Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, has expressed her warm support for the Greek School at Ashmole in Southgate in her constituency. She was among a number of guests present for a blessing ceremony conducted by His Eminence the Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain to mark the opening of the new academic year on Saturday.
The event was presided over by the chair of the Greek Parents Association (GPA), Panayiotis Yiakoumis, and took place in Ashmole secondary school in Cecil Road where the Greek School operates on Saturdays. The school is one of eight run by the GPA.
Following the ceremony, Theresa Villiers said “It is great that there are so many successful Greek supplementary schools in my constituency and other parts of north London. It was an honour to be present for this special blessing ceremony by His Eminence the Archbishop who works so hard for the community.”
“I fully appreciate how important Greek schools are for my Cypriot constituents. They help keep the community together and provide important educational opportunities for children. As I said in my speech to parents, staff, children and guests, I am certain that those attending the Greek School at Ashmole will make new friends that they will keep for life. I pay tribute to Panayiotis Yiakoumis and the Greek Parents’ Association for running this very successful school and so many others too.”
“I campaigned successfully to save the A Level in Modern Greek from the threat of abolition by exam boards. I persuaded Education Ministers to intervene because I knew that loss of this exam could threaten Greek schools in my constituency. I will continue to support Greek schools in my constituency when they need my help.”
A blessing at the start of the academic year is a traditional part of education within the Greek Orthodox Church. Saturday’s event was covered by RIK TV.