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Wednesday, 24 April 2019 03:46 pm

Start soon on Wellington’s fourth Greek chapel

PLANS are being finalised for a Greek Orthodox Chapel to be built at Makara cemetery in the next six months.

The plans have been up for discussion among members of the Australasian Hellenic Education Progressive Association (AHEPA) who are funding the chapel.

The original plans have been reviewed since the Wellington City Council saw them in December when they granted a lease for the chapel.

 A ceremony took place at Easter when the ground was blessed.

“The date (April 7) is St Lazarus day, which is who the church will be dedicated to,”  says AHEPA president Neove Christoforou (left).

The location was chosen to be next to both the original and the new Greek cemeteries.

“The chapel is in the middle to bridge the two together.”

It will be used for special Greek Orthodox days and special services for the dead.

“It won’t be open every day, but we will be looking to have it open on  Saturday of Souls, and on All Saints memorial day on November 1, and things like mother’s day and Greek Easter, and the sort of days that people like to go to the cemetery to remember their loved ones.

“There will be a nice outdoor space which anybody can use and it will be a place people can go to reflect,” Mrs Christoforou says.

The Makara Community Board has been notified about the application and hopes to receive a copy of the plans, says board chair Christine Grace.

“It will benefit the large Greek community we have here in Wellington,” she says.

Wellington has the largest Greek Orthodox community in New Zealand and the new chapel will add to the three existing Greek churches, in Miramar, Petone and in the city.

Greek Orthodox Community president Stella Bares (right) says the chapel will be in keeping with architecture and design from Greece.

“It also gives visitors a taste of home, which is often what they need.”

Adherents to the Greek Orthodox Church bless the dead and light a candle for them on third day, ninth day, 40th day, and at three months, six months, nine months, 12 months, and three years after the death.

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