Saturday, 7 December 2013

The true Holy Cross in our Church

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:

Monday, 2 December 2013

The Holy Cross in our Church

The Holy, Precious & Life-Giving Cross of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ
in our Church and Community

Following the request of our Sacred Archdiocese of Thyateira & G.B., and that of the Russian Orthodox Church in Britain, His Beatitude Theophilos the Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Synod of the Holy Sepulchre, have agreed to bless the visit of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross to the United Kingdom for our people to venerate.

The Holy Cross will be in our Holy Church of St. Panteleimon & St. Paraskevi on Thursday 5th December 2013 all day. There will be Matins and Divine Liturgy, 9.30 - 11.30 am, and afterwards there will be other Services in front of the Holy Cross.

We invite all Orthodox Christians to come to our Church to venerate the Holy Cross, to be blessed and edified by it, and to find through the grace of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross health, happiness, forgiveness and remission of sins, the guidance and protection of their children, the strengthening of their family, and divine enlightenment of young and old.

With profound theological poetry, the Church invites the people of God to venerate and pray before the Precious and Life-Giving Cross: “Come, all ye nations, let us adore the blessed Tree, through which everlasting justice hath come to pass...”.

With great joy we expect to see you all come to our Church with devotion and holy humility to pray and bow down before the Holy Cross! Come with faith and the desire to find redemption and the salvation of your souls from Him who was crucified and suffered for us, our Lord Jesus Christ. To Him be dominion, glory and boundless mercy for ever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Honouring George Stylianou

Last Sunday (10th November 2013) the Church Committee honoured four important members of our Community.

Amongst them was Mr. George Stylianou, ex Treasurer of our Community and one of our present Trustees, who could not be there, as he is in old age and ill. He is lately hospitalised at our local General Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital.

Yesterday, Wednesday 13th November 2013, His Eminence the Metropolitan Bishop George of Paphos, accompanied by our Parish Priest Fr. Anastasios and the President of our Community Mr. Pandelis Demosthenous visited Mr. Stylianou at the Hospital and presented him with the commemorative plague. He was very happy to receive this honour!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Annual D & D

On Sunday 10th November 2013 our Community organised its annual D & D. It was a well attended event and had taken place at our Community Centre, behind our Church.

The guests of the D & D were: The Metropolitan Bishop George of Paphos, the Rt. Hon Bob Blackman MP for Harrow East with his wife, the Rt. Hon. Barry Gardiner MP for Brent North with his wife, the Mayor of Brent Councillor Bobby Thomas, the Deputy Mayor of Harrow Councillor Camilla Bath and the Great Benefactor of our Church Mr. Panicos Erodotou.

The President of our Community Mr. Pandelis Demosthenous thanked everyone for their contributions in constructing our new Church, and reminded that a big part of Cyprus is still under Turkish occupation.

The Mayor of Brent and the Deputy Mayor of Harrow congratulated the Community on its successes and they both emphasised the importance of preserving our ethnic culture and the mother language.

The two Members of Parliament spoke with complimentary words about the Community and expressed the view that Turkey should not be allowed to enter the European Union unless it withdraws its troops from the occupied area of Cyprus.

His Eminence Bishop George thanked all members of the Community for the warm welcome he received and in regard to the Cyprus issue he said that Turkey should not just be kept out of the European Union, but the Great Nations should force it to withdraw both its troops as well as the 1.000.000 settlers living in the occupied area.

The event was quite successful. The people enjoyed nice food and nice Greek music, played by George Gregoriou and Nicos Savvides

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

1st Anniversary of the Consecration

On Sunday 10th November 2013 we celebrated the 1st Anniversary of our new Church’s Consecration.

It was a very nice opportunity for many people to gather together and offer a special prayer for our new Church and for our Community as a whole.

The Episcopal Divine Liturgy was presided over by the Metropolitan Bishop George of Paphos (Church of Cyprus). Fr Melchisedek (from the Monastery of Essex), Fr. Aemilianos (from the Holy Mountain), as well as the Parish Priest Fr. Anastasios assisted the Bishop.

At the end of the Holy Service the President of our Community Mr. Pantelis Demosthenous had offered, on behalf of the Church and Community Council, commemorative plagues to various people who have contributed greatly towards our Church and Community by both personal service and financial offerings. These are:

-         Mr. Yiannakis Yianna, President of the Community, between 1979-2005 and Trustee of the Community.
-         Mr. Miltiades Papadakis, Secretary of the Community, between 1975-1997and Trustee of the Community.
-         Mr. George Stylianou, Treasurer of the Community, between 1989-1995 and Trustee of the Community.
-         Mrs. Eva Christou, President of “St. Agatha” Ladies Sisterhood, between 1992-2011.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Our annual Community pilgrimage

Once a year, usually during the half term of October, our Community organises its annual pilgrimage.

This year (28th October - 2nd November) we visited Southern Greece and we had the chance to venerate relics of important Saints in various monasteries, convents and parish churches.

We also visited some places of interest from a cultural point of view, especially in Patra and Zakynthos.

Our group was a mixed one, with 41 people, comprising of young and older members, as well as friends of our Community.

All people enjoyed the pilgrimage and look forward to the one to be organised next year 2014.

Friday, 2 August 2013

St. Panteleimon Day

On Saturday 27th July our Community celebrated St. Panteleimon Day.

His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira & Great Britain had presided over the Archiepiscopal Divine Liturgy!

Many many people were gathered in our Church to honour our main Patron Saint Panteleimon, the Great Martyr and Healer.

The relics of St. Panteleimon were offered to the congregation for veneration.

At the end of the Holy Service the President of our Community Mr. Pantelis Demosthenous offered to His Eminence an honorary plaque, for his 25 years of Service as Archbishop in this daughter Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

After the Church Service all people were invited to share in food and drink at our Community Hall.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

St. Panteleimon Eve

On the Eve of Saint Panteleimon (26th July) we always have in our Church a Great and Festal Vespers.

This year His Grace Bishop Chrysostomos of Kyanea had presided over it.

Many pilgrims, from our Community and from other places of London as well, had come in order to honour the Festival of this Great Martyr and Healer.

At Vespers we had the newly painted Patronal Icon of both our Patron Saints, Panteleimon & Paraskevi, at the centre of the Church.

Many loafs of bread were offered by the people and were blessed by His Grace.

Then we had the traditional procession around the Church, with the Patronal Icon leading the way.

After the Service our Community Committees had offered hospitality at our Community Hall for all pilgrims.