by George Karantonis
It was a dark day when a fire ravaged the Greek Orthodox Community of the Nativity of Christ in Port Adelaide, on the 6th of December 2019.
The entire internals of the church were burnt with only the external bricks and, by what is deemed to be a miracle of God, the Holy Altar as well as everything on the Altar table and all its coverings were the only things to have survived the blaze.
Without their local church, the parishioners of the Greek Orthodox Community of the Nativity of Christ were left with no choice but to congregate at other parishes. So, while all was not lost, the locals were still left feeling empty, unable to worship at the church they so dearly loved.
With much hard work and commitment from the entire Adelaide community, the church has now been restored to its former glory. A complete fit-out has taken place, a full iconographic schematic has been commissioned and commenced, and is scheduled to be completed soon.
This year on Palm Sunday, 25 April 2021, also ANZAC Day, the church re-opened for the first time since the tragic fire of 2019. The parishioners attended in droves. It was a very well organised and joyous soft opening, with Covid Marshalls ensuring everyone’s safety, check-in tables and QR Codes at the ready for the parishioners to check-in upon arrival. It all went like clockwork.
His Grace, Bishop Silouan of Sinope, Archdiocesan District of Adelaide, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, together with Parish Priest, Fr Ioannis Choraitis, lead the service and welcomed everyone back with open hearts and arms.
The president of the Greek Orthodox Community of the Nativity of Christ in Port Adelaide, Mr John Douvatzidis was noticeably moved and those in attendance knew they were partaking in an historic and special day.
The official re-opening will be taking place in the not too distant future by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. Date to be announced.
All photos by George Karantonis