A Reader’s Memory of Antiphonitis
By Margaret Sheard
We have received an interesting comment from Carole Lloyd who enjoyed reading the recently published article about Antiphonitis Church near Esentepe. Carole and her late husband Rod had discovered the church during a visit as far back as 1972 so I am sure it brought back some lovely memories for her.
This is what Carole Lloyd told us:-
“I have just enjoyed reading your article about Antiphonitis Church. Here are some snippets of information you may find interesting.
Rod and I first discovered this church in 1972!!! We were staying in Gazimagusa and made a trip to stay overnight in Girne. On our return journey we decided to go the pretty way, across the Kyrenia range.
We looked down into the valley and could see a church, so headed for it. There was a Greek custodian and his wife and children looking after it. They made us very welcome and brought out the usual juice, fruit, and figs etc. I always remembered that the cat had just had kittens and they were in the bread oven (it was off). We wandered around the church on our own, taking photos. We always loved that place.
We were due to return to Cyprus in 1974, but it was cancelled due to the Turkish Peace Intervention.
Finally we came back in 1982, went to the South and hated it. It was so spoilt. We came back to Girne in 1984 and it was still basically unchanged in the past 12 years.
We befriended a guy called Mustafa who ran the Green Peace bar at Kucuk Erenkoy. Sadly this is now closed due to ill health. Mustafa was originally a teacher in Lefkosa and taught English. He was very knowledgeable about local history. We asked him about what we thought was the vandalism/ graffiti in the church and he said it wasn’t. Apparently when the Greek priests were in charge, anyone who had a sick relative, or had just lost someone, could write a message on the wall for their souls to be healed etc. this was for a small “donation” to the priest!!
Nearly every holiday for many years we used to go to this church. I haven’t been for a few years now, but glad that it is still being well cared for.”