Debts Threaten Montreal’s ‘Panagitsa’ Greek Church

Photo credit: Angela Prinos

After Montreal’s Greek Orthodox Koimisis Tis Theotokou Church in Park-Extension burned down in 2015 it has since been rebuilt — but is once again at risk.

The church, which is fondly known throughout the Montreal Greek community as ‘Panagitsa’, burst into flames in 2015 and was completely destroyed.

Since then, the church has been re-built and has been operating as usual.

The re-building of the new church began in September 2016, but many of the subcontractors have been left unpaid. As a result, the general contractor along with other subcontractors have now placed a lien on the property.

Although the insurance covered most of the damage costs, due to prices rising at a quick pace, the rebuilding of the church went up to CAN$4 million ($3 million), and as of now, there is an outstanding debt of $600,000 left to be paid.

According to CBC News, the Hellenic Community’s secretary of real estate and procurement Achilles Nikopoulos said: “The subcontractors have got a bit antsy.

“We are a non-profit. It’s hard for us to have instant access to funds. So we’re trying to work with them and say: ‘Be patient. It’s coming.'”

Apparently, the Hellenic Community is currently trying to negotiate with its financial institution for short-term funds.

However, if they do not pay within the next couple of months, they could legally be forced to sell the property in order to settle the debt.

Nikolopoulos says that the community will not let that happen.

Nikopoulos told Global News: “We’re working diligently right now with our financial institution, with our donors, and fundraising process is going to be ongoing to be able to clear this off.”

The community says that they have half the money that is needed and that a big fundraiser is in the plans for April to celebrate the church’s 50th anniversary.


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