St. Andrews Church Fete
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Russia, Anne Pringle, opened this year’s fete at St. Andrews Church, the center of English-speaking Christian worship in Moscow, in Vosnesensky Pereulok, not far from Pushkinskaya. The ceremony featured the ceremonial presentation of a giant cheque for 50,000 rubles to the church restoration fund by Alan Thompson, chieftain of the St. Andrews Society of Russia, which had raised the money at its recent Stramash (see separate article). The society and the church are not related, sharing a name only because St. Andrew is the patron saint of both Scotland and Russia, and it was Scottish money which built the church in the late nineteenth century. By co-incidence Ms Pringle is also Scottish. But the entertainment was, as she pointed out in her opening remarks, more English, as they featured tugs of war, egg and spoon races, throwing wet sponges at the vicar, tombola stalls, home baking, cream teas and so on. They did not, however, go as far as the cow-pat bingo which Her Excellency said she had heard about at one fete in the West Country. Cows, of course, are a rarity in central Moscow. But bright sunshine in late summer is not, and the least British aspect of the event was the glorious weather.