On Thursday, 2nd December 2021, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain held its first Christmas Concert entitled, “A Concert of Christmas Joy” sponsored by Christos Lazari Foundation and hosted by the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Divine Wisdom in Bayswater.
Three choirs performed Christmas hymns, spiritual songs, and diverse melodies. They were: historic Hagia Sophia Choir directed by Costas Manoras. The Archdiocesan School of Byzantine Music Choir was directed by Oikonomos Joseph Paliouras. The London Community Gospel Choir was directed by Bazil Meade. This very special and popular concert lasted over two hours.
The concert began with a warm welcome by Theonas Bakalis, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne and Dean of the Cathedral. Then, Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain offered his archpastoral reflections and exhortations to all those present, and Archimandrite Nephon Tismlais, Director of the Office of the Archbishop, introduced the evening’s theme and spirit. Daniel El-Gamry, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, eloquently conveyed the greetings of Her Majesty’s Government.
Among those in attendance were: Archbishop Zenon (Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Georgia, Bishop Maximos of Melitene and Bishop Iakovos Claudiopolis, Archimandrite Nikodemos Anagnostopoulos, Chancellor of the Archdiocese, many clergy and laity from the Archdiocese, as well as Dr. Paul Goodliff, General Secretary of Churches Together England, Dr. Antony McClaran, Vice-Chancellor of St. Mary’s University Twickenham, as well as other representatives from neighboring Christian Churches, ecumenical bodies, and over three-hundred and fifty Christ-loving faithful
At the conclusion of the festal gathering, the Archbishop offered a hand-painted byzantine-styled icon of the Mother of God to Archon Len Lazari as a prayerful token of the Archdiocese’s collective appreciation for the exemplary support of the Christos Lazari Foundation. Archon Anastasios Fafalios, Trustee and President of the Cathedral Committee, also expressed appreciation on behalf of the entire Cathedral Family. The evening concluded with a prayer and communal carolling.