For 55 years the Parish & Community of St Ioannis (St John the Forerunner) has been at 11 Hassall St,
Parramatta. Parramatta is the rapidly developing second CBD of Sydney. Our Church is surrounded by high rise apartments and office towers, and new ones are constantly being built around us.
Our Parish has the desire to expand its services. Of course its primary service has always been and will always be spiritual work, the Divine Liturgy, the Sacraments and Prayer. It would like however to develop and to serve its people in new ways, but at the current site it cannot do this because it cannot expand, being surrounded by skyscrapers.
With the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos the Parish/Community entered into an attempt to sell its property where the Church and hall stand in order to buy something bigger. A very large meeting of Parishioners was held where the matter was debated. Fr Nicholas Tsouloukidis, who served the Parish/Community for 50 years since its establishment, during this debate said, “If someone is going to feel hurt if we sell our Church, the first one will be me, but the time has come for us to put emotion behind us and to do what is logical.” Over 99% of the people voted for the move.
We feel very blessed that we were able to sell and buy, and now have a new property that is very large, with ample parking, next to Parramatta River and a park, and very close to our current Church. On this site there is an existing large 2 storey building, of which we have converted a part to be used as a temporary Church, for Liturgies, Sacraments and Funerals. In another section we will continue our services to the Parish, and we will lease out the remaining sections to help us raise money for the building of a new Church at this site.
The last Liturgy in the old Church at 11 Hassall St Parramatta will be celebrated by Fr Nicholas Tsouloukidis and Fr DimitriosP Kokkinos on Sunday 7 June, 7.30 – 11am.
The first Liturgy at the new site, the corner of Purchase and George Streets Parramatta, will be officiated by His Grace Bishop Seraphim of Apollonias, on Sunday 14 June, 2015, 7.30 -11am.
Council is currently in the process of determing our application to commence liturgies at 163-165 George Street by June 14.
Source: The Greek-Australian Vema Newspaper – May 2015