The History of St Thomas
2003 - 2011
The Church of St. Thomas was born out of prayer. In 2003 a small
group of people began meeting regularly in the home of Tony and Suzanne Lane to
pray and worship God. Numbers increased as the local ex-pat community grew.
Early in 2007, Tony Lane, realising the need for a more suitable
worship space, and inspired by the typical Cretan mountain chapels, designed
and built the Church of St Thomas. In
July that year, the ministry of the Church of St Thomas officially commenced
with the naming and blessing of this newly built Church by Canon Mike
Canon Mike Peters was licensed by the Bishop of Europe
and our first priest to live in the community.
Over the next two years Canon Mike guided us through the process of
becoming part of the Anglican Church in Europe, which included setting up
a Church Council, introducing weekly Holy Communion services, along with major
Church festivals, and most important of all training and preparing Tony Lane
for the priesthood. Beginning as, and remaining part of the Greater Athens Chaplaincy, the
congregation is largely autonomous, while engaged with other Anglicans in
Greece, Europe, England, and in the Anglican Communion.
At the same service that the chapel was dedicated by Bishop
Geoffrey Rowell, Tony Lane was Licensed as a Reader within the Anglican
Church. Later that year the covered
Tabernacle was erected by Tony, creating an area for over 100 worshippers to be
seated in all weathers.
In October 2009 Tony Lane was made a deacon, and in July 2010 he
was ordained as a priest. Tony now assists as a retired priest when he is in
The Rev. Terry Wilcock took over as our priest in charge in
2011, and served us for the following three years until January 2014, before
returning to England. Before his posting in Crete, Mr. Wilcock worked in the
diocese of Carlisle, as priest-in-charge of St. Thomas, Crosscrake, Kendal.
The Rev. Canon Philip Lambert was appointed to succeed Terry in
July 2014. He and his wife,Frances Lambert,intended to stay in Crete for a long
time, and they were both quite involved in helping to grow the “Social
Supermarket” in Apokoronas. Unfortunately, Frances became quite ill and the
decision was made to return to England for treatment in May 2017, where, sadly,
she died that Autumn. Following this the Rev. Tony Lane and the Rev. Canon Ian
Brothwood (an Anglican priest recently retired to Crete) undertook to provide
coverage during the long interim.
New Chaplain and Our New Curate
An international search for a new assistant chaplain was
launched in 2017. A search committee was established, consisting of two
parishioners and the Rev Canon Leonard Doolan, senior chaplain at the Anglican
Church of St Paul in Athens. On their recommendation the fourth Bishop in
Europe, the Right Rev Dr Robert Innes, appointed the Rev Canon D. Bruce Bryant
Scott to be the new assistant chaplain.
Canon Bruce comes from the Anglican Church of Canada where he
served in urban and rural parishes in the dioceses of Niagara (in Ontario) and
British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. Bruce was Executive Officer and Diocesan
Archdeacon in the Diocese of British Columbia from 2004 to 2012, working
closely with Bishop James Cowan. He was a member of the General Synod of the
Anglican Church of Canada for fifteen years and served on innumerable diocesan,
provincial, and national committees. As a very part-time Refugee Coordinator
for the Diocese of BC in 2015-2017, he oversaw a ten-fold growth in the work of
privately sponsoring refugees from Syria and other conflicted parts of the
world. He is an Honorary Canon of the Diocese of British Columbia. A graduate
of the University of Toronto and Harvard University, he is currently a candidate for a PhD from the University of London, with a
thesis entitled “Unsettling Theology: The Theological Legacy of the Indian
Residential Schools of Canada 1880-1970”. He awaits his oral examination in
October 2019. He and his wife Frances moved to Crete with their retired racing
greyhound Aodhán, and they have two adult children in the United States. Bruce
is a follower of the Toronto Raptors, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, the Boston
Red Sox, and the New England Patriots.
The Rev Julia Bradshaw was ordained a deacon on June 30, 2019. A
member of the congregation practically from the beginning in 2004, she is one
of the few “permanent” deacons in The
Diocese in Europe. As a deacon her ministry is oriented towards service and
those outside of the congregation as such. She will serve a three year curacy
at St. Thomas’s under the supervision of Canon Bruce.