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The candle-bearer

When father Georgios got to seven or eight years old, he became a candle-bearer at the church with his friend. ‘Of course, we were very excited and had fun with our friends carrying candles. We thought it was a very important duty.’ This went on until they were about twelve or thirteen years old. After that, their religious elders started to teach them to chant and to read the properly, along with other children. For father Georgios, his teacher was very important to him. He stayed at his side for around four years with his friends.

The elders of the went to different churches – maybe not every Sunday but on certain significant Sundays – and held services. While they were holding the service, they would take a choir along with them. So, during that period, Father Georgios and his friends went with the elders of the patriarchate to every corner of Istanbul, to every church. He said ‘we loved going with the grown-ups on the bus. At that time, the patriarchate used minibuses. We went to a lot of places in those four years.’ He also talked about how, at the time, ‘no area affected me more than this one [ area].’