Sunday, April 10, 2011

Official Opening of St. Panteleimon Church in London

Today we celebrated the Official Opening of the new Byzantine Style Church in Harrow, NW London. It was a unique occasion for us all, since the last time this took place in the UK was over 100 years ago when the last Greek Orthodox Church was built.

The Official Opening, Θυρανοίξια, is different to a consecration, which will eventually take place in the coming Autumn. The Official Opening symbolises the official entrance into the new Church. The ceremony was presided over by His Eminences, the Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain and the Metropolitan Georgios of Paphos. Many priests, deacons and chanters took part, whilst the Church was fool of people from all over London. Also the Metropolitan bought from Cyprus relics of St. Panteleimon which also added a magical atmosphere in the celebrations. 

It is moving to be present at such an event, where everyone was amazed at the progress of the New Church building of St. Panteleimon. It was also emotional to see many people enter the Church moved by this magnificent and massive project, which is still in progress. 
It seems that Marx was wrong when he said " Die Religion ist das Opium des Volkes", which translates into English "Religion is the opium of the people". Religion cannot be seen, as Marx understood it, as a social reality, without taking into consideration other factors, such as spirituality, faith , God or the human nature. Also it is wrong to believe and state that religion is going to vanish from society in the coming years, something which many sociologists believed would be the case in the first decade of the 21st century. This ofcourse is not the case. These endeavours show emphatically how both paradigms have been proven wrong by this astonishing new Church. 
We can only hope that the rest of the project will continue as planned and then I am sure the beautiful icons will follow to decorate the interior and the exterior of the Church.


  1. Well done!

    Excellent presentation of a magnificent place of worship!

  2. Magnificent!!!! A proper Orthodox Church!!! Congratulations!