St Nectarios

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50 years since our “Θυρανοίξια" - the official opening of the doors - on Sunday 26 July 1970.
St Nectarios

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The Gothic-style church opened on 2 December 1879 and serviced a large congregation of Methodists for more than 90 years.
Due to a dwindling congregation, in March 1970 Burwood’s Methodists and the Congregationalists decided to form one united parish.
They decided to use the Congregational Church and Offices as its centre, making the Methodist Church building redundant.
Three years before, following the suggestion of His Eminence Archbishop Ezekiel, a Committee was formed in the Strathfield area.
Their task was to acquire, either a site to erect a Church, or an existing one, redundant to its owners.
It was considered by the Methodist Trustees and its Quarterly Meeting as “no mere coincidence” and an answer to their prayers.
An offer was made by the Committee to purchase the Methodist Church property in Railway Parade (church) and Burleigh Street, Burwood (hall).
25 April 1970 - Resurrection service held in our Church.
23 June 1970 - agreement was reached with the Methodist Church authorities for the purchase of both the church and hall. The contracts for which were exchanged on 16 September 1970.
12 July 1970 - Methodist Church Services ceased and arrangements were made for the surrendering of the Church fabric to the Greek Orthodox Community of the District in question (first known as Strathfield and later Burwood).
26 July 1970 - exactly 50 years to the day since the “Θυρανοίξια” of our Church - the opening of the doors - on Sunday 26 July 1970.
This blessing of our church (Hierarchical Liturgy) was officiated by the then Archbishop, His Eminence the Archbishop Ezekiel.
By then the momentous decision to name the Church after St. Nectarios, the modern Saint of the Orthodox Church (canonised in 1961) had been taken.
“Now, over 90 years after…this stately and memory-hallowed building will welcome people of an older culture and the Gospel will be heard in the tongue in which it was first written and the Methodist hymns will give place to…chants sung unaccompanied by a male choir and the congregation will burn their candles and follow the customs of a way of worship that goes back to the days of St. Paul.’

From the editorial of the July issue of ‘Venture’

The above quotation is taken from what was to be the last issue of ‘Venture’, the official journal of the Methodist Parish of Burwood, before their old and beloved Church building passed into Greek Orthodox hands. It conveys but a fraction of the emotion which they must have felt, which indeed powerfully gripped them, when they were finally confronted with the obviously irrevocable parting from what had been the hub of their organised Church life for just over 90 years.

6 September 1970 - a handover ceremony was held, officiated by the then Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia (then also of New Zealand) His Eminence Ezekiel, the Parish Rector, The Very Reverend Archimandrite Father Ezekiel Petritsis and the Methodist Reverend N. Bradshaw.

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