Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Twelve Apostles Greek Orthodox Church, Hertfordshire

The Twelve Apostles Greek Orthodox Church, Hertfordshire was formed in 1991. The first part of its history (i.e. during the first seven years) the Twelve Apostles Church shared St Andrews Anglican church in Cuffley, Hertfordshire. This is a practice many Orthodox communities followed, in order to form themselves better, before actually purchasing a church building of their own. This was the case here too.

Great credit has to be given to Fr Joseph Paliouras. A beautiful description of his important work is explained in the Church’s site, whereby we find: ‘The arrival of Father Joseph Paliouras as our priest gave an added impetus to our progress. He has provided enthusiasm, faith, and guidance, as well as a quality of leadership which has helped to swell the ranks of our congregation. He has worked tirelessly, both with the committee and the congregation, becoming truly the foundation on which our hopes and dreams are founded.’[1]

This dream, of course, was realised in December 1997, purchasing the current Church, in Brookmans Park – Hertfordshire. First service in this new Church took place on the 28th February 1999, whilst it was consecrated on Sunday 1st October 2000, by His Eminence Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, Gregorios. Currently there are two priests serving this community, Fr Joseph Paliouras and Fr Demetrianos Melekis[2].

Recently the Twelve Apostles Church was iconpainted, following the tradition of the Eastern Church. It is a great example of how the Orthodox Churches in England combine Western architectural style together with the iconographic tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church. This marriage clearly works, creating an interesting combination, followed by many Orthodox Churches in Britain.

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