On 18th January 2024 the acting Patriarchal exarch of Africa the bishop of Zaraisk Konstantin, during his pastoral visit to South Africa, went to the historical naval cemetery in Simon’s Town, a suburb of Cape Town, where are located the graves of Russian sailors who took part in Russian naval expeditions from 1809 to 1865 and who found their final resting place on the shores of Africa.
At the burial site of the Russian compatriots an event was held dedicated to their memory. It was attended by the bishop of Zaraisk Constantine, the consul general of the Russian Federation in Cape Town Alexei Malenko, consulate staff, members of a church delegation comprising the rector of the Church of Saint Sergius of Radonezh in Johannesburg archpriest Daniil Lugovoi, secretary for inter-Christian ties of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate hieromonk Stephan (Igumnov), rector of the parish of the Russian Orthodox Church of Saint John Climacus in Cape Town Father Nicholas Esterhuizen and assistant to the bishop of Zaraisk V.V. Dendyuk.
The consul general Alexei Malenko opened the event by recalling the heroic history of the Russian navy and its expeditions. Flowers were then laid at the memorial.
Bishop Konstantin then held a memorial service, commemorating each sailor by name who had come to rest in this place and delivered a short pastoral homily to those gathered.