We were truly blessed to have received on 5th December 2013 in our Church a true fragment of the Holy & Precious & Life-Giving Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It came from Jerusalem where it is kept and preserved by the Holy Fathers of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. While in London it is kept overnight at the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain.
The President of our Community Mr. Pantelis Demosthenous brought it in his car in the morning of the 5th December together with the Deacon Charalambos from Jerusalem and arrived early in the morning in front of our Church. In the evening the Holy Cross was returned to the Archdiocese in the car of the Treasurer of our Community Mr. Soteris Constantinou and his wife Alexandra, who is the President of St. Agatha Ladies Sisterhood of our Community.
Thousands of worshippers flocked to our Church of Saint Panteleimon and Saint Paraskevi to catch a glimpse of the very Cross on which Jesus was crucified and to venerate it.
A series of Sacred Services were held throughout the day by Fr. Anastasios and visiting Priests, while worshippers travelled from as far as Kent to touch, kiss and pray in front of the Holy Relic.
The visit of the Holy Cross had generated a lot of interest and emotions amongst the members of the Greek and Russian Communities in England.
There were many people with disabilities and illnesses who had come to touch the Cross, hoping for a real and quick answer to their fervent prayers.
The True Cross had been discovered by St. Helen, when she travelled to Jerusalem in 327 AD. A number of fragments exist in Churches and monasteries in Jerusalem, Greece and Cyprus.
A Greek Orthodox pilgrim and a Romanian Orthodox member of our Community had talked to an English journalist who came to see and experience this great event and said:
“It is not every day you get a chance to see a part of the Holy Cross. It is a great honour and a great opportunity to pay our respects” (Marios Minaides, chairman of the Association of Greek Communities in Great Britiain).
“It is the most holy object in the world. That word «holy» is almost not enough to describe it. To touch something that Jesus himself has touched it is like we have touched him. This is a great opportunity in my life. I’m very happy” (Marius Ionescu).
Various newspapers and web-sites dedicated space for this historic moment in the life of our Community. Some of them are these: