St Sophia in Valley Forge Set to open Pascha 2012

Progress is well underway on a new Byzantine temple in Valley Forge, the home of St Sophia/ Ss. Faith Hope and Agape Greek Orthodox Church.  After many years of planning, the Parish celebrated their long-awaited groundbreaking on March 6th, 2011 with the sitework construction beginning a couple of weeks later.  Ply-mar Site Contracting and Horst Construction started the building in June 2011 and have been working hard to assure the Parish will celebrate their first Divine Liturgy by Pascha 2012 this coming April.

Progress in Dec 2011

Looking at the Apse in Dec 2011

The new 425 seat Temple has great flexibility in accommodating a range of Liturgical needs.   It is a true Byzantine jewel with 8 columns that organize a central octagonal 6th century nave under a soaring 32’ wide copper colored dome.  Extensive stone and brick work on the exterior is in the style of more rustic Orthodox churches and connects the temple in its environment.  10’ high Great Doors of Iron will lead you into the new Temple that is part of a larger Masterplan.  Future phases of the plan will feature a new chapel on the North side of the Temple and a Gateway building that will connect their existing hall to the new Temple.  The Gateway will house new administration space, classrooms on two levels, library and a unique kafenion serving great coffee and Greek Pastries.  The whole complex will be a great resource for the community and will serve the needs of the Parish now and in the future.

Aerial rendering showing Phase 1 of the Masterplan

An early rendering showing the Temple, Chapel and Gateway Building

Architect's Rendering of the New Temple

The Dome structure was raised into place on October 14th and the building is now completely dry inside.  You can see progress of the work by logging into the parish website and looking at their webcam that has continued to document the progress.

Raising of the Dome in October 2011

Framing of the interior of the Dome - the Icon of Heaven

Looking at the south side of the Temple

Looking towards the Nave from below the Mezzanine

Now that the interior is ready, the Parish is working with iconographer Dr. George Kordis to complete the entire initial phase of the iconography plan in the Apse, Dome and Nave spaces.  Dr. Kordis and his team has started their work on Jan 29th and will be working through March 10th.  You can read more about George and his work at Holy Trinity GOC in Columbia, SC here. (  Please come back to see upcoming CJK Design blog entries detailing the amazing progress George and his team have already accomplished.

Kordis iconography maquette Showing the Platytera and Pantocrator

Early Sketches directly on the walls of the Platytera

Initial Work in the Dome with Dr. Kordis

Apse with Color on the Platytera

This has been possible with the paternal support of His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos and the drive and dedication of  the core leadership and benefactors together with the faithful stewards of the Parish.  Axios to the dynamic team and the whole community of St Sophia who have shared their Time, Treasure and Talents to make this project happen. 

There is still time for you, your family or your parish to be a part of this momentous effort through their various fundraising opportunities, including the iconography sponsorship, interior sacred space sponsorship and “buy a brick” programs.  Click here to find out more.

Stay tuned for more on the progress of the Parish and the work of George Kordis