Abu Dhabi church to lay foundation stone for new building on Christmas

The new building of St George Orthodox Cathedral will be able to accommodate up to 2,000 people for service

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Ashwani Kumar

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The site for the new building of St George Orthodox Cathedral, Abu Dhabi. — Supplied photos
The site for the new building of St George Orthodox Cathedral, Abu Dhabi. — Supplied photos

Published: Fri 23 Dec 2022, 9:24 PM

The foundation stone for construction of a new building for one of the oldest churches in Abu Dhabi will be laid on Sunday, coinciding with Christmas.

Three bishops from the Indian state of Kerala will preside over the ceremony at St George Orthodox Cathedral, Abu Dhabi. Yakob Mar Elias, Metropolitan of the Brahmavar Diocese, Dr Joseph Dionysious, Metropolitan of the Kollam Diocese and Dr Joshua Mar Nichodimos, Metropolitan of the Ranni-Nilackal Diocese, will grace the occasion along with other community leaders.

“The foundation stone of our first church in Khalidiya area was laid by the late ruler, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in August 1970. Back then the benevolent ruler ensured a place of worship for the followers of the Indian Orthodox Church,” Metropolitan Elias said during a press conference.

Old building of St George Orthodox Cathedral, Abu Dhabi.
Old building of St George Orthodox Cathedral, Abu Dhabi.

In 1983, the church was shifted to a new complex in Al Mushrif area, which was demolished in September this year to make way for the new one.

“We will be starting the construction phase from this Sunday. I thank and pray for the leadership of this country, who have welcomed people from different religions to coexist peacefully here. I wish for continued prosperity of the UAE,” Metropolitan Elias noted.

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Father Eldho M Paul, vicar, St George Orthodox Cathedral, pointed out that the parish has 1,600 families as its members and hence needed a new building to accommodate the growing number of followers.

Yakob Mar Elias and other office-bearers during the press conference in Abu Dhabi.
Yakob Mar Elias and other office-bearers during the press conference in Abu Dhabi.

“The old church building was 39 years old. It was demolished in September this year to make way for a new building. Our new church building will be able to accommodate more people. From having 1,200 members for a service, we will be able to have up to 2,000 people.”

While the construction of the new church gets underway, the regular services will be held at a newly built hall on the premises. It includes a prayer hall, accommodation facilities for the priests and office.


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