Our History

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 in the year 2014.

In the same year, Ria stepped down because of a possible overseas posting for her husband, and she was succeeded by Mrs. Calliope Jenkins.

In partnership with the Church, the Ladies of the community set up and ran St. Katerina's Charity, which helped the church and community with fund-raising events. The Charity was successfully and enthusiastically led for many years by Mrs Katerina Calce, closely supported by her members, succeeded by Mrs. Calliope Jenkins. It is currently no longer being run.

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 Dr. Stella Keramida, providing our community with Greek language education to GCSE level. The school, which operates on the church premises at St. Mark's, now has over 30 students.