The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia has proposed a large-scale plan to revive its position in the local community.
The comprehensive framework includes creating a library and museum, renovating significant liturgical and administrative buildings, and investing in Greek language education.
The project, which represents the vision of Archbishop Makarios of Australia himself, aims to revive the Archdiocese’s facilities while bringing the community closer together, and deepening its bonds with Greek tradition, language, and culture.
Nicholas Pappas, The Honorary Secretary and Trustee of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia Consolidated Trust, stated that the “ambitious” plan would “enable the Church to better connect and engage with the Greek-Australian and broader Australian community.”
Restoring the Cathedral of the Annunciation of our Lady
Angelo Candalepas, acclaimed Greek Australian architect, will head the architectural work involved in the massive plan, which includes renovating the iconic, heritage-listed Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady.
Candalepas highlighted the importance of this blueprint not only for the basic needs of the Archdiocese, but also for embedding the Church within the community:
“It will ensure that this site and its surrounding areas will be here for many generations to come,” he said.
“The buildings are cultural landmarks and have the power to bring communities closer together.”
The Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady, which was built in 1848 by prominent colonial architect Edmund Blacket, originally served as an Anglican church.
The influx of Greek migrants to the area led to the sale of the church to the Archdiocese in 1967.
Since then, the Cathedral has been designated the seat of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, and it acts as an important center of the Greek Australian community.
With an investment of about $2 million, the Cathedral will be refurbished and restored to best serve the needs of the community while maintaining its historic architecture.
Archdiocese to build library, museum; enrich Greek language education
Focusing on the Archdiocesan center on Cleveland Street in Redfern, the development plan includes building a library and museum that highlight Greek-Australian history, culture, and immigration on the property.
This ambitious project is estimated to take nearly two decades to be completed, and has a massive budget of $27 million.
The Archdiocese will also enrich the curriculum of St. Andrew’s Theological College, the renowned seminary and tertiary-level educational institution, with Greek language courses.
Additionally, buildings on St. Andrew’s campus, where the administrative centers of the Archdiocese are also held, will be updated and revitalized as part of the project.
Dr. Philip Kariatlis, Sub-Dean of St Andrew’s Theological College, lauded the Archdiocese’s investment in the institution. He noted that St. Andrew’s fills an important educational role in the community:
“The College has a diverse cohort of women and men who seek to deepen their understanding of theology and faith through undergraduate and post-graduate studies,” he said.
Dr. Karliatlis continued by stating that the “new master plan reinforces the role that our Church will have in deepening that learning for future generations.”