Sunday 27 December 2009

Metropolitan of Kition

His Eminence Chrysostomos, the Metropolitan of Kition (Larnaka, Cyprus), visited our Church this morning and presided over the Pontifical Divine Liturgy.

After the Holy Service Fr. Anastasios, Presbytera Virginia and their family offered hospitality at the Vicarage to the Metropolitan as well as to other 15 people from the Church Committee and the congregation.

Friday 25 December 2009

Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas to all members and friends of St.Panteleimon Greek Orthodox Community!

Today we had a long Holy Service in the morning, at our temporary Church, attended by many people.

At the end of the Service a group of young students from our Hellenic College of St. Panteleimon sang the Traditional Greek Christmas Carols.

And then the leaders of our Community's Youth Dept. offered a cheque of £3000, in support of our Church's Fundraising.

Apart from the Youth, various individuals had offered great contributions today, towards our Church building project. The two most noteable ones are that of the President of our Community Mr. Pantelis Demosthenous (£10.000) and of the member of the Church Committee Mr. Christos Orthodoxou (£5.000).

Thursday 24 December 2009

Harrow Observer

The local newspaper, called Harrow Observer, had published yesterday a complimentary article, with some nice pictures, covering the progress of the building works of our new Church.

Friday 18 December 2009

Our Christmas card

The Community has published a new Christmas card.

This year is dedicated to our sacred project, the building of our new Church.

It has been signed by Fr. Anastasios, our Parish Priest, as well as by Mr. Pantelis Demosthenous, the President of the Community.

The card has been sent to thousands of people, members and friends of the Community.

Thursday 17 December 2009

The facade

On the 8th December 2009 we dedicated the post to “The front entrance”.

Since then there is quite a substantial development on the facade.

The arches and the byzantine style semi-circles above the front entrance are now visible.

The entrance will undoubtedly look at the end very very impressive.

In some Orthodox Churches, the icon of the Annunciation of the Mother of God is placed above the main front entrance.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Under the balcony

The title today could have been “in the Narthex”. “Narthex” is the first area as we enter an Orthodox Church. You may also call it entrance hall.

In actual fact I stood this morning in the Narthex area and under the newly erected balcony.

I thought that the balcony is now quite high, although my initial feeling, when I saw it being built, it was that the balcony would be low.

But having no experience of the building process I could not judge properly as to its height when I was looking at it a few days ago.

It was quite touching to have stood underneath the roof of what is the balcony’s floor. This is actually the first roof element in our new Church.

I looked ahead, towards the Holy Sanctuary, and I had seen the scaffolding; a lot of scaffolding.

I then looked behind and I could see the openings where the traditional byzantine doors will be fixed.

It is impossible to explain how a Priest feels when he sees his new Church taking a real shape. This is where the dream becomes a reality.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Health and Safety

From the first meetings we had with the John Doyle people, we were satisfied that they take very good care of all issues related to Health and Safety.

This is obviously very important as so many people work in our building site, others pass by all the time, some visit the site frequently and a few actually live and work very close to the site.

Therefore there is a real need of having specific policy which addresses all relevant issues.

The Project Manager, Andy Hogan, is very conscious of this important element, which he regards as essential part of his job. He responds to all our concerns quickly and effectively.

Monday 14 December 2009

Photo of the week - 18

This week's photo is not very different from the last week's one. The reason is that a lot of work is now being done within the building, which is obviously not so visible from the outside.

Sunday 13 December 2009

From "The Record"

In January 1994 we completed the purchase of our old Church from the local Anglican Parish of Saint Mary, Kenton. Ever-since we remained in very good communication with our Anglican friends. At the last issue of their Parish magazine (The Record) they mention our building programme and they publish a photograph as well.

Saturday 12 December 2009

The Balcony

Today we publish some photographs of the balcony that have been taken from the platform (which is built in the interior of the Church).

The balcony is above the “narthex” (entrance hall) and it stands opposite the Sanctuary.

It is quite an old architectural feature, which was developed during the byzantine years.

In the byzantine times this part of the Church was called “place of women”. The mother, the wife and the daughters of the Emperor were attending the Holy Services from there.

In our days the balcony offers additional space for any person (both male and female) who would like to attend the Service from there. The faithful have from there a very good view of everything that takes place in the interior of the Church.

Friday 11 December 2009

Fridays pictures from the crane

Excellent pictures once more from the top of the crane, taken by Andy Hogan.

They show clearly the balcony that has been built.

It is above the so-called “narthex”, the entrance hall of the Church that is.

We can also see how the preparations for the building of the roof are progressing, as well as for the Sanctuary apses.

The bell tower is also coming up very nicely.

By looking at those pictures one can appreciate the great contribution of the “hand of God” (the crane), that has transferred so much weight on the platform, which is built in the interior of the Church.

Thursday 10 December 2009

Alan Channer

Mr. Alan Channer, a News Editor and Photographer, visited our building site today.

He is working for the web-site paper CHRISTIAN TODAY.

Fr. Anastasios and Andy Hogan, the Project Manager, had welcomed him and showed him around our building site.

Then he was offered Greek hospitality at our Vicarage and was also shown the temporary Church.

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Holy Sanctuary Apses

Today we have pictures of what is happening at the back of the Church building.

Intense preparations are taking place for the erection of the 3 Sanctuary Apses.

The emphasis today was on the central one, which is the Altar Apse.

The other two Apses are related to the other two parts of the Sanctuary, called “Place of Preparation” and “Place of Deacons”.

The architectural tradition of the three Apses comes from the Byzantine era, and in particular from the time of Emperor Justin II (565-574 AD).

From that time onwards the large Church buildings are triapsidal (having three Apses on the eastern side).

Very close to the Sanctuary Apses, between the building site and the Community building there is a corridor, which is used by mothers who bring their kids to our St. Panteleimon Nursery. For reasons of safety this corridor was covered with wooden roof.

Tuesday 8 December 2009

The front entrance

Works are being done in almost all parts of the building by specialist engineers and workers.

Today there is a lot of activity in the front of the Church building, were the facade is being built.

An interesting element, although not part of the actual works, but definitely part of the spirit that is found in all people involved in the works, is that everyone is happy and smiling.

They seem to be enjoying the fact that they are building a place of worship, a house where the true God will be glorified and worshiped.

The “hand of God” (the crane) was in good operation order today.

Thank God the weather continues to be absolutely fantastic.