The Antiochian Orthodox Church, or Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, has had a presence in New Zealand for over a century, having originally arrived with families from Lebanon who sought a new life in a faraway land in the Southern Hemisphere. St George’s Mission began after the first services were held in Howick, Auckland, in November 2000 following the ordination of our parish priest, Father George Bosauder, by His Eminence Metropolitan Paul Saliba of thrice-blessed memory. Fr George and Khourieh (Presvytera) Mary now reside in Te Aroha, thus giving the mission a presence in The Waikato.
Many people in Western countries are not familiar with the Antiochian Church, but Antioch is one of the five ancient patriarchates that were established at the birth of Christianity. Indeed, St Luke tells us in the Acts of the Apostles that “…the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). The see was founded by Saints Peter and Paul, with Peter being its first bishop. The Antiochian Orthodox Church is a member of the Eastern Orthodox family of churches which includes among many others the Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox Churches.
A number of Orthodox jurisdictions have parishes and missions around New Zealand, and all welcome newcomers, but Antiochian congregations are distinguished by their commitment to the use of as much English as possible in services. We see this as important in making the treasures of the Orthodox Faith as accessible as possible to all New Zealanders.
Questions about Orthodoxy? Check out these sites for more information.
http://www.antiochian.org/ The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
https://www.antiochian.org.au/ Our own archdiocesan website
https://www.goarch.org/ The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
http://www.antiochian-orthodox.co.uk/ Antiochian Archdiocese of the British Isles
http://www.aidanorthodox.co.uk/ St Aidan’s Antiochian Orthodox Church, Manchester, England – lots of information here for newcomers to Orthodoxy
https://www.facebook.com/OrthodoxiaNZ/ Facebook page hosted by New Zealand’s Greek Orthodox community