Vickie Janson, Michael Janson, Jim Wallace, St Mina, St marina, Orthodox, CoptsAustralia Christians Senate candidate Vickie Janson and her husband Michael were among the guests at the official Grand Opening of the St Mina & St Marina Coptic Orthodox church in Hallam, Victoria.

Copts are the native Christians of Egypt and the direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians who were converted to Christianity by St Mark. In keeping with the Biblical narrative,this grand church is a great monument birthed from simple beginnings. While visiting the Coptic congregation in 1989, Pope Shenouda 111 blessed a shed on the property used for feeding cattle and prophesied ‘this manger will become a Church by the grace of the Lord’. Today, a magnificent building stands as a great testimony to the dedication, hard work and faithfulness of all those who caught this vision. From a small congregation, 450-500 families are now supported through the work of St Mina & St Marina Coptic Orthodox church.

Politicians from both sides of parliament were represented and spoke highly of the contribution of this community. Mayor Sam Aziz honoured His Grace Bishop Suriel with the ‘Keys to the City’ – a first in the City of Casey. And Fr Abanoub Attalla was recognised for his tireless and sacrificial commitment to the community. A congratulatory message from Prime Minister Julia Gillard was read by the Hon Anthony Bryne MP acknowledging the persecution and resourcefulness of the Coptic people.  Vickie and Michael were thrilled to be able to participate in this celebration; a milestone for the Coptic Community in Hallam.



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