Flowers on the Altar

Holy Week and Easter Celebrations at St Paul’s

Jean Mertzanakis


Standing room only at St. Paul’s on Easter Sunday morning, with glorious sunshine streaming through our stained-glass windows and the altar awash with white lilies donated in memory of loved ones and beautifully arranged by Mary Pelidis and her sister Anna.  Rousing hymns, an anthem beautifully rendered by our choir and a sermon delivered by Canon Colin, ex-Archdeacon of Europe and a dear friend of the Chaplaincy, who was presented with an icon, thanking him for all his work on behalf of the Athens Chaplaincy. He spoke of the death and despair confronted by people every day in this frightening world and how, by reaching out and loving others as Jesus  loved us, we can transform this so-called ‘reality’ into another and truer reality based on love and freedom from fear.

Baptismal vows were renewed and the congregation were sprinkled with Holy Water. Three young members of our congregation made their first Communion and our Sunday School children decorated the Cross with Easter Eggs symbolising Christ’s rebirth.  Father Leonard conducted the singing of an Alleluia chorus, with parts sung by different sections of the congregation (great fun!) and the service closed with the traditional and rousing cry of “Christ is Risen … He is Risen Indeed!”

Father James then led prayers at the Easter Garden which had been prepared on Saturday morning – a beautiful addition to Holy Week at St. Paul’s and one that will continue. Easter breakfast was served in the sunshine. It was lovely to see friends old and new, especially Maro Angelopoulos and Margaret Liveris, both returning to good health, and a host of visitors from Greece and various parts of the world. A truly blessed and joyful Easter Sunday. A big Thank You to our clergy team and everyone who made it so memorable.





Stations of the Cross

Holy Week at St. Paul’s


On Palm Sunday the church was full to overflowing with a congregation of more than 100, including many visitors. The Palm procession around the garden took place at the beginning of the service. On Holy Wednesday the morning service was followed by another procession around the garden, this time to follow Christ’s journey along the Via Dolorosa to the site of His crucifixion. The Stations of the Cross offer a reflective and moving reminder of His suffering at the hands of captors and the comfort offered to Him by his Mother, by Veronica and Simon of Cyrene and finally by some unknown ‘women of Jerusalem’. This devotion is one of the many that take place during Holy week in all Catholic and in many Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist churches throughout the world.

Bish Steps Gal
Nelly Paskevopoulou (far right) on the day of her confirmation.

Story of a Confirmation

Last February Bishop Robert visited Athens to Baptize and Confirm members of our St Paul’s Congregation.  Here is the experience of one of the Candidates – Nelly Paskevopoulou.


Story of a confirmation


Spirituality and religion has always been my great passion. I grew up in a very religious family and faithfully attended Sunday School at the Evangelical church until my teens. Part of my education at home, by my half Scottish Grandmother,  was learning Bible verses by heart and singing hymns before going to sleep at night. I loved Jesus with all my heart and prayed often to Him for all kinds of things. I knew for sure that He was listening. I admired saints, missionaries, nuns and priests.  As a teenager all this changed and I followed other, more “materialistic” paths. After many years of exploring almost every existing religious and spiritual path, from East to West and back again, my family tradition proved to be stronger and I “found my way back home”: to Saint Paul’s.

It was the last Sunday of October 2017 when I decided finally to attend the service at the Anglican Church. I never expected to be so moved. I spent an hour crying from pure relief. Everything was familiar, but also completely new. Everything felt just right. Later on I asked Father Leonard for spiritual guidance and we had an illuminating discussion, which helped to clear my mind on religious matters. Since then I have done a lot of reading about Anglicanism and continue to feel that this is the right spiritual path for me.


Bible Studies picture

Services at St Paul’s for Lent and Easter 2019


Ash Wednesday:                     March 6th                   10.00hrs              Liturgy with Ashes

Palm Sunday:                          April 14th                    10.15hrs               Liturgy with outside Procession and Blessing of Palms

Great (Maundy) Thursday:  April 18th                   20.00 hrs           Liturgy and Procession to the Altar of Repose *

Great (Good) Friday:             April 19th                    13.30 hrs             Liturgy of the Day with Veneration of the Cross *

Great (Holy Saturday):         April 20th                   20.00 hrs            Easter Ceremonies with Lighting of the New Fire, Vigil and                                                                                                                                                                                                  First  Mass of Easter *

Easter Sunday:                       April 21st                       10.15 hrs               Holy Liturgy * followed by Easter Breakfast in the church                                                                                                                                                                                                    garden

                                                                                                  18.00 hrs             Swedish Mass

                                                                                                 20.00 hrs             Choral Evensong

*Archdeacon Colin Williams will be the preacher

Lent blog pic

Lent, Holy Week and Easter 2019


Fr James’ sessions will continue through

Lent, with a focus on some of the ‘marks’ of

the Christian life.

These three sessions would make a good

‘standalone’ series even if you are unable to

commit to all the other sessions.


Weds 13th March, 12.30hrs, Swedish centre

Sacrifice & generosity

Weds 27th March, 10.45hrs, St Paul’s

Community & mission

Weds 10th April, 12.30pm, Swedish Centre

Community Connect

Join with friends old and new for coffee and cake

Central Athens – Weds 13th March, 10.30 –

12.30, Swedish Centre

Kifissia – Weds 20th March, 10.00 – 12.00,

Loida Home for the ElderlyREAD MORE

Bible Studies picture

A short order of service for Praying daily at home in the morning and evening

+Both morning and evening begin with:

Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy  Spirit. Amen.


+Morning only:

Come, let us sing to the Lord:

Let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving:

And raise a loud shout to him with psalms.

For  the Lord God is a great God:

And a great King above all gods.

In his hands are the depths of the earth;

And the heights of the hills are his also.

The sea is his for he made it;

And his hands have moulded the dry land.

Come, let us bow down and bend the knee;

And kneel before the Lord our Maker.

For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture

And  the sheep of his hand.


Bible Study Picture

An Introduction to the liturgy and practices of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter


School of Prayer and Study

(ForThe Anglican Church in Greece and the Anglican Diocese of Cameroon

An Introduction to the liturgy and practices of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter

Revd. Canon Leonard Doolan

Senior Chaplain of the Anglican Church in Greece; Apokrisiarios of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece; Canon Theologian of the Diocese of Cameroon.

This short booklet is intended to help the reader to have a greater understanding of the richness of this season; its liturgies and practices; to give a brief overview, not a detailed and exhaustive history. The hope is that it will enhance your worship, and maybe explain a little more about why we do certain things. It certainly is intended to encourage the reader to engage with and experience as much of this season as possible. The whole season revolves around the mystery of Christ’s passion and resurrection, but there are liturgical ways in which we express this, and the booklet seeks to describe some of this.


Liturgical Developments

It is only in the last 50 or so years that the Church of England has been developing its liturgies for parish use. Up until Common Worship in the year 2000 the Book of Common Prayer determined official liturgical use. Those who were more exotic in their taste turned to Roman manuals for other material. Rich in its language and much loved in English culture, nonetheless BCP was restricted – restricted by the very thing that makes it beautiful, namely its old English, but also by the efforts of the Reformation itself to eradicate certain practices that were unacceptable at the time.


The Army chaplains of the First World War were the first to realize how inflexible the Prayer Book was as they ministered to dying men in the trenches of Northern Europe. More contemporary language was needed; pastoral flexibility in extremis was desirable. 1928 saw the first real attempt to revise the book that had determined how the Church of England worshipped. This failed to get approval in Parliament. The 1950’s saw the Parish Communion movement emerge, and there was need for different ways to express both the shape and structure of our worship, and the finer details of liturgical seasons.


With Vatican II coming along there was also greater co-operation between the Roman Catholic and Anglican (along with Methodists and URC) liturgical scholars, and the Church of England was becoming a more ‘liturgical beast’ wishing to rediscover things in the different seasons of the church’s year, especially the seasons that revolve most tightly around our Lord’s life, namely the Incarnation and the Resurrection (known better to us as Christmas and Easter). We were encouraged to think of seasons, or cycles, and not individual feasts. So there emerged the ‘incarnation cycle’ comprising Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany (with all its wonderful themes of  manifestation of God’s glory in Jesus, unity, mission.) The other great cycle is that of the resurrection, including Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and the Great Fifty Days that embrace Ascension and Pentecost.


For the development of the way we celebrated the Eucharist along came Series 1, 2 and 3; Then the ASB (1980), and ultimately Common Worship (2000). Accompanying developments in shape and text for the eucharist and other important services in the life of the church ‘resource books’ were published, principally The Promise of his Glory, Lent Holy Week and Easter, Celebrating Festivals, and Patterns for Worship. The publication Times and Seasons has brought together much of the material in these other books



Bishop Robert’s Lent Appeal 2019 goes to Athens Based Organisation

The Bishop of Gibralter in Europe, Bishop Robert, has agreed that this year his Lent Appeal will go to an Athens Based Charity, Hestia Hellas, who specialise in the care of those suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other psycho-social illnesses.

The full text of his letter can be read here

Fr Leonard Doolan, our senior chaplain, has produced a video in conjunction with Hestia Hellas giving some idea of the work that Hestia undertakes. This can be viewed here

As Fr Leonard explains, there is very little money for Mental Health illnesses in Greece and organisations such as Hestia Hellas are increasingly finding themselves called upon to help those suffering from PTSD amongst them many children.



Deacon Christine Saccali’s speech to the gathering at Apostoli

APOSTOLI   2/02/19

Thank you.

Ambassador, Bishop, Metropolitan Gavriel, long standing friends and colleagues here in Athens.

As I look around the room it is indeed a great blessing to see you all here gathered for this event to celebrate all the worthy projects, partnerships and relationships that have been forged in Athens throughout the past few years since August 2015 when we here in Greece found ourselves suddenly thrown into the centre of a huge wave of migrating and displaced people washing up on our island shores before arriving in the port of Pireaus and moving on into this city’s squares.

There have been many comings and goings since then – not as many legally entitled beneficiaries moving on to their destinations as quickly as we would like, poor conditions for those who stay and the trickle who leave always being replaced by others on the move.


L – R: Revd. Canon Leonard Doolan, Metropolitan Gabriel, HE The British Ambassador, Bishop Robert, Revd. Duncan Dormer, Deacon Chris Saccali

A celebration at Apostoli

On Saturday 2nd February around 25 people met at Apostoli, the Social Mission Arm of the Orthodox Church.

Members of USPG, The Anglican Church and the Orthodox Church as well as various charities who have been helping with the outreach of its mission, met together to celebrate the bonds of solidarity and friendship that had been forged since 2015 when Greece found itself at the centre of the refugee crisis.

Bishop Robert spoke of how, during his tenure, Europe had suffered from two crises – the Financial and the Refugee, and Greece, one of the poorest members of the European Union, had found itself at the forefront of both; a situation manifestly unfair to the Greek People. But the Anglican Church in Athens and the Orthodox Church stood together and forged a partnership, together with USPG,  to help alleviate the suffering of those caught up in the crisis;  USPG have been vital in this work helping to channel over €400,000 through St Paul’s to people in Greece suffering from these crises.

“Church in the Street” distributes food twice a day to over 900 homeless and impoverished Greek families as well as refugees.  Two hostels have been set up for Women and unaccompanied minors who are most at risk in the camps, and organisations such as Medin, Lighthouse and Hestia have been given funds to help them to expand and continue their important work.