Australia’s first Greek Orthodox church to reopen

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The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox church (Aghia Triada) in Surry Hills, Sydney is set to reopen on Sunday, June 2 following the completion of some restorations.

The Thyranixia (reopening) ceremony will be held in the presence of Archbishop Makarios of Australia.

The church is known as the first Greek Orthodox church established in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, and it has been given State Heritage Status by the New South Wales Government. It is managed by the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW (GOCNSW).

holy trinity1
Official opening of the Holy Trinity church in 1899.

Built in 1898 and consecrated on 16 April 1899, the Holy Trinity church originally served the Syrian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox communities in Sydney through Father Seraphim Phocas who was fluent in both the Greek and Arabic languages.

Over time, the condition of the church has deteriorated due to water entry and major tree root damage underground.

In response, the Board of the GOCNSW in conjunction with the Holy Trinity Restoration Committee, launched the 125th Anniversary Restoration Appeal in June 2023 with the aim of restoring the church to its former glory.

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Some members of the Holy Trinity Restoration Committee with the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Yannis Mallikourtis (second from left). Photo supplied.

According to a pamphlet issued by the Restoration Committee, the restoration works commenced in May 2023 and would take place over a period of three years and in four stages. The total cost is estimated at more than $1.1 million.

The fourth and final stage is set to be completed in 2024/2025 at a cost of $304,537.00 to be fundraised through cash, in-kind Donations and Fundraising from the Greek Community and Government Sources.

Stage four will include: concrete repairs to Bell Tower side returns, replacement of eight elevation side windows and coating works, the provision of a disabled entry ramp off Bourke Street, the replacement of side and main entry doors off Bourke Street, the restoration and cleaning of eroded windows and surrounds, the preparation and affixing of the Honour and Donors Boards, and the preparation and affixing of a marble plaque.

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