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Wairarapa girl comes home to marry in orthodox fashion

Kate Silverwood marries Spiro Angelis at the Church of Transfiguration on Saturday. PHOTO/BELINDA PRATT

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The doors of the Church of Transfiguration were opened for the marriage of Masterton-raised Kate Silverwood to Melbourne-raised Spiro Angelis on Saturday.

It arguably could not have been a more suitable use of the beautifully painted Greek Orthodox church built by the late George Pantelis, which was for so long regarded as a hidden jewel.

Spiro is from a Greek family and it was a traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony.

Kate was baptised in April at a Greek church in Adelaide.

Kate was educated in Masterton, attending the now closed Totara Drive primary school, St Matthew’s and Wairarapa College.

The 33-year-olds met at medical school in Melbourne in 2008 and got together in 2009. Both are qualified doctors and are in emergency medicine – although Kate intends to become a GP.

It was a small wedding, partly because the church is small and partly because a lot of Spiro’s family live in Greece.

When they decided to marry, Kate’s mother said, “we have a Greek church in Masterton”.

The couple had kept up with how the church had been painted and restored and put into a trust on the death of Pantelis.

They have been told by locals there was a wedding at the church in the 1970s so they don’t think it is a first, but it is the “first for a few years as far as we know”.

“We came back here because my family is here and Masterton is my home town,” Kate said.

During the wedding ceremony neither of the couple had to say anything – there were no vows.

Neither were there bridesmaids but Spiro’s sister was koumbaro, a sponsor.

The Orthodox ceremony is steeped in ritual and symbolism and unlike other religions has not been truncated or altered throughout the history of time.

There was first a service during which the rings were exchanged. The koumbaro played a role in this.

Then there was a Service of Marriage or Crowning, during which prayers were offered for the couple, the crowns of marriage were placed on their heads, the common cup was shared, and the ceremonial walk took place around the table.


  1. Many Years to the bride and groom! As one of the few Orthodox in the Wairarapa, it is such a wonderful thing to see this. It reminded me of my own wedding in Russia, and my son’s wedding in Dallas.

  2. How wonderful!! The Church is so special and it’s great to see it used.
    Congratulations and best wishes to the Bride and Groom.

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