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based the Greek report by Protopresbyter Anastasios Salapatas
A gathering for the spouses of the Priests and Deacons of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain was held on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 by the Community of Saint Demetrios, Edmonton – North London.
His Eminence Gregorios Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain invited the wives of all the priests and deacons for a celebratory meal.
Nearly all the married clergy of the Archdiocese of Thyateira came along with their wives. Some had even had travelled some very long distances, such as from Birmimgham and Scotland, in difficult winter weather, to attend the event it and to enrich it with their presence.
The event began in the Church of Saint Demetrios itself with special prayers led by His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios. Then all the guests moved to the parish hall, which offered the warm hospitality of Abraham, with a rich and most delicious dinner, which was put together by the ladies auxiliary of Saint Demetrios. During the meal the children of Greek School and the Sunday Catechism of the host Community sang Greek songs and classical songs and played music, generously offering their talent to diners and creating a pleasant atmosphere.
Several speeches and messages followed. Presbytera Vassilia Hookway, wife of the priest-on-charge of Saint Demetrios, Oeconomos John Hookway, warmly welcomed her sisters, the wives of priests deacons in a heartfelt manner, and compared their work with that silent and calm, but essential and supportive work of the Blessed Virgin to her Son our Lord Jesus Christ. The President of the Community of St. Demetrios Mr. Kypros Nicholas, welcomed everyone on behalf of the church committee.
The President of the Association of Greek Orthodox Communities Mr. Marios Minaidis mentioned the need for special education and training of those who are married to clergy, in order to bring about the greatest possible success in their work.
Protopresbyter Stephen Maxfield, making reference to the works of St. John Chrysostom emphasized that the wives are the eyes and ears of their priest husband, which notice what is going on in the congregation, and also an strict and honest judge of her husbands pastoral and liturgical practice.
His Grace Chrysostom, Bishop of Kyanea pointed out the great need and importance for peace in the priest’s family, and the leading role played by the wife of the priest in this area. This virtue of peace is the basis on which the spiritual progress and the prayer offered by the priest in his parish is built. His Grace Bishop Athanasios of Tropaiou referred to the fact that the wife manages her household and the family and this is clearly a specific and significant role of the clergy wife.
His Eminence, Gregorios, Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain thanked everyone for their participation at the event and congratulated the wives of clergy for their work and their contribution to Archdiocese in their Church communities and their families. He pointed out that with this shared meal the link of love, cooperation and friendship between the clergy families was deepened.
At the end of the event and just before the diners left the Archbishop offered the Clergy wives New Testaments and bilingual (Greek / English) Liturgy books, in addition to gifts from the parish of Saint Demetrios, and offered his pastoral blessings to themselves and their families.
The full album with all the photos can be found on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/StDemetriosGB