Orthodox Church of Monaco raises €32,000 for charity at Bulgaria-themed Christmas Gala

The spotlight of honour was on Bulgaria and its cultural heritage at this year’s Orthodox Church of Monaco Christmas Gala, which welcomed distinguished guests to One Monte-Carlo for a night of communion and philanthropy in favour of the Croix Rouge Monégasque. 

On 12th January 2024, the Orthodox Church of Monaco hosted its fifth Orthodox Christmas Gala at One Monte-Carlo’s Salle des Arts. 

Aligning with the Julian calendar, this event takes place 13 days after Western Christmas and spotlights a different Orthodox country each year, with Bulgaria being the focus of this most recent edition. 

The evening began with a Christmas prayer service led by His Grace Irenei, Bishop of London and Western Europe, at Saint Elena’s Parish.  

The ceremony was then followed by a procession to the Place du Casino and the venue, where a champagne reception welcomed the esteemed guests, which included a 40-strong delegation from Bulgaria and notable Monegasque politicians, to the Salle des Arts. 

The culinary highlight of the night was a Bulgarian-themed dinner crafted by the renowned chef Andre Tokev, who had flown in from Sofia. His collaboration with local Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer chefs introduced the Monaco crowd to an authentic Bulgarian dinner experience and featured “the best wines and spirits of the Balkan country”. It was accompanied by entertainment provided by a prominent Bulgarian Orthodox choir and the singer Olla. 

Sotheby’s also conducted an exciting auction during the course of the evening, raising €32,000 for the Croix Rouge Monégasque charity branch.  

Alexander Hagerty, the founding president of the Orthodox Church of Monaco – Saint Elena’s Parish that was officially recognised by the Monaco Government in 2017, commented on the event’s success, saying, “We are extremely proud of our parishioners and generous guests.” 

Other thanks went to the Banque Eric Sturdza and Amura, a caviar house in Monaco, for their assistance in organising and supporting the event, which was overseen by Trust Events. 

Click on the images below to see more from the event:


Join the Monaco Life community – sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on Threads,Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Tik Tok.  


Photos supplied