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Friday, 13 April 2012

Liturgy and Life in Athens

L to R: Reader Sherry Angelis, Fr Geoffrey, Fr Joseph, (me), Reader Christine Saccali, the Revd Pam Nicholson (PtO priest) and Canon Malcolm Bradshaw (Chaplain, St Paul's)  
The Good Friday Liturgy in St Paul's Athens was well attended by parishioners and visitors. Among the latter were the Revd Canon Geoffrey Evans, who until last year was priest-in-charge of St Nicholas Ankara, Turkey. Fr Geoffrey is now retired and living in Izmir. He had just arrived in Athens from Alexandria on Good Friday morning in time for the service!

We were joined by Fr Joseph, a priest of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Fr Joseph, a native of Lebanon, is studying for a PhD in Athens. Fr Joseph also joined for the Great Vigil of Easter the next day. His own Church observes Easter according to the Eastern date so he was free to be part of our own celebrations on the Western date.

Fr Malcolm arranged for some ecumenical discussions with Greek Orthodox authorities during my visit, including with Bishop Gabriel Papanicolaou (below), and with Drs Constantine Dimstas and Vassi Leontari of the Archdiocese of Athens Apostoli or social outreach programme. 10,000 meals are distributed each day to the needy in Athens, one of many programmes coordinated by Apostoli. Fr Malcolm and our Anglican parish work closely with Apostoli.  

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