In 1916, according to the recommendation of the State Duma, the Holy Synod started the parish reform designed to intensify the church activities of the clergy and the believers. For its successful implementation, the departments of suffragan bishops with special powers were established in a number of large dioceses of the Orthodox Church. The creation of the suffragan department in Solikamsk got approval of the head of the Perm diocese – the Perm and Solikamsk Bishop Andronic (Nikolsky). However, the appointment of the worthy candidate to the post of the vicar became a big personnel problem, and its solution depended on the influential people in the Holy Synod and on Emperor Nicholas II. The intrigues of the members of the Synod entering a circle of confidants of the favourite of imperial family Grigory Rasputin led to the result undesirable for Bishop Andronic. The candidacy of the archimandrite Pimen (Belolikov) proposed by him was rejected. Instead of him, the Salmas Bishop Sergy (Lavrov) who was a former chief of the Russian spiritual mission in Iran was appointed to the Solikamsksuffragan department. However, soon he refused to arrive to the place of the new service. The death of Rasputin and the removal of his supporters from the Synod changed the situation in the favourable party. Bishop Andronic overcame the resistance of political opponents and achieved the assignment of his new candidate archimandrite Feofan (Ilmenskiy) (rector of the Perm seminary) as the Solikamsk Bishop. On the combination of circumstances, the implementation of this administrative reform coincided with the beginning of the revolutionary events in Petrograd in February 1917.
Key words: World War I, Russian Orthodox Church, Holy Synod, Perm diocese, bishop, clergy.