State helps EELK buy St. Alexander of Narva church
The government decided on Thursday to contribute half of the purchase price of St. Alexander's Church in Narva. It allocated €187,500 to the Ministry of the Interior for this purpose, as well as the money required to cover the fees involved.
The other half of the price will be paid by the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK).
St. Alexander's of Narva was declared bankrupt in April 2015 because of the small congregation's inability to meet the financial obligations entered into in connection with the reconstruction of the church building.
The bankruptcy petition was filed by construction company AS Eviko, and the congregation's debt at the time it was declared bankrupt allegedly amounted to more than €2.1m.
At the end of March this year, the general meeting of creditors decided to put the building of St. Alexander's up for auction, at a starting price of €500,000.
Archbishop of the EELK Urmas Viilma announced a fundraising campaign on Apr. 25 to support the bankrupt congregation and salvage its assets.
The government spent more than €2m to help restore the Lutheran church in the border city of Narva, one million of which was provided via a regional competitiveness program of the Enterprise Estonia foundation.