They came to light candles, ask for blessings and give thanks in celebration of Saint Nektarios’ annual feast day.
More than 350 faithful gathered at Wollongong’s St Nektarios Greek Orthodox church on Sunday to pay homage to the famous saint, who is lauded among orthodox communities as a prolific miracle-worker.
Bus-loads of parishioners travelled from Sydney and Melbourne for the service, which was led by Wollongong parish priest Father Savas Pizanias and visiting Metropolitan Bishop Christodoulos.
The event took on special significance this year, as parishioners of the Atchison Street church celebrated their ties to the city.
‘‘It was a milestone because, unlike other years when we celebrate the feast on the ninth of November, it is also 40 years since the establishment of our Greek community [in Wollongong],’’ Fr Pizanias said.
The church held a festival following the service, featuring live bands and market stalls.
It will be followed by a 40th anniversary ball, to be held at the Wollongong Portofino function centre on November 15.
The Wollongong church is only one of two named after Saint Nektarios in NSW, the other is in Burwood.