On Tuesday, 2nd May 2023, the Annual Clergy Synaxis of the Holy Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain took place at the Church of St Barnabas Wood Green in North London. The event brought together clergy from across the UK to discuss pressing issues in their communities and in general the progress of the Archdiocese.
The Synaxis began with paternal reflections from Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain.
Right after, Bishop Iakovos of Klaudiopolis welcomed the clergy of the Holy Archdiocese on behalf of the Clergy Association.
Following the admonitions of Archbishop Nikitas, Aimilianos Papadakis, Priest-in-charge in the Church of St George Kingston spoke about the Mystery of Holy Confession. Fr Aimilianos, an experienced confessor, explained how the sacrament was established by Christ himself, providing historical and theological context, and offered practical directives for priests who hear confessions.
At the invitation of Archbishop Nikitas, Diakonissa Eftychia (Fay) Kalapoda, a CBT/EMDR therapist, delivered a thought-provoking presentation titled “Bridging the Gap: Psychological Interventions to Complement Spiritual Care for Depression.” In her presentation, Diakonissa Eftychia highlighted the importance of incorporating psychological tools into pastoral care for depression, as clergy often serve as frontline mental health workers. Her presentation aimed to raise awareness and foster a better understanding of depression amongst the clergy.
Recognizing the importance of mental health for both clergy and parishioners, the Archdiocese is committed to continue running the Christian Resiliency workshops. It will also organize a Mental Health Conference in 2024 to further explore the intersection of mental health and pastoral care.
Following the presentations, there was a question-and-answer session, which allowed for further discussion and exploration of the topics. Attendees were then treated to a wonderful meal offered by the community of St Barnabas and Bishop Iakovos of Claudiopolis for the approaching consecration of the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God in Wood Green on the 21st of May 2023. The gathering provided clergy with the opportunity to meet and enjoy fellowship with one another. The Annual Synaxis concluded on a positive note, leaving attendees with a renewed spirit to continue the work of the Church.