Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand
|This article forms part of the series|
|Edit this box|
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand existed, first as a Metropolis in 1924, then as an Archdiocese in 1959, until the split of the Archdiocese in 1970. The successors to this Archdiocese are the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Zealand.
The first priest to serve in Australia was Archimandrite Dorotheos Bakaliaros around 1896. In 1898 the first Greek Orthodox parish was established, named after the Holy Trinity. Communities were originally supplied with priests from the Church of Jerusalem, and later the Church of Greece, and there was no attempt to organise the communities into a diocese.
In 1924, the Greek Orthodox parishes in Australia were transferred to the Church of Constantinople, who sent Christoforos (Knitis) to be the first metropolitan of Australia and New Zealand. He served until 1929 when he returned to Samos, his homeland. The next metropolitan was Timotheos (Evangelinidis), and he arrived in 26 January, 1932, serving until he was elected metropolitan of Rhodes in 1947. He was replaced by Theophylactos (Papathanasopoulos), who served until his death in a car crash on 2 August, 1958. Ezekiel (Tsoukalas), then an assistant bishop in America, was elected metropolitan of Australia and New Zealand in February 1959, and arrived on 2 April 1959.
On 1 September of that year, the Metropolis of Australia and New Zealand was elevated to Archdiocese, and Ezekiel to Archbishop. Later, in 1970, the Holy Synod of the Church of Constantinople separated New Zealand from Australia, leaving the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Zealand.