ARCHBISHOP GREGORIOS OF THYATEIRA AND GREAT BRITAIN

 

Hierarchical Sees:

Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain (1988-)

Bishop of Tropaiou (1970-1988)

Date of Elevation to Archbishop of Tyateira:

1988

Date of Election as Archbishop of Tyateira:

April 16, 1988

Date of Consecration:

December 12, 1970

Date of Birth:

1928

Full Name:

Gregorios Theocharous

Name Day:

January 25

 

BIOGRAPHY:

Archbishop Gregorios was born in what is today the Turkish occupied village of Marathovouno in the District of Famagusta in Cyprus in 1928. The youngest of nine children, he was orphaned from his father Theocharis Hadjittofi at the age of just 3. After completing a short time as a monk in the Sacred Monstery of Stavrovouni Cyprus, he was ordained to the deaconate by Archbishop Makarios III of Cyprus.

He received his grammar school education initially at the Lefkoniko High School followed by the Pancyprian Gymnasium in Nicosia where he graduated in 1954. Following this, he attended the Theological School at the University of Athens from which he graduated in 1958.

He came to London in April 1959. He was ordained presbyter by Metropolitan Athenagoras Kavvadas, and was appointed assistant parish priest at All Saints Church, London. He served as parish priest in charge of that church until August 1969.

Following the arrival of the then Metropolitan and later Archbishop Athenagoras Kokkinakis to London in 1964, he was chosen as Chancellor of the Archdiocese and on the death of Athenagoras on 9th September 1979, he took over as Locum Tenens. He held the position in the Archdiocese as privy councellor to Archbishop Athenagoras from August 1969. He was chosen as Bishop of Tropeaou in December 1970, and whenever possible, he undertook his duties in the Archdiocese together with the organisation and management of the Community of Saint Mary and Saint Barnabas in Wood Green, London.

Besides his theological studies at the University of Athens, Archbishop Gregorios received post-graduate tuition at Cambridge University. During his studies there, he established the local Greek community. He is noted for his modesty, industriousness, sincerity and total devotion to the mission of the Church and Hellenisism in Great Britain. He totally co-operated as a co-worker of Athenagoras in the organisation and development of numerous parishes of Great Britain.

On the 16th April 1988, the Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Bishop of Tropeou was unanimously elected as Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain. The selection was without doubt in recognition of the valuable work that His Eminence had and is continuing to do for the Greek Orthodox community in Great Britain. His Patronage of GALE (Greek Association for Language Enhancement) has assisted greatly in the creation of St. Cyprian's, the first Voluntary Aided Greek Orthodox primary school in Great Britain, thus establishing a firmer foundation for the further development of the Greek community in Great Britain.

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