Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, the leader of the Greek Orthodox faith in Great Britain, visited St Mary’s University, Twickenham on 3rd December.
During his visit, Archbishop Nikitas met with Chair of Governors Bishop Moth, Vice-Chancellor Anthony McClaran and senior academics from the University’s interfaith dialogue and modern slavery research teams.
The visit facilitated discussion of areas of collaboration between the Greek Orthodox faith and the University, particularly in the area of combating the crime of Modern Slavery, which Archbishop Nikitas has also spoken on.
The dialogue forms part of St Mary’s mission to facilitate interfaith conversation following the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the University as part of his State Visit in 2010. During his visit, the Holy Father hosted an interfaith forum in the Waldegrave Drawing Room, which welcomed faith leaders from across the United Kingdom. St Mary’s recently hosted a day of events and conversations to celebrate the legacy of this visit on its tenth anniversary, which can be view on the University’s website.
The University also welcomed the global leader of the Greek Orthodox faith, His All-Holiness Archbishop Bartholomew Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in 2015. During his visit, the Ecumenical Patriarch spoke on Religion in Dialogue: The Importance and Imperative of Dialogue in our World, to mark the then fifth anniversary of the Papal visit to St Mary’s.
Speaking of the visit of Archbishop Nikitas, St Mary’s Vice-Chancellor said, “We were honoured to welcome Archbishop Nikitas to our beautiful Strawberry Hill campus. I am proud to lead a University, which places interfaith dialogue at the core of its mission and that we have been able to continue to the conversation started by the visit of His All Holiness Bartholomew I in 2015. I am confident that following our latest discussions, we will see further collaboration in key shared areas of interest, including in the fight against modern slavery and human trafficking.”