OF BUCHAREST.
BLESS, LORD, THOSE WHO LOVE THE BEAUTY OF YOUR HOUSE!”
May God help us all May the Holy Mother of Lord protect us all!
Parish Priest DANIEL – ALEXANDRU BĂRÎCĂ