Our Archdeacon, Colin Williams, has asked all members of the Archdeaconry Synod, to write a report on the activities of the Chaplaincy over the past year.
Here is our report – and what a busy year it has been! We hope you enjoy reading it and that it will encourage you to come and join us for a service, or one of our bazaars or a concert.
Report from the Anglican Church in Greece
(St. Andrew’s Corfu and St. Thomas’s Crete will present their own reports as they have Synod Members)
Note: The legalization of the Church in Greece was completed towards the time of Synod 2017. The new procedures required of us have been put to the test with the appointment of a new Assistant Chaplain to Crete, further complicated by the fact that he is from outside the EU. The Board of the Anglican Church in Greece is due to meet later in the Autumn for its required annual meeting.
The order in which the following are placed has no bearing on their relative importance!
St. Paul’s Athens
We continue to have a Sunday Liturgy at 10.15am every Sunday. As there is only one priest available, occasionally this service has to be a Liturgy of the Word, conducted either by Deacon Christine Saccali, or Reader Sherry Angelis. Our attendances at the 10.15am Liturgy are gradually increasing, which is very pleasing. The congregation is a mix of British women married to Greeks, individuals or families in Athens for short periods of work or teaching/study time, Africans (currently from South Africa, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kenya) and their families, occasional refugees (from Iran, Syria, China, and political refugees from Turkey), some Greeks who are generally disaffected with the Greek Orthodox Church, and a constant stream of tourists, pilgrims and visitors. Apart from holiday times the congregation numbers are often in the 90’s.
On Friday July 20th the choir of Queens’ College Cambridge University visited Athens and gave a concert at St. Paul’s Anglican Church. For all us who were lucky enough to be there it was a beautiful and uplifting evening. The choir of male and female voices was conducted by Ralph Allwood MBE. His introduction to each piece was always amusing and informative and heightened our anticipation.
The programme included music from the 16th to the 20th Century. The composers ranged from Italian, Spanish, French, German, English and Australian to Irish. The concert began with four 16th Century Latin Chants. The type of music that can transport one to another plane. Perfect pitch and perfect harmony. As the choirmaster had said at the start, although such music is often sad, it is this very sadness that lifts our soul! One well known piece, that most of us knew, was “Song for Athene” by John Tavener. Even if not known by name, it was the song sung at Diana Princess of Wales’ funeral. Sad and beautiful it drew a “bravo” from the audience.
As a choirboy in the 1960s, I used to amuse myself during what felt like interminable sermons by flicking through the pages of the Book of Common Prayer. I quickly formed the view that, after the exciting events of Christmas, Epiphany, Easter and Whitsun the author’s imagination had run out when it came to the Trinity season. So we had a succession of Sundays ‘after Trinity’ from the first, the second, the third…right up to the twenty-fifth until things restart in Advent. All very dull and boring.
These days, I see it differently. The celebration of Trinity Sunday draws together the divine activity in creation and redemption made known through the threefold action of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Human beings are incorporated into this life through faith and baptism in the name of the Trinity. Our lives are to be patterned individually and corporately upon a God who makes himself known as a diverse unity. And so all human life is lived as a series of events ‘after Trinity’ until the last great day when God in his Advent makes all things new.
The Choir of the Chapel of Queens’ College Cambridge will be performing at St Paul’s on Friday 20th July 2018 at 20.30 hrs. Admission free.
Queens’ College Choir
Queens’ College Choir is one of the leading mixed-voice choirs in Cambridge. While twentieth-century music forms the core of the choir’s repertoire, the choir increasingly performs Baroque and contemporary music, reflecting the specialisms of the Director of Music. The choir is regularly joined by a group of student instrumentalists, the Queens’ Chapel Players, enabling the liturgical performance of concerted music. The Choir’s CD recordings have attracted widespread critical acclaim. Their most recent disc, ‘For the Wings of a Dove: Music of Supplication and Hope’, is based on settings of the psalms and includes Mendelssohn’s famous setting of Psalm 51, ‘Hear my prayer’. In recent years the Choir has performed in Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, Germany, Southern Italy, Belgium, Hungary and the USA.
Saturday 26th May dawned bright and fair. Despite it being a holiday weekend we were hoping for a good attendance at the Bazaar.
The stallholders arrived early to set out their goods, and the bunting and Union Jacks were hung up around the perimeter of the Church to add a colourful flavour to the proceedings and to advertise this particularly “British” occasion.
By 11.00 people were queuing up at the gate to get in. Fr Leonard rang the bell and the gate was opened! There was an immediate rush to the Jewellery Stall where the three Ladies had their hands full keeping up with the sales. The Book Stall also did brisk business and soon all the other stalls were busy selling.
The Chaplaincy Council (CC) of St Paul’s Anglican Church Athens
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