The parish trusteeship as structural unit of charity of city local communities

Volume 4, Number 1, 2019, P. 65–71


Article (file: pdf, size: 175 KB, downloads: 487)


The article discusses the main charateristics and activities of the parish trusteeship of Irkutsk in the second half of the XIX century. It stresses the importance of understanding in modern conditions of the revival of secular and religious charity, accumulated experience in implementing philanthropic initiatives and practices of self-organization of local communities of the city. The article proves that the parish trusteeship was one of the most accessible social mechanisms to shape the experience of providing social assistance and to develop civic engagement of broad layers of Irkutsk population. The legal framework of the parish trusteeship activities in 1864 is shown. The statistical indicators of the dynamics of the opening of the parish trusteeships of Irkutsk during the second half of the XIX century are presented, and a comparison is made with similar national indicators. On the basis of annual reports on the state of the Irkutsk diocese and reports on the activities of some Irkutsk trusteeships, the author analyzed the social composition of parish trusteeships and the motivational attitudes of the initiative groups of parishioners when opening trusteeship.

It was revealed that the dominant position in the trusteeship activities belonged to petty bourgeoisie, representatives of middle and lower layers of bureaucracy, wealthy people from the craftspeople, Cossacks and peasantry deprived of the opportunity to influence in a different way on the public life of the city. The periods of rise and fall in the activity of trusteeship are analyzed, and the main factors affecting the intensity of their functioning are identified. Great attention in the article is paid to the main areas of trusteeship. The collection of donations, the repair and improvement of the church, the provision of benefits to the poorest parish residents and clergy are highlighted as the dominant areas of trusteeship. The experience of the organization and activities of schools of literacy, created on the initiative of parish trusteeships in some parishes of Irkutsk, is considered in detail. The trends of the trusteeship activities are examined at the turn of the XIX — early XX centuries.


charity, Irkutsk, parish trusteeship, local communities of city, social self-organization, church, local parish


Natalya I. Gavrilova, Cand. Sci. (History), Associate Professor of Sociology and Psychology De-partment, Irkutsk National Research Technical University, Irkutsk, Russia

For citation:

Gavrilova N. I. The parish trusteeship as structural unit of charity of city local communities. Sotsial’naya kompetentnost’ = Social Competence. 2019, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 65–71. (In Russ.).


  1. Vinogradov A.A. [The speech of the cathedral archpriest Vinogradov at the conference of the benevolent association. Irkutskie eparkhial’nye vedomosti[Irkutsk diocesan bulletin],1886, no. 48, 29 November, p. 521. (In Russ.).
  2. Gavrilova N.I. Features of the development of charity in small cities of the Irkutsk province in the second half of the nineteenth century. Sibirskii gorod XVIII – nachala KhKh vekov : sbornik statei [Siberian city XVIII — early XX centuries: a collection of articles], Irkutsk: Ottisk Publ., 2010, Iss VII, pp. 24–36. (In Russ.).
  3. A few words about parish trusteeship. Irkutskie eparkhial’nye vedomosti [Irkutsk diocesan bulletin], 1865, no. 42, 20 October, p. 562. (In Russ.).
  4. The official part. Vostochnoe obozrenie [The Eastern Review] ,1893, no. 53, 21 November, p. 2. (In Russ.).
  5. The official part. Irkutskie eparkhial’nye vedomosti [Irkutsk diocesan bulletin],1864, no. 47, 21 November, p. 260. (In Russ.).
  6. Regulations on parish trusteeships under Orthodox churches. Irkutskie eparkhial’nye vedomosti [Irkutsk diocesan bulletin], 1864, no. 44, 31 Octobe, pp. 239–248. (In Russ.).
  7. Parish trusteeship at the Sretenskaya church of Irkutsk. Irkutskie eparkhial’nye vedomosti [Irkutsk diocesan bulletin], 1865, no. 25, 19 June, p. 167. (In Russ.).
  8. Ul’yanova G.N. Charity in the Russian empire as a realization of the idea of a “civil sphere”. Grazhdanskaya identichnost’ i sfera grazhdanskoi deyatel’nosti v Rossiiskoi imperii. Vtoraya polovina KhIKh– nachalo KhKh veka [Civil identity and the sphere of civil activity in the Russian empire. The second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries] Moscow: Rossiiskaya politicheskaya entsiklopediya Publ., 2007, pp. 100–124.
  9. Ul’yanova G.N. Blagotvoritel’nost’ v Rossiiskoi imperii, KhIKh–nachalo KhKh veka [Charity in the Russian Empire, the nineteenth and early twentieth century]. Moscow: Nauka Publ, 2005, 403 p.
  10. Shergin G. The priest of the Prokopevsk church in Irkutsk. On the opening of trusteeship. Irkutskie eparkhial’nye vedomosti [Irkutsk diocesan bulletin], 1865, no. 14, 3 April, p. 88. (In Russ.).