Past Events

DECEMBER 2019

NOVEMBER 2019

With sadness, the Holly Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain announced the passing of Archbishop

Gregorios, in the early hours of Wednesday 20th of November 2019

His Eminence was born in Cyprus on the 28th of October 1928. From a young age he loved the Church, which eventually served for 68 years. After passing all the Clergy levels since 1951 when he was ordained a monk, he became Bishop of Tropaiou of our Archdiocese in 1970.

Our Mother Church, the Ecumenical

Patriarchate, elected Greogorios (Theocharous) to become Archbishop in this country in April 1988. After 30 years, he withdrew last June due to ill health.

With the blessing and guidance of the late former Archbishop Gregorios, our Community was founded in December 1989, with himself holding our very first Holy Liturgy. Since then, 30 years passed and his support never diminished. He supported us on every step we took, the founding of our School and the acquisition of our Church building and Community Hall.

He visited our Community often, usually late November but also for the Salutations to Virgin Mary and more.

We will miss him. We will remember him.

From the Committee

October 2019

6th of October

Final Round

Runner up

***Champion!!!***

September 2019

14th of September

The church will be open from 10am-6pm for the Ride-Stride bike event.

Also the church celebrates it's 11th year of service and the Salutations to the Holy Cross.

8th of September

NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of The Greek Orthodox Community of Milton Keynes and Surrounding District will be held in our Church, London Road, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes, on Sunday 8th September 2019 at 12.30pm for the following purposes:

1. To Pray.

2. To receive apologies and record members present.

3. To approve and sign the minutes of the previous AGM

4. To receive the Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 30th November 2018.

5. To appoint Tearle & Carver Ltd as the Independent Examiner of the accounts until the conclusion of the next Annual General Meeting.

6. Trustee’s Report.

7. Any other business

a] Future plans

b] Various tasks

By Order of the Trustees

July 2019

7st of July

The 3rd Annual Greek Festival of Milton Keynes, 12pm-5pm at Swinfen Harris Church Hall.

June 2019

1st of June

The Greek Dance Stony group will be performing in the High Street this coming Saturday, 1st June.

They are dancing three times during the afternoon

1) 1pm-1.20pm outside Cofferidge Close (near Barclays Bank)

2) 1.40pm-2pm outside St Mary's Lych Gate (near Odells)

3) 3pm-3.20pm outside Cofferidge Close (near Barclays)

If you are in the area and want to pop along to support them, they would love to see you there.

There are many different dance groups and other entertainment going on throughout the day in Stony High St, so lots to see.

April 2019

Easter

Easter Sunday Celebration

Holy Friday Epitaph

March 2019

2nd of March

January 2019

27th of January

Cutting and Blessing of the Vassilopita(New Year's Day cake) after the Divine Liturgy.

6th of January

Feast of Epiphany-Blessing of the Waters

We shall welcome the New Year with the Feast of Epiphany (Divine Liturgy will start at 9:30am). After the end of the Liturgy, we will carry the Cross and the Flabellum to the river for the Blessing of the Waters.

On our return we will serve hot soup at the Hall next to the church, a custom that has been established for many years in our community and which is very welcome on a cold winter day.

If anyone wants to help with the preparations please contact us.

September 2018

9th of September

NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Greek Orthodox Community of Milton Keynes and Surrounding District, invites you to attend our Annual General Meeting on the 9th of September 2018 at 12:30pm (right after the end of the Holy Liturgy), in either the Church coffee area or in our Community’s Hall (depending on attendance levels).

The meeting will receive and consider the president’s report, the financial statements and the report of the auditors for the financial year ending November 2017 as well as any other business

From the Board of Trustee

JULY 2018

18th of July

Dear friends and parishioners,

It has been ten days since the 2nd Festival of Milton Keynes that our Community organised and hosted. The Committee met today and would like to thank all those who visited the Festival and contributed to our charity’s cause.

The net profit raised was an amazing £3,150. Thank you all.

One of the topics in the Committee’s meeting today was how these funds would best be used. Our small Community has many obligations, particularly since we own two beautiful but also old buildings that need a lot of attention and care. The first areas that the funds will be used for are: a) pay the fees for the architect’s feasibility study, for the massive project of restoring and repairing the east part of our Church (altar, apse roof etc.), b) the repair and refurbishment of our Hall’s kitchen floor, c) the installation cost of a large church chandelier that we were donated. Τhere are more, if money gets that far!

We want also to say a big thank you to the many volunteers (both on the day but also contributors) who without their help, this Festival would not have succeeded. So in no specific order, thank you David, Karen, Giorgo, Katerina, Helen, Michali, Ria, Kassiani, Andrea, Mary, Nancy, Sam, Julio, Hillary, Dimitra, Harry, Sue, Ioanna, Georgia, Lydia, Dora, Kirani, Maria, Harry, Andrea, Stavro, Yanni, Aleko, Tom, Eleni, Georgia, Foti, Niko, Roula, Anna and Panagiotis.

Finally, we would like to thank you for all the feedback that we received.

We hope to run a similar event again next year. If you are interested in participating in the organisation we would welcome your contribution.

From the Committee.

8th of July

Greek Festival

For photos and videos for that day, please check our facebook page: Greek Orthodox Community of Milton Keynes.

MARCH 2018

25th of March

9.30am Annunciation of Theotokos and celebration with Breaking of Bread (Artoklasia).

Celebration of the National Days of 25th of March 1821 and 1st of April with poems and songs from the students and teachers of our school after the Divine Liturgy.

Snacks and soft drinks will follow.

FEBRUARY 2018

17th February

The Greek Orthodox Community of Milton Keynes invites you to our traditional fundraising Carnival Greek Night!

Tickets: £20 for Adults

£12.50 for children up to 12 yrs

Under 5 years ...free!

LIVE Greek Music and Dancing

Greek BBQ and delicacies.

Cash Bar

Limited spaces, reserve your seats now to avoid disappointment. Make your interest known via email greekcom.mk@gmail.com or Facebook messenger

3rd February

The Greek Orthodox Community of Milton Keynes invites you to a children's party at 5:50pm

to dance and enjoy the Carnival season!

Dressing up is mandatory!

Entrance is free but please contact Anna Manola-Spring (through Facebook ) in order to provide some snacks and soft drinks.

JANUARY 2018

28th January

Cutting and Blessing of the Vassilopita(New Year's Day cake) - Greek Letters Celebration

7th January

Feast of Epiphany-Blessing of the Waters

We shall welcome the New Year with the Feast of Epiphany (Divine Liturgy will start at 9:30am). After the end of the Liturgy, we will carry the Cross and the Flabellum to the river for the Blessing of the Waters.

On our return we will serve hot soup, a custom that has been established for many years in our community and which is very welcome on a cold winter day.

If anyone wants to help with the preparations please contact us.

DECEMBER 2017

24th December

Christmas Eve Divine Liturgy will start at 6pm.

10th December

CHURCH SERVICE UPDATE

Dear friends and parishioners. With regret we announce that the Church Service this morning is cancelled due to severe snowfall. Stay home and stay safe.

Thank you

From the Committee

NOVEMBER 2017

26th November

ANNOUNCEMENT : St. Stylianos Panegyrical Festivity 26 November 2017

Pastoral Visit of His Eminence Archbishop of Thyateira & Great Britain, Gregorios.

Matins and Celebratory H. Liturgy with Artoklasia will start at 09 am instead of the usual 09.30. Reception will follow in our Swinfen Harris Church Hall.

Notice: Please avoid (if possible) Memorials and Fanouropites.

AUGUST 2017

27th August

Celebration of ST. FANOURIOS Day in the Church of St. Ambrosios and St. Stylianos on Sunday 27/8.

Anyone who would like to bring their FANOUROPITES to be blessed and honour the Saint is welcome to.

JULY 2017

ΑPRIL 2017

Easter

Epitaph of Christ

Service of Resurrection of Christ

ΜΑRCH 2017

26th Μarch

Memorial services for Symeon Athanasiou (1 year) and Yiorgo Kounous (3 months).

FEBRUARY 2017

26th February

The Greek Orthodox Community of Milton Keynes invites you to the fundraising Carnival Dinner. After our Sunday Church Service, our carnival celebration will take place for all ages.

Food, meze, dancing with live music, cash bar and raffle. Tickets for adults and children over 12 years old: £20. For younger children: £12. For even younger without seats: free.

Reservation required with an email to the Community's email address greekcom.mk@gmail.com.

12th February

The 40th Day Memorial Service of Yiorgos Kounous, beloved husband, father, grandfather, a dear friend and founder member of our Community will be taking place after the H. Service.

JANUARY 2017

29th January

THE FEAST OF THREE HIERARCHS / CELEBRATION OF THE GREEK LETTERS.

On Sunday 29/01/17, the Celebration for the Feast of the Greek Letters, will take place at our Church after The H. Liturgy, as it happens in most places in the world, where Greek Schools exist.

Followed by THE BLESSING & CUTTING of THE VASILOPITTA.

Since the Foundation of our Community, the Cutting of the Vasilopitta became a Tradition on the last Sunday of January. We invite and expect pupils, parents, teachers and all, to join us.

Pleas come join in, enjoy and support the upkeep of traditions and customs that helps to maintain our Identity alive and pass them on to younger generations.

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With great sorrow we announce that our dear friend and our community co-founder George Kounous has unexpectedly passed away. He has contributed physically and mentally in the creation of our community.

Even after his retirement from the committee, he and his family continued to offer his help and support when it was needed.

The ceremony for this extraordinary partner or ours will take place in our church and the funeral will be at Tickford Street cemetery, Newport Pagnell at 1:30pm.

The post funeral reception will take place in our Church Hall.

The Committee and Trustees.

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NOVEMBER 2016

20th November

OCTOBER 2016OCTOBER 2016

14th October

Stony in Bloom won the small town trophy for the Thames and Chilterns Region for year 1026 with the Gold award. The End of Year Party celebration took place at the Swinfen Harris Church Hall.

1st October1st October

1st October

SEPTEMBER 2016

28th September

The Funeral of our dear Parishioner Alexandra Tripi-Habib, who passed away suddenly at her home on 13th of September, will take place in our Church on 28th Sept. at 12 noon followed by burial within Wolverton Cemetery.

JUNE 2016

4th of June

We are planning to have a general church cleaning session from 10am-4pm. We are looking for volunteers to come and help us every way they can. They can stay as long as they like,

arrive any time between 10am-4pm and contribute by brining their own cleaning products. If you are interested in helping out please contact us either by phone or email (under the contact us section).

Any help will be much appreciated, thank you.

MAY 2016

EASTER 2016

The Orthodox community of Milton Keynes has successfully celebrated another Easter this year. We would like to thank every and each one who came and celebrated with us throughout the Holy Week and Easter Sunday.

The Epitaph on Good Friday.

Procession of the Epitaph.

Waiting for the Resurrection on Holy Saturday night.

Traditional spit-roasted lamb on Easter Sunday.

APRIL 2016

Dear Parishioners, members and friends.

It is with great sorrow that we announce the sad news of the sudden Passing Away of our very dear colleague, SYMEON ATHANASIOU.

Our beloved friend, who faithfully served this Community for many years, not only as a member of the Committee, but as a Treasurer for a long period too. Respected by all, he was our Chantor and much more, as he was a dedicated worker and major contributor to all aspects of the Church and Community life…

Feeling unwell on Saturday 2nd of April 2016, Symeon, was admitted to Milton Keynes University Hospital and after a very brave battle he passed away there, on the early hours of Tuesday, 12th of April.

The Funeral is going to take place on Holy Tuesday 26th April 2016 in our Church of Sts. Ambrosios & Stylianos, Chapel of St. Mary of Vlachernae, London Road, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes MK11 1JA at 13.00 hours. Following the Burial in Wolverton Cemetery at 15.00, the “Makaria” (wake) will be in our Church Hall next to the Church building.

Our sadness becomes even stronger as the Holy Week and the annual Festival of the Spring Feast, Easter, when the nature makes the days longer, the flowers to grow everywhere, the birds to fly from branch to branch, is approaching and Symeon will be absent from his usual place, the Chanting Pew. He will absent from the decoration of The Epitaphios, from chanting the Engomia and the Christos Anestil, outside, at the Church yard, next to the buildings that so much he was proud to be part of and all the other things that make Easter…

We owe to our Symeon to carry on as best as possible, so all Church Services and Easter Celebrations should be dedicated to his memory.

We offer our deepest sympathy and sincere Condolences to Symeon’s devoted wife, our dearest Fevronia, his sons, Andro, Nickola, Christaki, and to their families.

A Book of Condolences will be opened from this coming Sunday, 24th April, at the Church so we can all put our thoughts and memories down. Any E-Mail messages will be added to the Book and after a few weeks, will be handed to the family.

On behalf of the Trustees and the Committee.

MARCH 2016

12th of March

FEBRUARY 2016

21st of FEBRUARY 2016

The Greek Orthodox community of Milton Keynes organised a party on the Hall's premises to celebrate the Carnival (Apokries) for parents with children.

It was great fun for everybody and a chance to get together and meet new parents. We would like to thank all the families who joined us and especially Marina who

patiently did the face painting for all the little ones!

6th of FEBRUARY 2016

The Greek Orthodox community of Milton Keynes organised a Greek night event with food and live music on the Hall's premises with

great success. It was a full house with lots of fun and deliciously prepared food.

JANUARY 2016

31st of JANUARY 2016

The Greek Orthodox community of Milton Keynes will be organising the "cutting of Vasilopita" after the church service.

The Greek Supplementary School in Milton Keynes and the Community Partnerships Team at the British Museum are cordially inviting you to an exciting object-handling workshop that is organised as part of the ‘Greek Letters Day’ Celebration between 1-2.30pm

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to

    • spend time with your children and other members of the community
    • explore authentic objects from the museum’s ethnographic collection
    • take part in a range of object handling activities to make up and share stories around these objects, and
  • gain new experiences.

We would also like to ask each participant to bring one object that means something to you, your family or your culture. Your object does not have to be exotic or expensive or very old, but it’s important that there is a story behind it.

To find out more information about this opportunity email Koula Charitonos on KCharitonos@britishmuseum.org.

We look forward to seeing you at the Greek School!

Note: Special thanks to the British Academy for providing the funding for this workshop.

10th of JANUARY 2016

Blessing of the Water down by the riverside with a brave soul following the tradition and diving in the freezing waters to catch the Cross. Lunch followed at the Greek Community's premises.

DECEMBER 2015

24th of DECEMBER 2015

The Greek Orthodox community of Milton Keynes will be having a small celebration after the Liturgy with traditional Greek Christmas sweets, everyone is welcome.

19th of DECEMBER 2015

The Greek Orthodox community of Milton Keynes will be taking part in the "Carols on the Green" event for the local community with two hymns and two readings. The event will be held at 5pm.

NOVEMBER 2015

29th of NOVEMBER 2015

We will have the honour to have with us the president of the Association of The Greek Orthodox Communities in Gr. Britain, Mr. Marios Minaides and Mrs. Koula Minaidis for the Celebration of St. Stylianos.

There will be a "get together" after the church service in our hall with food and music.

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28th of NOVEMBER 2015

The Greek Community will organise a "Souvlaki do" on the outdoor premises of the Swinfen Harris Church Hall for Stony Stratford's Christmas Lights Switch On Day.

All are welcome to come along and enjoy a delicious souvlaki in a pitta bread.

Donations will go towards the maintenance of Stony Stratford's two heritage buildings, the Swinfen Harris Church Hall and the Greek Orthodox Church.

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British Academy announces Schools Language Award Winners for 2015

Two Greek Supplementary Schools among the winners

The British Academy has announced the 2015 winners of its Schools Language Awards (http://www.britac.ac.uk/policy/BASLAs.cfm). From more than 150 applications submitted from across the UK, 14 prizes of £4,000 each are being awarded to schools and colleges – or institutions supporting them – for innovative projects aimed at increasing the numbers of students learning languages at higher levels. The awards are being made across both mainstream and supplementary sectors. A panel of judges assessed the originality, credibility and potential replicability of the proposals, with particular emphasis this year on building partnerships.

Among the 2015 winners is the project ‘Close-up On Heritage Language Learners: An Inquiry Learning Project’ that will take place in two Greek Supplementary Schools: the Leicester Greek School and the Greek School of the Greek Orthodox Community of Milton Keynes. The project, proposed by Dr Koula Charitonos and Marina Charalampidi, will involve work in partnership with two prestigious institutions in the UK: The Open University (www.open.ac.uk) and The British Museum (www.britishmuseum.org).

The project seeks to boost learners’ motivation and commitment towards studying Greek language at advanced level and to provide access to cultural experiences with an aim of capitalising on these to develop speaking and writing skills. The participants (GCSE and A’Level students) will use mobile and web-based technologies, i.e platform nQuire-It (http://www.nquire-it.org), to explore their environment though inquiry learning activities. In addition to developing language skills, the programme aims to help young people develop skills (i.e. communication skills, digital literacy skills, inquiry skills) to ensure that they can take an active role in their learning. Essentially the project will foster a sense of belonging, values and citizenship amongst young people.

An Award Ceremony will take place at the British Academy end of November.

You can read an article about the award here.

MARCH 2015

Dear Friends and Parishioners

Time has flown again, we have left winter and its long dark nights behind and we are well and truly into Spring. Spring means Easter and below are the Church Services and more, for your calendar. Please note that the Akathist Hymn service is this Friday 27th at 6pm. This year at the Vespers of Love, Easter Sunday 12th April at 11am, when the Gospel is read in many languages, the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, Alexander Boswell DL , representing Her Majesty the Queen, and his wife Jane will join us for the service and afterwards, informally, for the festivities. This is a great honour for our Community and Church and your presence to “fill” the Church is much needed to give a good impression.

The usual “Pascal Feast” (lamb on the spit, music and dance) will follow. Bring your own salad and please let us know if you are coming so we know the numbers for which to cater. A cash bar will be available.

Please find the full Church Services calendar on this link Calendar-en

Happy Easter

From the Committee

NOVEMBER 2014

Greek Gathering

The Greek Orthodox Community of Milton Keynes

is organising a fundraising event on

Sunday 23rd of November 2014, at 1pm

in the Greek Restaurant

ATHENA PALACE

125-127 Midland Road, Bedford MK40 1DE

Greek food, live music and a good company for a winter’s Sunday afternoon

Tickets: £20 for adults and children over 12yrs old

£15 for children between 3 and 12 yrs old

Younger than 3yrs old free!

For reservations please email us on greekcom.mk@gmail.com

OCTOBER 2014

CELEBRATIONS of The 25th ANNIVERSARY

Of The Foundation of The Community

1989 – 2014

Dearest Parishioners, Friends, Supporters

and Colleagues in Sister Communities.

Celebrating 25 years since its Foundation, our Community will start the festivities formally on Friday 14th November 2014. His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira & Great Britain will Officiate Great Vespers at 6pm. The Mayor of Milton Keynes Cllor Derek Eastman and other Dignitaries will be present

A Reception/Dinner at our Swinfen Harris Church Hall, next to the Church will follow.

To mark the ocasion, a Souvenir Album will be produced. We are inviting those who would like to acknowledge our efforts over the years by placing Greetings in the Album. We are allocating full, half or quarter page spaces.. Please contact us as soon as possible; Any donation big or small will be gratefully accepted and appreciated.

We hope that you will honour us with your presence

The Committee

RSVP 12/10/2014

MAY 2014

CHRIST IS RISEN!

Oh this legacy! Gifted to us with love, this form of greeting each other at Eastertide, has been passed on and its cultural richness became a tradition, so, we, the traditionalists, expect t to hear the appropriate response!...

“Greek Easter ” as the great master of words, Al. Papadiamantis praises, Easter in our neighbourhood, - -Milton Keynes and surrounding areas-, is celebrated fully in all its glory and this year was no exception.

Beginning at just after midnight (Saturday 19/4) after the Resurrection, when the bell sweetly joined the chorus of each <<Christ Is Risen >> in the church yard, we gathered in the dining room to share, “what ever God provided” and draw strength for the day ahead, (20/4), Easter Sunday…

The charcoal was lit, for the lamb to be grilled -seven in total- in the front garden, between the church and our church hall early in the morning. The storm and rain did not stop us.. We opened our hearts and arms to a big hug for everyone and after the Vespers Of Love, when as custom has it, the Gospel was read in many languages, we gathered, young and old, in the Church Hall, this lovely building which so much contributes to community life. One hundred and eighty people all together, we were housed most in the large hall where the kalamatiano rivalled the tsamiko and the island dances, some in the back room and as many in the temporay extension, the gazebo, on the patio of the back garden.

Our children, especially the younger ones, defying the rain played merrily as only children can. The older in their teens, sometimes in a big group, sometimes in “two’s or three’s” forming a bright and colourful presence as a rainbow, filled the air. Most, are students of our school, the treasured “piece” of Communal existence which constitutes “the tomorrow”, the future of the Community. Two days earlier, Myrrhbearing girls, walking around the Sepulchre with small hesitant steps, the little ones, following their more confident “elders”, were scattering fragrant flower petals on the Epitaphios.

Thus, Children, Students, Church, School, Parents, Teachers, and the rest, go together hand in hand as a family in this Community. So, when His Eminence our Archbishop held his Annual Pastoral visit on 27 March, the School welcomed him with a well prepared and staged small show, songs, quotes and poetry, all to mark the double festivities of The Annuonciation and National Days. After this, The Salutations to Our Lady were celebrated in the Church and the day was rounded up, by dinner for all.

The March has proven (yet again in Lent ) busy for our community. On the 7th the Women’s World Day of Prayer was celebrated. This year was prepared by the women of Egypt and the Regional Secretariat proposed to take place in our venue. We accepted with pleasure as we have Egyptiot ladies - members – in our Community. They have undertaken to assist in the decoration of our Church Hall, with authentic costumes, decorations and prepare traditional Egyptian refreshments. The hall was suitably decked and a presentation based on the lives of women from the early Christian period to the present situation was performed. All were prepared by global committee, but we had the opportunity to add our own “things”, like the Greek presence in that country since antiquity such as topics of Alexander the Great, the Patriarchate of Alexandria and its work, St. Catherine and many other items which are related to the Christian tradition in Egypt. With our initiative, selected small texts and responses were read in languages that are there still spoken. Besides English, Greek, French, Italian, Armenian and of course Arabic and a couple of small Hymns were sang in Greek. The room was full of Christians and other faiths from the area. Mrs. Smaragda’s Georgiou speech, who was born, raised and lived in Cairo until a few years ago when she came to England, created great emotion as she shared with us her experiences there (her parents are still in Cairo).. Mrs Teresa Atamian, born in Cairo too, having close relatives living there, followed with her experiences too, which she learns first hand.

It should be noted, that as far as we know, it is the first time that this celebration, takes place in a “Hellenic Establisment” in the Diaspora. We were warmly congratulated and: “It was the best event (of this sort) ever in this region”, some said. We can not judge, we enjoyed it, and we believe, it was good.

On 1 March we organized (another ...) Greek Evening full of fun to celebrate the last week of Carnival, "Fish And Chips, Greek Style". Major sponsors of the event were Harry and Marina Charalambous, members of the Community from its conception.

Finally concluding this (retroactive) Spring walk, our wholehearted “THANKS” go to all l who participated in any way, to the events above and beyond, whether members or friends. To those, who free of charge, offer endless hours of their knowledge and expertise, to those who take care of the gardens, plants and flowers, keep the premises clean and tidy, cantors, etc., those who offer continually advice, hard work, manual and practical. The ladies who prepare the food, the youngsters boys and girls that help with the serving it, the setting and layout of tables, the cloakroom, the (boring) washing up, the cleaning etc., all these essential (but double boring ) after event, tasks... ... To those giving a hand (or more!)…. at the hot and messy barbecue business etc. and to all young and old alike, who decorate the Epitaphios and to those who entertain us with their music.

We refer, of course, not to members of the Committee. We are The Committee and as such we took the task of being committed, along with our spouses, Greek or not and our families who offer according to ability, manner, or talent.

Welcoming the Newcomers to our area and Community, we inform everyone that Orthros and Divine Liturgy is celebrated usually on the second and last Sunday of the month, in addition on the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, Friday, 15th August at 9:30 am.

The Lord Has Truly Risen!

For the Community and Saints Ambrosios & Stylianos, Chapel of St Mary of Vlachernae.

Niki Beales EASTER 2014, Milton Keynes

FEBRUARY 2014

NOVEMBER 2013

Friends, Parishioners, Dear All,

Here we are together again. This special time of the year which whatever the weather, cold and rain, snow, and wind, never ceases to arrive and the smell of goodwill fills the air. This feeling, coupled with good wishes wrapped in love and hope for a better tomorrow is upon us once more. The Magic of Christmas…

It has started its work earnestly and although the commercialisation, the True and Spiritual meaning of the biggest event ever, always shines through as the Star of Bethlehem did all those years ago. All Christendom celebrates in various forms and customs. We do too and somehow we start early to “join in” in the “local” mood! As the big Stony Stratford Christmas Lights Switch On event, apparently one of the oldest and biggest of the country, this year happens on the 30th November, St. Andrew’s day. The Lantern Parade begins in York House, further up the street, and takes about 30 to 45 minutes to pass our premises on it’s way to the town centre for the switch on ceremony at 5pm. This year, after a lapse of 20 years, the large Cypress tree In front of the hall, apparently one of the tallest in town, will be illuminated by 100 lights and a large star on its pinnacle which can be seen from many places in the town.

We selected this date to hold our Annual Christmas Greek Evening, (on 30th November 2013), 7-11.30pm. You know the pattern: Live Greek Music, Food, Dance, Songs, Raffle and good fun.

Tickets as before, £20, £10 for the up to twelve years old and free to the under fives. It is a Fund Raising Event, please obtain your tickets early to avoid disappointment as –you guess- places are limited and we operate on “first come first served” basis. Please let us know if there are vegetarians in your group.

November 26th sees the feast of St. Stylianos, Protector of Children, one of our Patron Saints. Matins and the Panygyrical H. Liturgy will take place on Sunday 24th November at 9.30am. and Reception will follow in our Church Hall. Equally, 7th of December is the Feast of our other Patron Saint, Amvrosios. A pretty place, famous for its delicious apricots, bears the name of this Saint, in the north part of Cyprus. The Panygyrical festivities will take place on Sunday 8th of December and after the H. Liturgy a Reception will follow again in our Church Hall.

The Christmas H. Service will take place as usual on the Eve 24th December at 6pm. Refreshments will follow. This will be the last Church Service to round up the year and say our good bye to 2013.

We conclude this communication with a Very Important Announcement from our Archdiocese: A Fragment of The Holy Cross is arriving to this country on28th of November and will be on our shores until 12th of December. It will be visiting a limited number of Churches in various locations so the faithful will have the opportunity to venerate and pay their respect. The nearest location to us will be the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Trinity in Oxford in the morning of Tuesday 10th December and the Russian Orrthodox Church of St Nicolas in the afternoon, same day in Oxford again. We have been advised that the list of locations is not complete yet. We will keep you posted if there is any change.

With this very interesting and important message we send you all our Best Wishes. Please remember many of past events are recorded on our web page and in Facebook Here

See you soon,

From all of us

Niki Beales

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of The Greek Orthodox Community of Milton Keynes and Surrounding Districts will be held at The Swinfen Harris Church Hall, London Road, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes, on Sunday 13th October 2013 at 2.00pm for the following purposes:

1.To Pray.

2.To receive apologies.

3.To approve and sign the minutes of the last AGM of 30th September 2012.

4.To receive the Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 30th November 2012.

5.To re-appoint Dennis Cox & Associates as the Independent Examiner of the accounts untilthe conclusion of the next Annual General Meeting.

6.Trustee’s Report.

7.Any other business

By Order of the Trustees

D.Christoulakis, Secretary

*Members eligible to be nominated as a Trustee must have paid their membership for the current year and the prior year and be nominated by two fully paid members. Only fully paid members have the right to vote at a General Meeting.

Please note it is in the interest of members to attend any General Meeting as decisions taken at that time affect all members.

Milton Keynes, 25th September 2013

SEPTEMBER 2013

Friends, Parishioners, Supporters, Dearest All

Despite the summer coming to an end, let us enjoy whatever is left of it and lets recap our summer activities and please allow us to inform you of the first steps of our Community into the coming Autumn.

Our Church was the natural choice for the Milton Keynes Inter Faith Group to have their lecture on Orthodoxy with Guest Speaker the Rev. Deacon Alban Coombs from the Russian Tradition in Western Europe Church, on 6th of June. An occasion for people of other religions of the region to have a glimpse into our Faith. A small reception followed.

On Sunday the 7th July morning, we were present at the annual Mayor’s Civic Service at the Church of Christ The Cornerstone, at the Milton Keynes’ centre and on the same day in the afternoon we organised a get together to «test the ground» of the newly landscaped «Back Garden» of the Church Hall. Being in the middle of summer we gave the event the title of an old popular song taking us to blue sees, white sails, little boats and mild winds.

Please notice that the official opening of the Church Hall and Grounds is taking place on 8th September by The Mayor of Milton Keynes Cllr. Brian White. We will provide, delicious food, as usual! Good Raffle Prizes and Good Company. Apart from the official opening, this is also a Fund Raising Event, so please support it. For programme details please refer to the notice down below. Tickets are available at £20 for adults, £10 for children five to twelve years, free for the under fives! Greek Music (and more!) will be entertaining us throughout the event.

The pupils of our school sitting their AS exams in spring (Modern Greek) received the results just recently; we are happy to announce that all four of them had hundred per cent success! This makes us more than proud, considering that their age is below the usual for these exams. Congratulations to the pupils, teachers and of course, parents. We are waiting for the G.C.S.E. results of the younger children; we believe they will also be very successful too. The school will reopen on Thursday 12th of September at 5pm.

The AGM is going to take place on Sunday September the 29th after the Church Service; members will be notified in due course.

The H. Church Services, except major Feasts etc. are taking place at 9.30 am. on every 2nd and last Sunday of the month. Refreshments are available almost after every Church Service. All welcome.

For more information on anything said above please contact us.

With best wishes and on behalf of Committee and Trustees,

Niki Beales August 2013.

Programme of the Opening of Swinfen Harris Church Hall/ Fund Raising Event, 8th September 2013.

09.30 H. Liturgy

14.00 Hall and grounds open

Coffee and teas on sale

Cash bar open

Raffle tickets on sale

15.00 Arrival of the Mayor

15.15 Opening ceremony

15.30 Late lunch

17.00 Mayor departs

18.00 Raffle draw

20.45 Bar and grounds close

21.00 Carriages

Music, dance, sing along