The Greek Orthodox
Community of St. John the Baptist was originally housed in St
Clements Anglican Church in Caledonian Road, Barnsbury, London N7.
The Holy Church has received the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of
Thyateira and Great Britain following the consent of the Anglican
Church. On Saturday 11th June, 1966 the first Vespers and on Sunday
12th June 1966 the first Divine Liturgy and Blessing of the Water
was officiated by the then Archbishop of Thyateira and Great
Britain, the blessed Athenagoras Kokkinakis, in the presence of
several Priests of London. The Head of the Church then was the
blessed Archimandrite Nikiforos Kykkotis and President of the Church
Board was Kyriakos Mouskas.
1967, he came from Cyprus to London, the Monk
Heracles Aristotelous, where he was promoted to the
rank of Archimandrite by Archbishop Athenagoras, and
was renamed Leontios. That year, Archimandrite
Nikiforos was transferred to All Saints and the
position of Parish Priest of the Church became
Archimandrite Leontios Aristotelous. In 1977,
Kyriakos Mouskas moved to Athens, and the then
Secretary and Treasurer of Community, Charalambos
Kyriakides was appointed by Archbishop Athenagoras
as the new President of the Board.
Because of town movement of emigrants, the Holy
Church started losing part of the congregation, and
in addition, problems in the building of the Church,
the then leaders of the community started searching
for a new church building. Finally, they found a
derelict Anglican Church in North London, in
Wightman Rd, which was dedicated to the Apostle
After a series of negotiations, the purchase
of the Holy Church by the Greek Orthodox Community
of St. John the Baptist, led by the then Archbishop
Athenagoras II. In particular, it was the intention
of the first agreement to purchase the freehold of
the Church Presbytery at £ 30,000 and leasehold the
Church itself of £ 1,000 per year in a 21-year
many structural and mechanical problems there was an
immediate need for financial resources for their
rehabilitation. Generous expatriates, including N.
Hadjipateras, C. Hadjipateras, H. Karamanlis, K.
Mouskas, S. Polemis, M. Hatziioannou, offered large
sums of money to cover the needs of the Church, and
others with their own work, offered equally to this
work, that reached the Opening of the new Church on
October 5, 1980 by the then Archbishop of Thyateira
and Great Britain the blessed Methodios Fouyias.
At that time, Sophocles Papanicolaou undertook
entirely the sponsorship and financial assistance to
the Church in every possible level. In particular,
he renovated the interior of the Church, he paid in
advance the total amount of rent for 21 years, in
total £ 21,000, and ultimately, in 1981 with a
generous offer of £ 80,000 he bought the building of
the Holy Church and soon after, along with leading
Greek expatriates, such as Minos Kolokotronis,
Vassilis Tsakiroglou and Leonidas Pateras, they
collected the sum of £ 40,000, a sum that purchased
the adjacent Hall.
On June 23, 1985 there was conducted the official
opening of the Holy Church by the then Archbishop
Methodios. At the Grand Opening Ceremony there were
decorated more than 20 protagonists of the church
with the title of the Key Openers.
The Iconography of the Holy Church and many portable
icons, were painted by the painter Eleftherios
Foulidis and the work lasted for more than 18 years
and constitute an important feature of the interior
decoration of the Church.
In 1999, the then
Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Gregorios,
appoint the then Treasurer of the Committee
Mr George Kallis as new president,
and in 2012 appoint the then
member of the Committee Mr Andreas Ioannou
who performs his duties successfully to this day.
The Grand Patron of the Church, Sophocles
Papanicolaou, died on June 9, 1990, and for many
years the Founder and Head of the Church,
Archimandrite Leontios Aristotelous on 5 December
2001. Both men have been identified with the history
of the Holy Church and for this reason Memorials are
conducted every year in memory for the rest of their