OPEN SINCE PALM SUNDAY 1843
AN ANGLICAN presence has existed in Athens since early 1831, when Dr John Henry Hill, an American philanthropist and founder of a still-existing school, gathered Anglicans in his home for services. In 1836, the Rev. Henry Daniel Leeves (1789-1845) arrived in Athens as the representative of the British Foreign and Bible Society. Under their leadership, land was bought close to the Acropolis and some fifteen minutes’ walking distance from the Areopagus, the place where St. Paul spoke with the Athenians of his day (Acts 17.22). There, a church dedicated to St. Paul was erected.
Consecrated on Palm Sunday in 1843 by the Rt. Rev. George Tomlinson, Bishop of Gibraltar, St. Paul’s became the earliest foreign church in the city. Since then, it has been a focus of worship, pastoral care and cultural activities for the English-speaking residents of Athens, as well as for visitors travelling through Greece.
See Athens at the time of St. Paul’s consecration through the eyes of Edward Lear
Edward LEAR, Athens from Mount Lycabettus, 12 June 1848
Edward LEAR, Athens, 8 & 9 June 1848, Caption: The Temple of Jupiter, with St. Paul’s in the distance
At the time of its consecration, St. Paul’s was almost on the outskirts of the newly-established Greek capital, which numbered around ten thousand inhabitants. Today, St. Paul’s is in the very centre of the city, just four minutes’ walking distance from Syntagma (Constitution) Square and its metro station – and only a few minutes more from the Acropolis metro station.†