Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Greek Orthodox Cathedral of All Saints, Camden London

Being, during this past year, lambadarios at the Cathedral of All Saints in Camden I thought of giving here the Community's history, since also being one of the most important Churches in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain.
The Church was established after a group of Greek-Cypriots made a request to Metropolitan Germanos Strenopoulos to create a second Church in London (the first being the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Bayswater). This would cater the rapidly growing Greek Orthodox community in London, which rose after World War II.

The Church building was originally Anglican, known as the Camden Chapel which was built in 1824 and was part of Lord Camden's development area. The architects were William and Henry Inwood. The inspiration for the Church in Camden had been Greek architecture and the tower was based on Lysicrates monument in Plaka, in the centre of Athens (known also as Diogenes' Lantern). That is why Deacon Meliton states that "there can be no doubt that the building's conversion from Anglican to Orthodox worship has been particularly successful, in part due to the Hellenistic inspiration of the building's architecture". 
The Church was called St. Stephen's Church and later it was renamed to All Saints. During WWII it was damaged during the air-raids due to its proximity to important areas within the city. 

The building was first used as an Orthodox Church in 1948 (Palm Sunday) where Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Germanos and Arhimandrite Parthenios officiated. The Church was purchased later and was raised to cathedral status on 26th April 1981. It is important to state that the Anglican Diocese of London leased the Church to the Greek Orthodox Community emphasising that the relations between the two were on a good level. This of course was not the first time Anglicans assisted Orthodoxy to establish itself in Britain. Many were priests at this historic church, one of them being the current Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Grigorios.  
It is also famous due to the fact that Archbishop of Cyprus and President of the Republic of Cyprus Makarios officiated at All Saints whenever he was in London. That is why it is also known as the Greek-Cypriot Cathedral of London. 

Currently it has two priests, the Very Revd. Protopresbyter George Zafeirakos and the Very Revd. Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou. Also a deacon is appointed to All Saints, Deacon Meliton Richard Oakes, who has also written a book titled: The Greek Orthodox Cathedral Church of ALL SAINTS.
The Church of All Saints celebrates its patronal feast on the first Sunday after Pentecost.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent presentation of a very historic Church and Community! Well Done!