Community History


Community History

This Community was established in 1944, when a small number of Greek families that had settled in Scotland, were seeking to establish and re-affirm their national identity and culture.  In the early years, the needs of the Community were served by various Scottish Churches, such as St. Peter's in Hyndland and St. Matthews in Bath Street.

On 11 June 1953, the Community moved to its own Church at Grafton Street, in a building bought and donated to the Community by Mr (and later Sir) Reo Stakis.  The first Priest was the Metropolitan of Chalkydon, Meliton  Chatzis, while the First Priest in Charge was the Presbyter Christodoulos Aronis, who conducted the first Divine Liturgy on Sunday 1st November 1953.  Since then, the following Priests in Charge have served our Community:

Presbyter

+Christodoulos ARONIS

Nov 1953 - Apr 1959

Presbyter

Konstantinos FOUSKAS

May 1959 - Oct 1961

Archimandrite

Athinagoras ZAKOPOULOS
(later Bishop of Fokida)

Nov 1961 - Dec 1967

Archimandrite

+Nikiforos TZIFOPOULOS
(later Bishop of Chios)

Jan 1968 - Dec 1971

Archimandrite

Theofanis MARKOULAKIS

Jan 1972 - Nov 1973

Archimandrite

Aristovoulos PYRTSOS

Dec 1973 - Nov 1976

Archimandrite

Amfilochios ILIADIS

Dec 1976 - Sep 1979

Presbyter

Ioannis MESOLORAS

Sep 1979 - Feb 1985

No permanent Priest in Charge

Mar 1985 - Dec 1985

Presbyter

Konstantinos TSOURLIS

Jan 1986 - May 1986

Presbyter

Athanasios GKIKAS 
(now Professor of Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)

Aug 1986 - Sep 1988

Protopresbyter

Dr George DRAGAS
(now Principal and then Senior Lecturer of Boston School of Theology)

Apr 1988 - Jul 1995

Presbyter

Dr Themistocles HADJIIOANNOU

Aug 1995 - Jul 1997

Protopresbyter

Konstantinos PAPAGEORGIOU

Dec 1997 - date

Archimandrite

Dr Archimandrite Raphael PAVOURIS

Apr 2003 - Oct 2004

In 1963, however, a new donation by Sir Reo Stakis made possible the purchase of the building occupied today in Dundonald Road at the Dowanhill area of Glasgow's West End.  The Church was consecrated the same year by the then Archbishop of Thyateira and Gt. Britain Mr Athenagoras (Kokkinakis) and the Lord Provost and City Council were present at the ceremony, together with other civic and ecclesiastical dignitaries.

On 24 May 1970, the then Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria Nicholas VI,  who was attending the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, visited St. Luke's and conducted the Divine Liturgy.  To mark the occasion, He elevated St. Luke's to Cathedral status with the blessings and best wishes of His All-Holiness the Oecumenical Patriarch Mr Athenagoras A'.  An appropriate marble plaque, inscribed with gold letters, at the right hand side of the entrance hall commemorates this most memorable dayl.

Another visit by the spiritual leader of the world orthodox churches took place on Sunday 7 July 1996, when that day's Divine Liturgy was conducted by His All-Holiness the Oecumenical Patriarch Mr. Vatholomaeos I, who had come to Scotland to receive an Honorary Doctorate by the Department of Practical Theology of Edinburgh University.

Left to right

Mr Takis Stakis, Fr Themistocles Hadjiioannou, Mr Nicholas Ioannides, His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios, Mr Andreas Koumis, His All-Holiness the Oecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaeos I, Mr Epameinondas Pitticas Gen. Secretary of the Community, the Great Benefactor Sir Reo Stakis, Mr Kyriakos Savva, the Chairman of the Community Mr Andreas Georgiou, the Honorary Consul for Greece Mrs Irene Cavoura and the Ekdikos of the Patriarchate Mr Fivos Scholarios.

The Cathedral today
The church of St. Luke is divided into three parts, the Narthex, the Nave and the Sanctuary or Holy of Holies.  In the Narthex, Christians meet the officers of the community's Governing Council, light their candles and kiss the icons of Christ, the Mother of God, St. Luke and St. Andrew.  In the Nave we have the pews, the pulpit to the left, and the Bishop's throne and the Cantor's seats and stands to the right.  The Nave is separated from the Sanctuary by means of an Iconostasi

These three parts and the liturgical ceremonies that are conducted between them help the worshipers to enter the spiritual realities of the eternal Gospel of Christianity.  So do the icons, some of which (those on the icon screen) date from the foundation of the community and were painted by its first Priest.  Apart from the prayer life and upbringing of Greeks in Scotland, St. Luke's serves as an important meeting place for Greek Orthodox and other Orthodox students and scientists who come to study or work in Scotland. 

Special functions have been undertaken from time to time to meet the needs of the visitors or to promote intercultural exchange between Greeks and Scots.  The regular Divine Service of St. Luke's is on Sundays, from 10.30 a.m to 1.00 p.m. At the end of the Service, members of the congregation have the opportunity to meet in the church hall and catch-up on the week's events, over refreshments and cakes provided by the Ladies of the Christian Fellowship.

School

During session 2004/2005 some 25 pupils and 8 adults are enrolled in its classes, served by 2 hourly-paid and one volunteer teachers, one of whom is appointed by the Greek Educational Mission (EEA) to serve at the Glasgow and Edinburgh Schools.  The School operates every Thursday evening and all day Saturday.  The Gen. Secretary of the Governing Council acts as Director and teacher of adult students, while overall responsibility for the affairs of the School rests with a 3-member sub-committee of the Governing Council.  In addition to the Greek language, pupils and students are taught history, geography and elements of religious history and education, together with cultural activities such as traditional dances.

Governing Council

The Governing Council is elected every 2 years from the active members of the community, to be found among the 150 or so families of the total 220 residing in the Greater Glasgow area.  Furthermore, there are a further 70 families or so of Russian, Serbian and Romanian descent.  The Governing Council is responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the Cathedral and the community as a whole, the overseeing of the School, for the promotion of harmonious relations with other Churches in Scotland and for the promotion of the community in local and national events, such as Doors Open day, an annual event that gives the opportunity to more than 750 visitors to visit and admire the building.

During the lifetime of this community, the following served as members of successive Governing Councils; they appear in alphabetical order (as per their surname spelling in Greek) and the names of those who served as Chairs are shown in bold.

1

+Adams A.  

2

+Anananiou Ioannis

3

Antyras Athanasios

4

Apartopoulos Antonios  

5

Apartopoulos Ioannis

6

Arestis Aris 

7

Violaris Vasos

8

Dr Viza Evdoxia

9

Georgallis Christos   

10

Georgiadis Frixos

11

Georgiou Andreas 

12

Georgiou Dimitrios

13

Gardner Eftyhia  

14

Zizioulas Ioannis

15

+Ioakeim Ioannis 

16

+Ioannidis Nikolaos

17

Ioannou Ioannis   

18

Ieronimidis George

19

Cavoura Irene 

20

Kanellopoulos Aimilios

21

+Karkalas Ioannis    

22

Kattos George

23

Koumis Andreas 

24

Koumidis Iakovos

25

Kyprianou Kypros 

26

+Kyriakidis Pantelis

27

+Kosta Alexandros 

28

Kosta Dinos

29

Leventopoulos Mihalis   

30

Lebessis Christos

31

Nicholas Nikos   

32

Nicholas Daso

33

+Nicholas Harry   

34

Nicholas Maroula

35

Papageorgiou Aliki

36

Dr Papakonstantinou Eleni  

37

Papamichael Constantinos

38

+Pattihis Konstantinos

39

Perdikos Zinon    

40

+Petropoulos Petros

41

Pitsiladi Kapsali Mariny

42

Pitticas Epameinondas   

43

Polydorou Georgios

44

Savva Kyriakos 

45

Stakis Andros  

46

+Stakis Reo, Sir
[Great Benefactor]

47

Stakis-Christie Ridi   

48

Scholarios Nikolaos  

49

Scholarios Fivos

50

Tompazis Georgios  

51

+Tofalis Ioannis

52

Ipermachou Georgios

53

+Fraggos

54

Fysentzos Ioannis

55

+Champis Christos

56

+Charalambous Harry 

57

Dr Hajivassiliou Constantinos

58

+Chelmis Nikolaos

 59 Dr Hytiris Nicolas 60 Papageorgiou Andreas
 61 Dr Athanasopoulos Konstantinos 62 Mermigkas Athanasios
 63  64 

The work of the Governing Council is supported by the Christian Fellowship, a support group comprising ladies of the community, who provide support services to the poor and ill, students and anyone at the diaspora, applying the principles and teaching of philanthropy and Christian love.


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