Welcome to the website of the Orthodox Archbishopric of Good Hope!

We are the local presence of the “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church” on the southern tip of Africa. The Orthodox Church has passed on the Christian faith since the time of the Apostles and it was established in Africa when Saint Mark preached the Good News of Jesus Christ in Alexandria in the middle of the first century A.D.

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March 2019- Programme of the Holy Services

MARCH CHURCH PROGRAMME 2019

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February 2019 – Programme

FEBRUARY 2019-PROGRAMME

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THE CHRISTMAS KARAVAKI 2018

Best pic of KaravakiOnce again the air was alive with the sounds of little voices celebrating the spirit of Christmas!Our annual presentation of the traditional Christmas Karavaki held at the Archbishopric in Rondebosch on Saturday 8 December was a roaring success.

Proxinoa at tableThis year we opted for a whole new approach and started off with a picnic on the lawn while the kids played games and had great fun making faces as they posed in the nativity-themed photo scenes.

Afrikaans group

Meletios and LouiseWe were jpoined by the new Greek Consul in Cape Town Mrs Despina Tsarakakis and her husband Christo and their daughters Sophia and Michaela, whose birthday we also celebrated on the night.

There was a charming musical interlude provided by Eleni and her four children who sang Fill the world with love and a stunning rendition of Celione Dion’s The Prayer translated into Greek.

His Eminence and Ukranian familyThen we were treated to the honeyed voice of Meletios Kashindra who was followed by members of the Ukrainian Association of South Africa singing traditional  Ukrainian Christmas carols.

As twilight lingered over the mountain we all settled down to watch Elf, a fun movie.

Afterwards everyone was encouraged to sing along with f well-loved and popular Greek kalanda and English carols and of course, Jingle Bells was a huge hit  and so loud that people in Sea Point  heard us!

Svenka and group

At the end of the performances we all tucked into a festive feast of mouth-watering Greek and South African confectionery provided by the ladies of The Welfare Committee.

Kids

Lighting candles

Afterwards as the moon came up, Pepe Sofianos, our MC, started the countdown to switching on the lights of the Karavaki, which once again was a vision to behold  and as the oohs and aahs  died down, everyone agreed it was the most spectacular Karavaki ever. 

It was a very cheerful, laid-back and happy evening and a perfect way to start the Christmas season with family and friends. This year marks the ninth Karavaki festivity and, as always, everyone shared the love and enjoyment that has made it a signature event in our Orthodox Christmas calendar.

A huge  big fat Greek thank you to His Eminence Archbishop Sergios for hosting us and Pater Nicholaos for always supporting us, Gerry and Gabriel who made magic with the Karavaki lighting, Evgenia and Antonio for all their hard work and to Yiota and her merry band of helpers who made it all happen.

Carol and games

Eutichia and familyPater and Presvetyra with Sevasmiotatos
We wish you all a glorious Christmas and a blessed New Year for 2019. Kala Christougena and Chronia Pola!

By Pepe Sofianos.

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His Holiness Irinej Bulović Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church visits Cape Town on OXI Day 2018

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October 28 is Greek National Oxi Day and commemorates the stand  against the forces of fascist   tyranny  and  oppression  by  the people of Greece on this day in 1940.  It is also acclaimed as an affirmation of  true    values like freedom, self-determination and perseverance in our Orthodox faith and heritage which cannot be compromised at any cost.

His Holiness Irinej Patriarch of Serbia, the spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Serbs, honoured us with a visit on this important day and concelebrated the Holy Liturgy at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint George in Woodstock, Cape Town, with His Eminence Archbishop Sergios Metropolitan of Good Hope and  His Grace Bishop of Sumadia  Kir Jovan.

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The service which included the Doxology for the Greek National Oxi Day was attended by the newly-arrived Greek Consul in Cape Town Mrs Despina Tsanakakis with her husband and two daughters. The  Honourable  Consul of  Cyprus Mr John Phillippou  and his wife, Mr Fotis Sousalis President of the Hellenic Community of Cape Town, Mr Michael Scholiades Vice-President of the Hellenic Federation and Mr Andreas Coulbanis President of  NAHYSOSA were also present.

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It was a splendid and rare occasion to see so many members of the clergy celebrating the Holy Liturgy together with all due pomp and pageantry. There was a good turnout by the Greek and Serbian communities of Cape Town who were also represented by children carrying the flags of Greece, Cyprus, Serbia and South Africa. After the service His Eminence Archbishop Sergios welcomed His Holiness Irinej who responded through an interpreter. His Eminence also presented a beautiful silver icon of the Theotokos  from Kykkos Monastery in Cyprus to the Serbian Patriarch who was visibly delighted.

44961393_2290816111151273_8602688634824425472_nThe morning ended with a rousing rendition of  the  Greek and South African  national anthems sung by the Hellenic Choir of Cape Town under the direction of Mrs Effie Saridakis.

 

A celebratory lunch was held at the Helleic Community Centre in Green Point to welcome and  honour the Patriarch and the entertainment included Serbian and Greek folk dancing. All in all, it was a very bright and inspiring day underlining the indomitable spirit   and passion  of both Greeks and Serbians                  who have had to shed the yoke of oppression. 43216807_2290817021151182_8873315361664008192_n

In the evening the Patriarch and his entourage paid an official visit to the Metropolis of Good Hope in Rondebosch where he baptised  two adults and two children from the Serbian community in a very moving and intimate ceremony in the Metropolitan Church of Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene.

Compiled by Pepe Sofianos

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St Mamma’s Day at the Metropolis of Good Hope-Cape Town, South Africa, Sunday 2 September 2018.

  Saint Mamas annual blessing of the pets, Sunday 2 September 2018.

With a woof woof here, and a neigh neigh there, and children, pets and ponies everywhere, we celebrated our ninth annual St Mamas Pets’ Blessing Day on Sunday 2 September, which took place in the grounds of the Metropolis in Rondebosch, at the invitation of His Eminence Archbishop Sergios .

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Without doubt, Deanne Hathaway’s popular ponies were very much in demand again, and even the tiniest tots loved their rides while others (including the teens!) were lining up for the glorious Ukrainian face art so brilliantly painted by Tatiana. We had a grand turnout of dogs of all shades, shapes and sizes and despite a few raised hairs in the beginning, everyone settled down and made friends and had a terrific time.

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Amongst those who attended were the Greek Consul in Cape Town, Mr Thomas Matsoukas, Mr Fotis Soualis, the president of the Greek Community of Cape Town and surrounds, Mr Andreas Coulbanis, President of NAHYSOSA, the Students organization of South Africa, and the Greek teachers from our community school, Ariadni Parali and Eleni Koletti, all with their siblings ant their dogs. This year it was nice to have the participation of quite a few Greek students from Cape Town.
40895890_2254386448127573_900182199863607296_nPepe Sofianos introduced the afternoon with a cameo story about St Mamas and the importance of understanding the bond between all of God’s creatures and our responsibility to protect and care for them with compassion and wisdom.
Pater Nikolaos started the proceedings with a prayer for animals and their keepers and everyone lined up to have their pets blessed and as always, Pater’s brilliant smile and easy way with kids and pets made it all so easy and exciting,.
The rest of the afternoon flew by as some of the children made cute bird feeders with pine cones, peanut butter and seeds.

40652260_10212868940900964_6110337061623955456_nThere were yummy eats and comfy hot chicken soup to help warm us up on a cold and wet Spring afternoon and then it was time to wind down with the traditional marshmallow toasting bonfire which is a seriously big hit with all the kids. His Eminence built the fire with the help of the bigger boys and although we were rained out, trust me, we still managed to make melt those marshmallows!
40752368_2254386264794258_4005774439152091136_nFinally everyone went home loaded down with bulging pet goody bags and prizes that were very kindly and generously sponsored by MONTEGO. Thank you so much— we are blessed to have you with us, MONTEGO, and very grateful to you for helping to make this special day so enjoyable and memorable both for the children and their pets.
So, off they went with a goodwill message from Saint Mamas to treasure not only their own pets but also to respect and have compssion for all living creatures and the environment.40654322_2254383331461218_5961826391132471296_n

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To all the parents and kids – thank you for braving the rain — you were fabulous, and I know your pets had a ball!
See you next year!

By Pepe Sofianos.

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Feast Day celebrations of Saints Cyril and Methodius – May 2018

The annual Pan-Orthodox celebrations for the Feast Day of Saints Cyril and Methodius took place on Sunday 20 May in Cape Town.H E 0 Communion

The day’s events began with the Holy Liturgy Service held at the Cathedral of Saint George in Woodstock. His Eminence Archbishop Sergios Metropolitan Bishop of Good Hope officiated at the service and it was a very special occasion as we were  honoured to have  Archimandrite Zacharias Van Wyk of Robertson, Father Danil Lugovoy Parish Priest of the Russian Community and Father Isaljo Markovic Parish Priest of the Serbian community, both of Johannesburg, with us for the day and they also participated in the service.

Reverend Father Nikolaos Giamouridis, Prish Priest of St George’s Cathedral, Deacon Father Mihali Simos and Deacon Father Nicholas Esterhuizen also officiated at the service.

Members of the diplomatic corps were also present – Mr Thomas Matsoukas Consul of Greece, Mr Johnny Philippou Honorary Consul of Cyprus, Mr Roman Ambarov Consul General of Russia and  Mr Boris Vassilev Honorary Consul of Bulgaria.

Mr Fotis Sousalis President of the Hellenic Community, Dr Misha  Galukhin Chairman of the Russian Club, Dzvinka Kachur President of the  Ukrainian Society and Vesna Jablanovic Chairlady of the Serbian Sisterhood of Saint Petka represented their communities at the service.Proxino

Welcome addressThen we were delighted and enchanted by the talents of both the adults and children of the different communities in the cross-cultural programme.

Gabriel and Andonis of the St George’s Youth Group told us about the lives and works of these two great saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Andonis and Gabriel

The  Russian girl’s  group, dressed in national costume, charmed us with a traditional Russian folk dance and were followed by the Bulgarian Language School who delivered their poems in a very confident and polished way.Russian girls

Archimandrite Zacharias was joined by Emelia, Francois and Joanna, members of the Robertson Parish, to chant in Afrikaans, which was truly a moving experience. The programme ended on a high note with a hymn chanted by Meletios and two friends from the Congo, Vassilios and Leon, of the St George’s Cathedral Chanters.

His Eminence then blessed the food and the Serbian guitarfeasting began! The buffet table was groaning under the weight of traditional Greek, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian dishes including very South African ribbetjies and Indian chicken curry. Everything was prepared and presented by the ladies of the different communities. However, the melting point was the dessert table with an array of utterly decadent treats!

The children meanwhile had loads of fun having their faces painted with folkloric Eastern European flowers.

 

Bugarian group

Blessng of food

The event was very well-attended and everyone agreed that it was a happy hectic day honouring two revered saints in a homely and relaxed atmosphere where everyone could just enjoy the glory of the moment.

Looking forward to next year!

By Pepe Sofianos

Lunch on patio

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Celebrations in George – Church of the Holy Archangels, George, Southern Cape

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On Saturday 24 March His Eminence Archbishop Sergios, Metropolitan Bishop of Good Hope travelled to George to Officiate at the Services which included the Feast day of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, the Doxology for the Greek National Day of 25th March, the commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the laying of the stone for the Church, and consecration which took place on the Sunday of the Holy Myrrhbearers, (22 April) in 2007.
20th Anniversary 2018 Pic Scan 3 (2)His Eminence officiated at the Vespers Service on Saturday evening andwas accompanied by Fr Anastasios Leontiades and Deacon Fr Ioannis Tyropolis.  After the Vespers Service everyone congregated in the Church hall and Mr Demetri Sterianos shared the history of the Church of the Holy Archangels. He said that initially the plan was to build a Church in Oudtshoorn, however because many people had moved to George and surrounds it was decided that it would be best to build the Church in George. The next step was for them to form a Committee and to identify a suitable plot. After much deliberation it was decided to purchase an existing building and they proceeded to renovate the structure. The commemoration stone was laid by His Eminence Archbishop Sergios (then Parish Priest of Port Elizabeth) and Fr Panteleimon Labadarios, then Parish Priest in Cape Town.
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The following morning His Eminence officiated at the Service of the Holy Eucharist which included the Feast day of the Annunciation of the Theotokos and the Doxology for the Greek National Day  He was accompanied by Fr Anastasios Leontiades and Deacon Fr Ioannis Tyropolis. Prayers were said for the commemoration of the deceased founders of the Church and for the good health and perseverance of the living. After the Service His Eminence reminded the Parishioners of the importance of being active in the Greek Community as it is only within the Community that they will preserve their Greek Orthodox Faith and traditions.
After the Service a celebratory lunch was held in the hall and Mr George Vougdes spoke about  past events and celebrations of the Community and Parish, and the youth recited poems and performed Geek dances to celebrate the Greek National Day.
20th Anniversary 2018 Pic Scan
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Service of the Veneration of the Cross  – Church of St Mary of Egypt, Monastery of St John the Baptist, Robertson, Western Cape

On Sunday 11 March, His Eminence Archbishop Sergios attended the celebrations of the Veneration of the Cross  at the Church of Saint Mary of Egypt in Robertson, with Archimandrite Zacharias Van Wyk, (resident priest at the Monastery), Deacon Father Nicholas Esterhuizen and two visitors from Russia, Father Sergei and Deacon Maximos whose ship had docked in Cape Town on the way to the Antarctic.

The Service which was well attended was conducted in four languages,  Afrikaans, Greek, English and some Russian. A memorial Service was included for the late Michail Marathetis, Kyriacos Savvas and Andromachi Savvas.  His Eminence and Archmandrite Zacharias spoke about the meaning of this important Feast Day.

His Eminence explained that the Cross is not to be considered as a means of punishment but rather as a means to triumph over death. And on this Feast Day especially, the Cross is presented to give the faithful strength to continue the Lenten Fast leading up to the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ.

After the Service a lunch was served which everyone enjoyed.

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Father Zacharias with the tray
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The Christmas Karavaki 2017 – Metropolis of Good Hope (Cape Town)

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Even the chilly winds whistling around us and shaking everything up did not affect the excitement of the children of St George’s Cathedral Parish youth in Cape Town, who once again revived the truly meaningful and cultural Orthodox Christmas tradition of the Karavaki held at the Archbishopric in Rondebosch on Saturday 9th December.

MC Pepe Sofianos reminded us that peace is the best gift of all and that this was the eighth annual celebration of the Karavaki which has now become a firm favourite in our activities calendar.

25188875_2068276723405214_9070093390685755850_oHis Eminence Archbishop Sergios, Metropolitan Bishop Cape Town gave his opening address, praising our children, parents and teachers for keeping these important core values and traditions of our Orthodox faith alive and well, especially in this time of uncertainty that has gripped the world.

As the twilight dimmed into darkness the age-old story of the birth of Christ unfolded for us in the most unusual way. The highlight of the evening was a delightfully artistic rendition of the Nativity play in the form of a shadow puppet presentation devised and put together by Deacon Father Nicholas Esterhuizen. The shadow puppets enacted the events that led up to the birth of Christ while the story was told by the children reading from the Gospel of Saint Luke.

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Everyone was enchanted by the children’s singing of good old fashioned Christmas carols and traditional Kalanda. The children were accompanied by their own little string quartet and the audience was encouraged to join in including our special guests Pater Nikolaos and Presbytera Maria, the Greek Consul Mr Thomas Matsoukas and President of the Hellenic Community Mr Fotis Sousalis.

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Then it was time for the countdown to switching on the lights of the Karavaki and everyone oohed and aahd as the boat burst into phosphorescent shimmering light.

The mouth-watering aroma of the delicious kalamari stew prepared by Eftugia Spiratos tempted everyone to have seconds. The excellent meal was followed by very moreish nistisimo confectionery provided by Eftugia and Dora Wild and there was a lot of laughter, munching and chatting well into the night.Despite the high-force winds, everybody who attended was thoroughly satisfied and delighted with this memorable evening which felt like a happy relaxed family gathering and it certainly ushered in the Christmas season with a lot of goodwill.

We wish you all Kala Xristougena.

By  Pepe Sofianos.

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St Mamas Annual Pets Blessing Day 2017 – Metropolis of Good Hope, Cape Town

Ponies and pets, kiddies and sticky fingers are a fail-proof recipe for fun and happy memories which all happened on Sunday 3 September at our eighth annual St Mamas Pets Blessing which took place in the grounds of the Metropolis in Rondebosch.

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Our prayers for  sunshine were answered  by St  Mamas and the afternoon  turned out  to  be a brilliant  Spring  day and was  a resounding success.

We had a rather rowdy start to the proceedings with dogs getting to know each other but everyone   soon settled down and we had a terrific time.

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After lighting the candles and incense in front of the icon of Saint Mamas, His Eminence Archbishop Sergios  and  Pater Nikolaos  welcomed  everyone   with a   hymn  and  a prayer  for animals. Then we all lined up to have our pets blessed by Pater Nikolaos who has a special knack of calming even the most   wayward dogs!

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Of course,  Deanne  Hathaway’s   popular ponies  were very much in demand as even the tiniest tots wanted to have a ride and Pepe’s fun lucky draws and prizes got the kids buzzing   with excitement.

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Yummy  refreshments were  served  and  finally it  was  time to  wind down with the traditional  marshmallow  bonfire which is always very popular with the children.Everyone went  home with pet  goody bags  and  a special  message from  Saint Mamas to  treasure  our pets and help spread  his example of  goodwill to all living creatures.

See you next year!

 

By Pepe Sofianos.

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