He was born in the present-day Turkish-occupied village of Marathovounos in the district of Famagusta, Cyprus, on [[October 28|28 October]] 1928. He was the ninth and last child of the family of the builder Theocharis and his wife Maria Hadjitofi. At the age of three he was orphaned through his father's death. After completing his primary education at the village school, the eleven-year-old Gregorios became an apprentice as a shoemaker in his brother-in-law's shop, where he worked for the next eight years. At the age of 20 he decided to attend a secondary school; he enrolled in 1949 at the Higher Commercial School of the town of Lefkoniko which, at that time, had only five classes. He was accepted in the second-year class.
In 1951 he transferred to the Pan-Cyprian Gymnasium, Nicosia, having become a [[monk|rasophore]], and he was later [[
ordain]] ed [[deacon]] on the Sunday of [[Pentecost]], 1953, at the Church of St. Sawa in Nicosia by the late [[Archbishop]] Makarios the Third.
He graduated from the Gymnasium in 1954 and went to Athens to study at the Theological School of the University. Before receiving his university degree in February 1959, he was appointed to the Church of All Saints in London. He arrived there and started his duties at the Church of the Holy Saints in Camden Town in April 1959. He was ordained [[presbyter]] by the late Archbishop of Thyateira, Athenagoras Kawadas, on the [[April 26|26th]] of the same month.