The Church was founded in 1977 by the combined efforts of the, then, small Greek and Cypriot community in the Berkshire area. In 1977 the late Mr. Kosmas Joseph approached the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain with the aim of establishing a Greek Orthodox Church in Reading. The Archbishop requested the supporting signatures of 20-30 families in the area in order to give his blessings for the Church to be established.
Mr. Joseph acquired the signatures and support from the Greek and Cypriot families in Reading, Maidenhead, Marlow, Slough, Windsor and Wokingham, the Archbishop gave his blessings and the first steps were taken for the creation of the Church. The name of Saint Elias the Prophet was suggested by Bishop Christophoros of Tilemisou, and the first Holy Liturgy was celebrated on the 17th July 1977.
The first twelve-member committee was nominated and elected, with Mr. Kosmas Joseph as its first president, and with Mr.Genadios Savva as vice-president. Mr. Joseph was succeeded by Mr. Anthimos (Ninos) Papandreou. Mr. Papandreou was ordained Father Anthimos, with his own parish, and was then succeeded by Mrs. Panorea (Pam) Ziffo, who together with her husband Theo has honoured us with her strong, untiring support and guidance for the past 15 years, until June 2012 when she was succeeded by Mrs. Eleftheria (Ria) Matthews, who has served the Church and the community with zeal and passion. Very sadly, Father Anthimos passed away this year, 2014.
Ria stepped down this year because of a possible overseas posting for her husband, and she was succeeded by our current President Mrs. Calliope Jenkins.
In partnership with the Church, the Ladies of the community have set up and are running St. Katerina's Charity, which helps the church and community with fund-raising events. The Charity has been successfully and enthusiastically led for many years by Mrs Katerina Calce, closely supported by her members, and is currently also headed by Mrs. Calliope Jenkins.
An important element of our Church's mission is the continuation of the Greek heritage, and to achieve this the Church operates a Greek School headed by Mr. Andreas Despiniadis, providing our community with Greek language education to GCSE level. The school, which operates on the church premises at St. Bartholomew's, now has over 40 students.
The Church Committee is responsible for the operation and improvement of our Church, scheduling and operation of events and services, and also provides support for our community.
Church Committee Officers:
St. Katerina's Charity, also known as 'The Ladies Auxiliary
Association' or 'Philoptohos', are a small body of ladies who have
taken on the responsibility of helping the President of the Community
of St. Elias Greek Orthodox Church to prepare the Prosforon
(the bread offering for Holy Communion) each Sunday, organise welfare
work, cultivate the spirit of mutual friendship brotherhood and help
among its members, and to organise fund-raising events for the benefit
of our community.
Open to both men and women.
St. Katerina's Charity Committee Officers:
Visiting the sick and elderly:
Membership of St. Katerina's Charity is open to every lady, whether married or unmarried, over the age of 20, and we are hoping to attract members from the younger generation.
Any young lady who would like to be considered, please contact Calliope Jenkins or speak to any of the committee members in church.
The main committee meets every few months, and there will be two or three meetings a year open to all members of The Philoptohos.
If anyone needs transport to attend any of the meetings please contact Calliope Jenkins, giving as much notice as possible, and she will try to find someone to help.
If you wish to arrange a marriage or Christening in our church we are very happy to help you through the process. Our committee members help with organising and make sure that everything runs smoothly on those important days.
If you have looked into the Greek Orthodox religion and wish to learn more or to convert, as a community we are very happy to help you through the process of studying for the faith and to support you till the important day of your Chrismation and after.
Please join us for any service, you are very welcome.
For any queries and more information please contact our President, Mr.