H.E. Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden and All Scandinavia visited the Parish of Gothenburg, on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2022, to stand by the flock of the Mother Church and to inspect the damages at the facilities of the Holy Trinity church, caused due to the heavy rains that hit the area in the previous days.
The Holy Metropolis immediately sent a special crew, which installed dehumidifiers in the church, removing the rainwater beforehand.
Due to the fact that the church will be out of order until its restoration, the Divine Liturgy scheduled for Saturday, December 24, 2022, following the request of Metropolitan Cleopas to H.E. Archbishop Benjamin of the Syrian-Aramean Community of Sweden, was held in the St. John parish of the Syrian-Aramean Community of Gothenburg.
The Divine Liturgy was celebrated by the V. Rev. Archimandrite Alexandros Loukatos, Presiding Priest of the Metropolitan Church of the Annunciation of the Theotokos in Oslo, who traveled to Gothenburg by car.
At the Divine Liturgy, a sufficient number of parishioners from the wider area attended, especially young families with their children.
In his speech to the children, during the “Koinonikon”, the Bishop spoke about the importance of the Christmas holiday and the personality and philanthropic ministry of Saint Basil the Great, and Fr. Alexandros read the Christmas Episcopal Encyclical.
The religious gathering was attended by the Honorary Consul of Greece in Gothenburg Mr. Christos Kakazoukis with his parents, whom His Eminence thanked for his support in the work of the Holy Metropolis. The Consul welcomed His Eminence and wished the churchgoers a happy holiday.
The Bishop, addressing the Pastor of the Syrian-Aramean Community of Gothenburg Rev. Fr. Vesim Kurt, thanked him for his parish hospitality, and offered him the book dedicated to the Patriarchal Visit of 2019, along with the trilingual edition of the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.
His Eminence wished everyone for Christmas and expressed the full support of the local Church and himself personally for the recent ordeal, and promised that he will do everything he can to restore the damages to the church of the Holy Trinity.
He also informed the Gothenburg parishioners that the next prescheduled Divine Liturgy in the area will be celebrated on Sunday, January 8, 2023, by the V. Rev. Archimandrite Sosipatros Stefanoudis, in Toleredskyrkan, located at Vinlandsgatan 2, 417 29 Göteborg, kindly provided by the Lutheran Diocese of Gothenburg.
Immediately after, His Eminence and his entourage, consisting of Mr. Kakazoukis, Fr. Alexandros and members of the parish, visited the Holy Trinity church premises, where they personally witnessed the damages caused by the heavy rains.
Afterwards, the Metropolitan visited families living in the city of Gothenburg and that same evening returned by train to the headquarters of his Eparchy, in Stockholm.
On Christmas day, H.E. Metropolitan Cleopas presided over the Divine Liturgy, in the Cathedral of St. George in Stockholm, in which the V. Rev. Archimandrite Bartholomew Iatridis, Pastor of the aforementioned parish, participated.
At the end of the church services, the Sunday School students sang carols and received chocolates by the Bishop and the Parish Priest.
Photos, curtesy of the Holy Metropolis of Sweden, Fr. Alexandros Loukatos and Mr. Christos Kakazoukis.