His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain
Peace Mala Endorsement
Archbishop Gregorios was born in what is today the Turkish occupied village of Marathovouno in the District of Famagusta in Cyprus in 1928. The youngest of nine children, he was orphaned from his father Theocharis Hadjittofi at the age of just 3. After completing a short time as a monk in the Sacred Monstery of Stavrovouni Cyprus, he was ordained to the deaconate by Archbishop Makarios III of Cyprus.
He received his grammar school education initially at the Lefkoniko High School followed by the Pancyprian Gymnasium in Nicosia where he graduated in 1954. Following this, he attended the Theological School at the University of Athens from which he graduated in 1958.
He came to London in April 1959. He was ordained presbyter by Metropolitan Athenagoras Kavvadas, and was appointed assistant parish priest at All Saints Church, London. He served as parish priest in charge of that church until August 1969.
Following the arrival of the then Metropolitan and later Archbishop Athenagoras Kokkinakis to London in 1964, he was chosen as Chancellor of the Archdiocese and on the death of Athenagoras on 9th September 1979, he took over as Locum Tenens. He held the position in the Archdiocese as privy councellor to Archbishop Athenagoras from August 1969. He was chosen as Bishop of Tropeaou in December 1970, and whenever possible, he undertook his duties in the Archdiocese together with the organisation and management of the Community of Saint Mary and Saint Barnabas in Wood Green, London.
Besides his theological studies at the University of Athens, Archbishop Gregorios received post-graduate tuition at Cambridge University. During his studies there, he established the local Greek community. He is noted for his modesty, industriousness, sincerity and total devotion to the mission of the Church and Hellenisism in Great Britain. He totally co-operated as a co-worker of Athenagoras in the organisation and development of numerous parishes of Great Britain.
On the 16th April 1988, the Sacred Synod of the Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Bishop of Tropeou was unanimously elected as Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain. The selection was without doubt in recognision of the valuable work that His Eminence had and is continuing to do for the Greek Orthodox community in Great Britain. His Patronage of GALE (Greek Association for Language Enhancement) has assisted greatly in the creation of St. Cyprian's, the first Voluntary Aided Greek Orthodox primary school in Great Britain, thus establishing a firmer foundation for the further development of the Greek community in Great Britain.
In April 2004, His Eminence wrote to Pam Evans having heard about the Peace Mala.
I congratulate you and your colleagues on your commitment to peace and, in particular, to trying to find ways to promote awareness, tolerance and respect between all communities, especially through the Religious Studies' lesson for which you are responsible.
All men of goodwill are rightly disgusted by hostility and abuse that is directed against ethnic origin, skin colour and religious convictions. So, anything that can be done to help young people appreciate the evils of such hostility and abuse is to be encourages and supported.
With best wishes and Easter blessings,
Archbishop of Thyateria and Great Britain