Accompanying the President were Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who heads the board of trustees overseeing the church’s restoration, and the church’s rector, Father Gennady. Mr Putin looked over the exhibition Guards Riflemen at the Service of Their Fatherland, which presents arms, documents, and military uniforms from the 19th century and World War I.
The Church of St Sergius of Radonezh was built in 1904 for the soldiers of the Life Guards 2nd Tsarskoye Selo Rifle Regiment. It was closed down in 1921, its fittings and objects were destroyed and its bell tower was demolished. In 2012, the church was officially returned to the Russian Orthodox Church. Restoration work was carried out to coincide with the 700th anniversary of the birth of St Sergius of Radonezh, which was celebrated this year.