Holy Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos of Christchurch New Zealand
The seed for the establishment of this Community was sown by Father Elias Economou, the touring priest.
When he conducted the Divine Liturgy in Christchurch one day in 1959, in a small building transformed into the Holy Church of St Nicholas – the building was rented by the Russians and they used it as a chapel – the church was full as were the grounds outside. There were 60 people in total. At the end of the Divine Liturgy he urged the people on telling them that it would be good for them to now have their own church. This idea started to spread and flame up. The priest appointed three people from the congregation – Messrs Athanasios Titsos, Andreas Matsis and Elias Karambasis – to form the first fund-raising committee and all three accepted without objection.
So the collecting of money began together with the search for an appropriate piece of ground to purchase on which to build the church.
At the beginning of May 1961 Mr. Malcom Ott, husband of Mrs. Parthenia Ott, learned that the Anglican church in Christchurch was selling a church in Malvern and Roosevelt Street in the district of St Albans. Having seen the church and its surrounding grounds, the committee agreed to purchase it at a price of 3500 New Zealand pounds. The deposit of 1000 pounds was given by Mr. Ott and Mr. Panayiotis Pavlides. So, the Greeks of New Zealand obtained their church from 19 May 1961.
A General Assembly was called immediately, on 28 May of the same year, during which the first council was elected, with Mr. Theodosios Papageorgiou as Chairman and P. Pavlides, A. Matsis, A. Titsos, Th. Kerdemelides, M. Ott and H. Karambasis as members.
The first Divine Liturgy was conducted by His Eminence Archbishop Hezekiel of Australia.
From 1966 the teacher of Greek language was Mrs. Georgia Nikolis, and at the same time the search was on for a permanent priest.
On 3 / 4 / 1967 the church was paid off.
From May 1970 they had Father Constantine Lendakis as their permanent priest. The inauguration of the church took place on 21 / 11 / 1971 by His Eminence Dionysius of New Zealand.
The serving chairmen to today are:
Haralambos Kazianis and today the Chairman is Mr. Panayiotis Halloumis, the Deputy Chairman is Kyriakos Georgiou, 1st Secretary Nikky Symeonides- McDonald, 2nd Secretary Nikos Tesco, Treasurer Patra Lyford, members Nikos Nikolis and Chrysoula Blake.