Tues eve Blog


On Tuesday evening, May 28th, in the beautiful surroundings of St. Philothea House in Plaka, a colloquium of distinguished guests joined Bishop Rowan Williams and Fr Leonard for discussion and conversation.  The panel consisted of Orthodox Bishop Gabriel of Nea Ionia, Mr. Costas Carras, President of the environmental group “Europa Nostra”, Dr. Nicki Tsironi, Associate in Byzantine Studies at the Universities of Athens, Harvard and Vancouver, and Mr. Constantine Dimtsas, Director-General of the Orthodox Charitable Foundation, Apostoli. Bishop Rowan then gave a brief description of his thoughts on Being Human after which there were contributions from the panellists.

“Being Human”

  • The modern and technologically biased model of a human being is totally inadequate; a human being is not a “passive lump” – the body – powered by a “machine” – the brain, as proposed by various contemporary writers, but a united and living whole.
  • The “mystery” that is a human being is defined first in relation to our Creator and then to other human beings; we recognize them and are recognized by them; we work together with them and also interact with the physical world around us, not with an eye to self-gain but with reverence for God’s creation. But we should also stand in silence before God, His Creation and our Neighbour – seeing the mystery but not trying to grasp it.
  • Our best model of what God is like is found in Jesus Christ, Who not only used constant examples of the natural and physical world around Him to illustrate His teachings but also exemplified them through His actions. The Orthodox organisation “Apostoli” and the work it does with others, including St. Paul’s, to support those in need not only solves their problems but helps the image of Good in them to be realized.




There’s nothing like welcoming a group of inquisitive, exploratory children into a space with which you think you’re familiar, to make you look at it with fresh eyes and realise just how much you take for granted, or have missed altogether.

When the two classes from Year 4 (ages 8-9) at Byron College visited St Paul’s in May, they were delighted to be able to explore the church, and look closely at the various memorials, windows and liturgical furniture which adorn the building. For many it was their first time inside St Paul’s, and for some, the first time in a Christian church of any kind. The questions they asked about the building and its purpose were insightful, thought-provoking and occasionally challenging – but that’s how we all learn, and this Priest was certainly put through his paces and caused to think hard about some of his responses!

The children came as part of their studies on issues relating to war and peace, and specifically the history of the First World War. Having visited the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery at Alimos in the morning, the visit to St Paul’s was an opportunity to think about the names recorded on the various memorials in the church and to wonder who those men were, what had brought them to Greece and why their loved ones had wanted to commemorate their lives – and their deaths – in this particular place.


Group blog

Visit of Bishop Revd. Dr Rowan Williams to Athens

Sunday 26th May 2019


Last week St Paul’s Anglican Church in Athens was honoured to receive a visit from the former Archbishop of Canterbury the Reverend The Lord Williams of Oystermouth, Master of Magdalen College Cambridge.  In fact, this was his second visit to Athens having been here in 2010 as Archbishop of Canterbury when he planted an Olive Tree in our garden which continues to flourish.

A very busy schedule had been arranged for the Bishop which commenced with him presiding over the Sunday Liturgy at St Paul’s, assisted by Father Leonard, Father James, Deacon Chris and Father Bjorn of the Scandinavian Church, who played a guitar accompaniment to the choir.

Bishop Rowan who is a good friend of the Chaplaincy, and who has helped Raoul an Iranian refugee in Greece, to finally settle in the UK, delivered a sermon based on the bible readings of the day.  He pointed out that whatever was recorded 2,000 years ago refers to us today as Christians who do our best to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ in a church where, every Sunday, God and his beloved Son are present with us.


wine blog


We are delighted to announce that Kokotos Wineries will be hosting an evening of Wine tasting in the beautiful setting of St Paul’s Garden on Thursday 30th May from 18.00 hrs to 21.00hrs.


In 1980, George and Anne Kokotos created a vineyard of seven hectares, planting international varieties; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. Their aim was to produce wine of the highest quality.

The decisive factors contributing to their success are the excellent terroir, with soil which is poor in organic matter but rich in trace elements, the altitude of 450 metres and the well-drained slopes of the vineyards. These ensure the production of top quality grapes, which ripen fully giving a good concentration of fruit, sugars, flavour and aromas.  They also buy in Savatiano, Roditis & Gewürztraminer grapes from growers within the wider area. Ktima Kokotou produces seven different wines with a total annual production of approximately 50,000 bottles.  They also produce pure, unprocessed honey and olive oil.


The vineyards are certified organic and are cultivated with the utmost respect for the environment and the consumer.


Entrance fee 5 Euros


Anglican Story

The Anglican Story

Father James’ sessions, held at the Swedish Centre or at St. Paul’s after the Wednesday morning service and lasting for about an hour and a half, began prior to Lent with “The God we Worship” – How did we get here? Encountering God-Father, God-Son and God-Holy Spirit. The Lent sessions were based on “The Narrow Way – Marks of the Christian Life”, and included Forgiveness, Sacrifice & Generosity and Community & Mission. In May and June the focus is “Distinctively Anglican – story, ethos and practice”. At the first meeting of this final session, and the first I was able to attend, Father James provided cards giving information about major events in our history and asked participants to put them into date order. Not easy, as you will see from this brief list of examples:


200 – first written reference to Christianity in England (in the writings of Origen and Tertullian)

597 – Augustine (later St Augustine of Canterbury) sent by Pope Gregory on his mission to England

1534- the break with Rome

1611 – King James Version of the Bible published

1944 – first woman is ordained to the Priesthood in the Anglican Communion (Rev Florence Li Tim-Oi  in Hong Kong)

2000 – Common Worship is published

2015 – first female Bishop in the Church of England is appointed (Rt Rev Libby Lane, Suffragan Bishop of Stockport)


Those of us with memories of English history lessons from …. let’s be polite and say pre-1970 ….. were at home with some of the earlier ones but not too sure of the more recent and we learned a lot about what had happened in the 20th century. Our friend George Katsaris proved to be a mine of information and, I’m happy to say, now attends our quiz evenings!

Readings from Evelyn Waugh’s “Helena”, a beautifully written historical novel based on the life of Emperor Constantine’s mother, made us want to read the whole book; one has to hope it’s still available. Final sessions will focus on “St. Paul’s Creeds & Doctrine”, “Worship and Sacraments” and “The Anglican Communion”, with the last taking place on June 26th.


Jean Mertzanakis




Dr Rowan Williams blog

The Rt. Revd. Dr. Rowan Williams will be visiting Athens

The Rt. Revd. Dr. Rowan Williams, (former Archbishop of Canterbury) is visiting the St. Paul’s Anglican Church and Chaplaincy in Athens in May.



  • Sunday 26th  May: Preside and preach at the 10.15 Liturgy followed by garden brunch. Preaching at Choral Evensong 18.30hrs.  All welcome.
  • Monday 27th May – official engagements including and audience with the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece.
  • Tuesday 28th May – day of visits to spiritual locations
  • Tuesday 28th May – open evening event at 20.00hrs at St. Philothea House, Adrianou, Plaka – a dialogue with Metropolitan Gabriel (all welcome to this- there will also be musical entertainment and light refreshments)
  • Wednesday 29th May 10.00hrs Liturgy at St. Paul’s (all welcome) then the rest of the day visiting arranged venues in Athens.

St Paul’s Spring Bazaar

Our Spring Bazaar will take place in the gardens of St Paul’s on Saturday 18th May between 10.00hrs and 14.00 hrs.

Come along and enjoy yourself. Catch up on your reading at our extensive book stall, or find the latest blockbuster DVD. Find a hidden treasure at the Bric a Brac, treat yourself to a new piece of jewellery or stock up on English Tea and souvenirs. For those who like a flutter there is a Tombola and a Raffle with some lovely prizes.

After all that shopping take the weight off your feet at the Food Corner where there will be some delicious goodies to eat, home made jams and preserves to buy and a glass of wine, Sangria, or even a G&T to wash it all down with!

Bring your parasols, tell your friends and come and enjoy a day out at a little oasis in the heart of Athens.

Nearest Metro Syntagma, and Filellinon is well served by Trolley and Blue buses.

See you there!




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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.