Costa Carras reposed on 28th February 2022 in Athens, aged 84. Born in London to a ship-owning family, he studied philosophy and ancient history at Oxford where he was president of the Student Christian Movement. After studying economics at Harvard, he worked for many years in shipping in London.
He took part in the fight against the Greek dictatorship of 1967-74; and was involved in the effort to bring the junta’s crimes against the Greek people to the Council of Europe, which resulted in Greece withdrawing from the Council in late 1969 before it could be expelled. In 1972, seeing the need to protect Greece’s cultural and natural heritage, with his wife Lydia, Costa founded the Elliniki Etairia Society for Environmental and Cultural Heritage (ELLET). Since when it has remained in the vanguard for its significant achievements, persistence, sensitivity to issues, inspired ideas and tireless work. He was also the longest serving Vice-President of Europa Nostra, the federation of European conservation organisations. Costa played an important role in opening channels of communication between Greeks, Turks and Cypriots. He was a founding member of the Greek Turkish Forum, of the Friends of Cyprus and of the Centre for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe, and maintained an active role in these bodies.
He was co-chairman of the British Council of Churches’ Commission on Trinitarian Doctrine in the 1980s; and organised the ground-breaking 1988 meeting on religion and the environment in Patmos as a lay Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. From 1978 to 1999 Costa served on the Assembly of the Diocese of Sourozh under Metropolitan Anthony. During this time, along with Bishop Basil and Andrew Walker, he made a significant contribution to the drafting of the Diocesan Statutes. He also co-edited with Andrew Walker ‘Living Orthodoxy in the Modern World’. Costa was Chairman of the Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh Foundation up to the time of his death.
Father Alexander Fostiropoulos had the opportunity to spend several days visiting Costa at his home, and minister to him, during the week before his death. He was also able to return to Athens to be present and serve at his funeral on 3rd March 2022.