Australia’s oldest Greek Orthodox church reopens after major renovations

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The Church of the Holy Trinity (Aghia Triada) in Surry Hills, Sydney – the oldest Greek Orthodox church in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere – has reopened after extensive restoration and renovation. On Sunday, June 2, a large congregation gathered to celebrate this significant milestone.

The church is a heritage-listed building located on Bourke Street in Surry Hills. It was designed by C. R. Summerhayes and built from 1898 to 1931 by J. Noble. It has been given State Heritage Status by the New South Wales Government, and is managed by the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW (GOCNSW).

australia's oldest greek orthodox church
All photos copyright The Greek Herald.

The reopening ceremony was led by Archbishop Makarios of Australia, who performed the Service of the Inauguration and presided over the Divine Liturgy. He was joined by Bishops Iakovos of Militopolis and Elpidios of Kyanes.

The event saw attendance from notable figures including the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Ioannis Mallikourtis; the President of the GOCNSW, Harry Danalis; Member of the Executive Committee of GOCNSW, Secretary of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council, and a Trustee of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia Consolidated Trust, Nicholas Pappas AM.

australia's oldest greek orthodox church

In his address, Archbishop Makarios expressed the importance of unity within the Church and the Greek diaspora. He emphasised the need for ongoing efforts to maintain this unity, recognising the historical significance of the Church of the Holy Trinity. The Archbishop reflected on the church’s storied past and its role in fostering a sense of community and solidarity among Greek Australians.

Mr Danalis highlighted the day as historic for the GOCNSW, recalling the church’s foundational ties to the community since 1898, making it the first Greek Orthodox church established in Australia.

australia's oldest greek orthodox church
President of the GOCNSW, Harry Danalis.

The President also announced an upcoming fundraiser to be held on June 23 for St Sophia (Wisdom of God) in Paddington, another church managed by the GOCNSW, aimed at raising funds for its restoration.

Consul General Mallikourtis addressed the audience, praising the efforts to promote unity within the community. He highlighted the presence of Kytherian community leaders, including President of the Kytherian Association of Australia, Barbara Zantiotis, as well as former presidents and committee members with significant historic ties to the church. Mr Mallikourtis commended the Restoration Committee and the community for their dedication to the historic project.

australia's oldest greek orthodox church
Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Ioannis Mallikourtis.

Following the service, an official banquet was held where Archbishop Makarios thanked Father Thomas Giantzis for his dedicated ministry and service, congratulating all those involved in the successful restoration of the historic church.

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