History of the Cathedral

History of our sacred Cathedral

Our sacred Cathedral was originally an Anglican church dedicated to St Barnabas the Apostle, built in 1884–85 by Ewan Christian (Architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners from 1851–95) in the style of a three-aisled basilica without a dome.

The church first began being used for Orthodox worship in 1957, and later became St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral when the building was purchased with help from the Papathomas family of Cyprus. Since then, the building underwent a process of renovation and refurbishment to reflect the Greek Orthodox liturgical tradition, while the original features of the Anglican church — the magnificent stained glass windows, altar piece, commemorative plaques, and baptismal font — have been lovingly preserved. All internal walls and ceilings have been decorated with great devotion by a master iconographer from Athens, Dr Michael Akalestos, with biblical scenes and representations of prophets, saints and martyrs in the traditional Byzantine style, complemented by an array of magnificent woodcarvings, most notably the témplon (icon screen) which stands between the sanctuary and the nave.

The above works began under the guidance and supervision of the then Archimandrite Chrysostomos Mavroyannopoulos (born in Naxos, Greece, in 1927), who began serving the church as parish priest in 1961. Archimandrite Chrysostomos was ordained to the holy episcopate in 1970, becoming Bishop of Kyanea, and in 2019 was elevated by the Œcumenical Patriarchate to Metropolitan of Heliopolis. After tirelessly serving the church for nearly six decades, His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos retired to Greece in March 2020 at the age of 93. The Cathedral strives to continue his legacy of liturgical solemnity, religious education, and pastoral sensitivity.

St Andrew’s Greek School

The building adjoining St Andrew’s was since the early 1970s home to St Andrew’s Greek School, which operated under the auspices the Cathedral until July of 2013 and served several generations of London-born Greeks and Greek-Cypriots