The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, visited St Catherine’s Greek Orthodox Church in Friern Barnet Lane at the weekend to a full congregation and to meet and discuss matters of interest with the British Cypriot community in her constituency.
Theresa was welcomed on arrival by the chairman of the church Costas Christou, the Priest-in-charge of St Catherine’s the Very Revd. Archimandrite Damianos Constantinou and the chairman of the ladies section Eleni Strati. Mr Christou welcoming Mrs Villiers said that “ she is a distinguished politician and a long-time campaigner for justice in Cyprus, working with our supporters in Parliament to reach a negotiated settlement to reunite our island”. He then invited Mrs Villiers to give a speech at the end of the service
Theresa said: “I very much welcome this opportunity to meet so many of my constituents and here their views on matters of key importance. I have campaigned for justice for Cyprus for nearly 17 years. I know how painful it is for many of my constituents that Cyprus remains divided over 40 years after the invasion.”
“I try to engage with as many faith groups as I can in my constituency. I know the important role that the Greek Orthodox Church plays not just in the spiritual life of Cypriots in north London but also in bringing people together and fostering a sense of community.”
Theresa concluded by inviting all those present to contact her if they ever needed the help of their MP. She then joined church members for refreshments in the newly refurbished church hall.
Mrs Villiers arranged for 12 members of the congregation to visit and tour the historic building of Parliament with Mrs Strati leading the delegation.
St Catherine’s Greek Orthodox Church moved to Friern Barnet Lane five years ago but there has been a church on the site for many hundreds of years.