In its infancy the church operated in a school hall (or ‘room’ as it is referred to in the first volume of the minutes) that the Community hired at Chalmers Church Hall in Gipps St, East Melbourne. The first official priest was father Athanasios Kantopoulos, who arrived in Melbourne with his family on the 22nd of June 1898 after a request from the Greek Community to the Patriarch of Jerusalem Damianos for a priest to be sent to Melbourne to serve the religious needs of its Orthodox residents.
Prior to his arrival the Church operated in the aforementioned premises with Archimandrite Dorotheos “Samios “ Bakalarios, a visiting priest who arrived in Melbourne in August 1897 and immediately commenced services on the 22nd August 1897 (Now considered the date that the GOCMV was established). Archimandrite Dorotheos “Samios” Bakalarios remained in Melbourne until November 1897 and thereafter moved to Sydney where he continued to service the needs of the Orthodox faith in that city.
Messrs Inskip & Butler were the appointed architects and a tender was announced for the first stage of the construction of the church. N. Longstaff & Co were appointed as the preferred builders to the sum of 816 Pounds. According to the “Argus” newspaper in its edition on 22nd June 1901, the official opening of the church took place on Sunday 23rd June 1901. The “Argus” also noted that it would take a considerable amount of time for the works to be completed.
This post is part of the Sunday Psalms meme hosted by Louis,
and also for the Spiritual Sunday meme hosted by Charlotte.
And here is a Greek Orthodox Psalm, the Psalm 102 (103), as sung by The Greek Byzantine Choir from the album "The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom."