New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
Features >

OLYMPICS 2004: Swiftly in motion


 DESPITE the last-minute fears, there was never any doubt that the Olympics would happen, says Chris Saccali, the churchwarden of St Peter’s, Kifissia, Athens.

"This is Greece and it is how we do things. I applied over two years ago to be a volunteer, and my training day and accreditation has come through now."

She pointed out that the Metro linking the airport to the city and Olympic stadiums was finally open, and that other construction work around the city would soon be finished.

St Peter’s has been directly affected by the Olympics, as the Kifissia area is home to both the athletes’ village and main Olympic stadium. "Having it on the doorstep means the church has been closed for the month. We meet in St Catherine’s, the British Embassy School, which is being cordoned off and used for a recreational centre for athletes and their families. This means it is out of bounds for us because of security reasons. But a number of our members are heavily involved in the games, including the opening ceremony," said Ms Saccali. She is also a trainee layreader and a member of the Eastern Archdeaconry Synod (Europe diocese) — an area which covers a large part of Eastern Europe.

St Peter’s is happy to comply with the inconveniences caused by the heightened security in Athens. Four years ago St Peter’s was devastated by the murder of Brigadier Stephen Saunders, the British defence attaché. Brigadier Saunders was a churchwarden at St Peter’s, and attended with his wife Heather and their children.

Heather Saunders appeared on BBC’s televised Olympic Songs of Praise from Athens last Sunday, which featured English-speaking churches of various denominations. It was filmed outdoors in the shadow of the Acropolis.

Mrs Saccali said: "We all knew Stephen and his family, so this was a personal loss as well as a great tragedy. St Peter’s is a small church but is very much part of the Greater Athens Anglican chaplaincy. It has not been an easy time for us since then.

"Our previous chaplain had to return to England on health grounds. The Revd Michael Counsell came out to help us briefly and stayed two years. But he is retiring after the games, and at the moment we do not have anyone to replace him."

Job of the week

Vicar

London and Home Counties

Diocese of Oxford Archdeaconry of Berkshire - Deanery of Newbury The Bishop of Reading seeks to appoint a VICAR for St. Mary the Virgin, Greenham Greenham is a single parish benefice on the sou...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Finding a way, with words

Finding a way, with words

The writer Anne Lamott appears for the first time at the Greenbelt Festival next week. Her confessional books interweave faith, literature, pain, and humour. She talks to Jo Browning Wroe  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Should the UK send troops to protect Iraqis against Islamic State fighters?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

A radical and necessary move for democracy

On the anniversary of the Chartists' attending church, Steve Parish examines their demands, and asks what has changed  Subscribe to read more

Wed 20 Aug 14 @ 14:55
We interviewed @bentleybrowning about stand-up classes for clergy in April: http://t.co/y7wSD7oojc

Wed 20 Aug 14 @ 14:54
RT @bentleybrowningCome and see Rev Ravi Holy doing his first ever stand up gig on Thursday at The Hidewawy Pub. http://t.co/bcIQPGP3aW http://t.co/YyAxFCEDbu