The news of the tragic deaths of two firefighters of the Horsley Park Rural Fire Brigade of NSW, Mr Geoffrey Keaton and Mr Andrew O’Dwyer, who were killed last night whilst battling bushfires south west of Sydney, has deeply saddened all of us. 
 
On behalf of the clergy, monastics and faithful of the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand of the Serbian Orthodox Church, as Archpastor of our Church, I express our most sincere prayerful condolences to the families, relatives, friends and colleagues of the heroes who have fallen. 
 
Shaken by this tragic event, we pray to God to protect the lives of all our firefighters and those who are residing in the areas affected by the fires. 
 
The Gospel teaches us: “there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15, 13).  We perceive the sacrifice of our fallen firefighters as a manifestation of this greatest love. 
 
 
+Siluan
Bishop of Australia and New Zealand
The Serbian Orthodox Church
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