Thursday, December 12, 2013

St Michael’s Orthodox Church – Margate and District

 I recently had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful Greek Orthodox Church of St Michael in Margate. This Church is widely known within the Orthodox Community, due to the fact that every Theophany countless Orthodox visit Margate and this Church in order to partake in the throwing of the Holy Cross in the Sea, where numerous faithful swim in order to catch it. This event is of course attended by the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, many priests, the local authorities and members of other Christian denominations. 

The Church has two significant relics, a cross made by Fr. Paisios on Mount Athos, which is located in front of the second relic, i.e. a magnificent icon of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus Christ. Both these objects are an important part of the Church, which the faithful can venerate.

The Greek Orthodox Community of Margate was founded in 1964. Interestingly enough it followed the path of many Orthodox Communities in the U.K., beginning with humble steps, whilst later achieving the formation of a strong community.

Before obtaining the church building, the Services took place initially in the residence of the first Chairman and then in the Anglican Church of All Saints in Westbrook. The existing Church was acquired in 1964 and was consecrated on 23 March 1969 by Archbishop Athenagoras. Currently this Orthodox Church attracts not only Greeks but also Romanian, Polish and other Orthodox faithful. We are grateful and thankful to Fr. Vissarion Kokliotis who gave us a wonderful tour of the Church and Margate, explaining to us the history of the Community. 

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