Photos: Blessing of the Seas ceremony in Margate

Blessing of the Seas Photo Frank Leppard

The Greek/Cypriot community has celebrated the annual Blessing of the Seas in Margate today (January 12)

The event is.the Greek Orthodox celebration at Epiphany marking the baptism of Christ.  Margate was chosen for the honour in the mid-20th century because there is a large community of Greek Cypriot residents in the town.

Photo Frank Leppard

It’s organised by the local  Greek Orthodox Church whose Archbishop leads the devotions.

Services begin at the Church of St Michael the Archangel followed by a procession of dignitaries in full regalia, both religious and civic, and the piper to the main sands.

Photo Frank Leppard

Doves are released, prayers given and  a decorated cross is hurled into the waters to be retrieved by a young diver for Archbishop Nikitas Loulias.

Also in attendance were Bishop of Dover Rose Hudson-Wilkin, town mayors and North Thanet MP Sire Roger Gale.

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The event ended with a reception at the Margate Winter Gardens.