Monday, 22 August 2011

E-NEWSLETTER Issue 33 Vol 2 - 19th August 2011


AArmenian Church of the United Kingdom and Ireland

VV. Revd Dr. Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate



25 Cheniston Gardens Kensington London W8 6TG Tel: 020 8127 8364 Fax: 0872 111 5548





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Based on the positive and encouraging feedback we received from our faithful concerning the idea of a pilgrimage to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, as announced in the previous issues of the E-Newsletter, the Primate’s Office is happy to confirm the dates of the first Armenian Church Pilgrimage to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The nine-day pilgrimage will leave Heathrow Airport on Sunday, 30th October, and return on Monday the 7th November. The pilgrims will visit the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and its museums and various chapels and buildings, and participate in the celebration of the Badarak at the historic Mother Cathedral on Sunday, 6th November. The pilgrimage will also include exciting one-day excursions to places such as: the magnificent monastic complex and cathedral of Geghard, most of which hewn into the rocky mountain; the 4th-century Khor Virab, i.e. the pit where St. Gregory was imprisoned, which is considered the birthplace of Armenian Christianity and the beautiful church erected around it; the 13th-century Cathedral of Saghmosavank on the slopes of Mount Aragats at 2,300 meters above sea level; and the two-floor


Noravank Monastery

which is situated deep in the

Noravank canyon, appearing as if

perched high on the flat surface of a

rock, which during the 13th-14th

centuries became the residence of

the Syunik bishops.

The Pilgrims will also visit Sevan and its surroundings, one of the best leisure destinations in Armenia, with its Lake and clean beaches and fresh water. Sevan is also known for its ancient churches on top of the mountain overlooking the magnificent

lake. The cost of the pilgrimage per person is £1400 for shared rooms & £1700 for a private room. The amounts mentioned above cover the following: round trip airfare London-Yerevan via British Midland International airlines (BMI), airport-hotel transport, local transportation in Armenia to the historic and touristic sites in modern and air-conditioned buses, lodging in first-class hotels in Yerevan with breakfast. Pilgrims will have to secure their own visa to Armenia. For registration please send a non- refundable deposit of £500 with your full name as it appears in your passport to the Primate’s Office by Sunday 18 September. Make your cheques is payable to: The Armenian Church Trust of UK. Mail it to: The Primate’s Office, 25 Cheniston Gardens, Kensington, London W8 6TG. The balance of the payment must be received at the Primate’s Office no later than October 16. For further information please contact the Primate’s

Office by E-MAIL or telephone: 020 8127 8364



The Primate’s Office is happy to announce the establishment of the Armenian Church Trust of the United Kingdom (ACT-UK). After a year and six months of service as the Primate of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Very Revd Dr. Vahan Hovhanessian has recently pursued the establishment and registration of ACT-UK as the means of financing and supporting the various programmes, activities and publications planned and executed by the Primate’s Office and desperately needed for the church ministry. Since its official establishment by a Catholical Decree in 1870 in Manchester and until today, the Armenian Church in the United Kingdom has been serving Armenians in London, Manchester and all over the UK and Ireland, through weekly Badarks, baptisms, weddings, funerals and various religious, educational, pastoral, cultural and social services and programmes, playing the central role in supporting and maintaining the identity and traditions of the Armenian people. The Church was capable of doing so mainly thanks to the generosity of the Armenian people and the support of benefactors such as the Gulbenkian and Manoukian families, and the St. Sarkis Church Trust in London, the Holy Trinity Church Trust in Manchester and the Armenian Community and Church Council of Great Britain (ACCC).

The Armenian Church will forever be thankful and grateful to them and their support. Despite all this, however, the Church in the UK and Ireland until today does not have its own budget. Whenever a church programme or project is conceived the Primate has to appeal to the above mentioned bodies and to the generosity of the benefactors to find funding for such ideas and programmes. Again, it is thanks to the two charities and the ACCC that the Primate has an annual budget of £3000 in total, which is supposed to cover all the activities and programmes initiated by the Primate’s Office including his travels, pastoral visits, and church publications including the annual calendar (which due to lack of funding was not published this year!) Today, the Armenian Church in the UK and Ireland, after over 140 years of existence and services, has no budget for youth ministry, educational programmes, children’s activities, pastoral services to the elderly and home-bound, outreach to the newly formed Armenian communities outside London and Manchester , online ministry (website, E-Newsletter), religious activities such as retreats and pilgrimages, and social events such as receptions and festivals. Needless to say, the Armenian Church in the UK and Ireland has no diocesan centre, no community hall of its own, no office for the Primate and no staff. As we enter the 2nd decade of the 21st century, Armenian clergy in the UK have no retirement plan! Thanks to the generosity of the St. Sarkis Church Trust, the Primate is housed temporarily in the Vicarage, and to the Armenian House (Hye Doon), the Primate has a temporarily office on the 4th floor. Thanks also to the generosity of church-loving volunteers, the Primate’s Office today has a part time office administrator.

Moved by this dire need for a financial foundation to establish healthy, vibrant and contemporary church ministry and headquarters, capable to reach out to the Armenians everywhere in the UK & Ireland and serve them in every aspect possible, as our mother the Church has always done in the past 2000 years, the Primate has been meeting during the past several months with solicitors, accountants and leaders of the community. Based on their feedback and guidance, after receiving the blessings of His Holiness, ACT-UK was established as a charity registered at the Charity Commission for England and Wales, under the direct supervision of the Primate. The Primate’s vision is to create a strong and solid financial foundation in ACT-UK to the extent of being able to support the annual budget of the church operations by the annual interests of the fund. The Primate urges our faithful to support the Armenian Church Trust of UK (ACT-UK) with their generous donations. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to bequeath them a church—i.e. a centre of Armenian faith, traditions and identity—which is stronger and healthier than the one we inherited. You can learn more about ACT-UK by visiting the following URL: Please send your donation cheques payable to “The Armenian Church Trust UK” to: The Primate’s Office, 25 Cheniston Gardens, Kensington, London W8 6TG. If you are a taxpayer in the UK, please download the GIFT AID FORM [CLICK HERE] and mail it with your donation, so ACT-UK can benefit from the government’s Gift Aid Scheme. By doing so, ACT-UK can receive an extra 25p for every £1 you donate. This really can make a big difference for our newly formed Trust/Charity. At the end of the year, the Primate will preside over an annual public assembly to receive a report from the board of directors of ACT-UK and to hear from the public regarding the next year’s budget and activities. For further information about ACT-UK or to enquire about other ways of supporting the Trust, please contact the Primate’s Office by calling 020 8127 8364 or e-mail to:

A Living Legacy

"Each one of us has a role to play in building a strong financial foundation for our children and for the future of a prosperous and unified Armenian church and nation.

We owe it to our martyrs and to all those who sacrificed their lives so that we may be able to live as Armenian Christians!

By donating to, or establishing a fund within, the 'Armenian Church Trust of the United Kingdom' (ACT-UK) you will strengthen the Armenian Church and its related programmes and institutions, enabling the church, that our ancestors built and nurtured for over 2000 years, to meet the needs of our children and grandchildren here in the United Kingdom and beyond."

The Rt. Revd. Dr. Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate, Armenian Church of the UK and Ireland

ACYF UK AT AN INTERNATIONAL YOUTH CONFERENCE IN ARMENIA On the morning of Wednesday, 6th July, ACYF UK delegation: Narek Sarkissian, Chairman and Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, Treasurer with Revd Fr Shnork Baghdasaryan, as the head of the delegation, joined over 150

Armenian young delegates representing the Armenian Church Youth Organizations (ACYO) of dioceses around the world, and their supervising clergyman from around the world in Yerevan, Armenia to begin the 4-day Second Annual Armenian Church Youth Conference. After a short prayer service, three buses transported the delegates and clergy to the newly renovated and luxurious Sport Complex Hotel in Dzaghgadzor. The conference began with presentations and video documentaries from each diocesan delegation, which was well received, with the UK ACYF making its first presentation since having been newly formed in September 2010. Later in the evening each diocesan representative presented local food, music and cuisine for which their countries are famous for. Each day began with a prayer services, and a pilgrimage walk accompanied by singing traditional church hymns and spiritual songs to the Kecharis Monastery in Dzaghgadzor. During the conference several focus groups were organised and each diocesan representative was given the chance to participate in discussions regarding the theme for the next annual ACYO gathering; the problem of sects in Armenia; work plan for ACYO; elections of new ACYO executive committee; an budget. On the third day of the Conference, the delegation was graced by a visit by His

Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, accompanied by UK’s previous Primate, His Grace Bishop Nathan Hovhannisyan. All the delegates and clergy were invited to Sunday Badarak at Holy Etchmiadzin, where Archbishop Hovnan Derderian was the

celebrant, and a Hokehankist service was offered for the late Catholicons Karekin I. The conference concluded with a closing

statement and the blessings of His Holiness Karekin II. For further information about the ACYF chapters in UK and



Ireland and to join the ACYF please e-mail:, or find them on Facebook or Twitter.


The Hrant Dink Foundation has informed the Primate’s Office that it has been carrying out a restoration project in an old Armenian village called Habab in Elazig, with the support of the Ministery of Culture in Turkey. The restoration is e.xpected to last for 3 months and the participation of young volunteers is encouraged. Young volunteers will stay with the Project team in the village. In addition to helping with the restoration work of an old fountain in the village, they will have the chance to join in one of the working groups to get to know the local community better. For further information Click Here.Those who wish to take part in this project are expected to fill in the application form and sent it to or Hrant Dink Foundation, Halaskargazi Cad. Sebat apt. 74/1, Osmanbey - 34371 Şişli, İstanbul. Tel: 0212 240 3361, Fax: 0212 240 3394, and


On Saturday 13th August faithful members from both St Yeghiche and St Sarkis churches gathered at the courtyard of Sarkis Church to wash and pack grapes in preparation for the service of the blessing of grapes which takes place every year on the occasion of the feast of “Sourp Astvadzadzin.” Heartfelt and sincere thanks all the volunteers and those who donated gifts in lieu of grapes on this occasion. God bless you all.


As had been announced in the previous several issues of our E-Newsletter, the Primate’s Office is happy to inform our readers and the faithful in London about the launching of a new Christian education programme for Armenian children and teenagers in September of this year. The objective of the programme is to create a weekly forum for our young people to learn the basics of Christianity within the context of the Armenian Church tradition. Together we will explore what it is to be an Armenian Christian, raise questions and discuss the relevance of our faith in our daily lives in a secular society. Each session will include instruction, discussion and a snack break. The programme will encompass a variety of learning materials and methods including talks, video documentaries, debates, activities, discussions, guest speakers and visits. The programme aims to support and stimulate our teenagers as they learn more about their own lives and challenges. It will also be filled with good humour, fun and friendship. If you think you can bring your children/teenagers to these weekly Sunday afternoon sessions, please e-mail the Primate’s Office at: Parents are welcome to volunteer in helping the Primate’s Office coordinate the various programmes and projects of this ministry. If you are interested to volunteer please contact he Primate’s Office. Don’t allow our morally bankrupt society, the secular world and the corrupt media brain wash our children. Help the Armenian Church help them become proud Armenians, good Christians and morally healthy individuals.


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The Mission Parish Council (MPC) of the Armenian Church in Dublin, Ireland, is happy to invite Armenians in Dublin and its surroundings to a Bible Study session on Sunday, 21st August. The Bible Study group will meet in the Taney Parish Centre, Dundrum (Dublin), Ireland. For further information about the Bible Study group and the other programmes of the MPC in Dublin and the community’s Sunday School, or to add your name on the Dublin Mission Parish list, please contact the Dublin MPC treasurer, Margret at:


The Primate’s Office has recently received news of Gevork, a 19 year-old Armenian from Armavir, Armenia, who is in desperate need of a kidney operation. His mother, with whom he currently lives, is the donor but the family needs to raise £5000 for the operation. The Primate urges Armenians in the UK and Ireland to help this young man with whatever means possible. More information about Gevork can be found by CLICKING HERE. Grant Sargsyan, a student and the President of UCL Armenian Society in London, informed the Primate’s Office about the details of Gevork’s situation. Grant is .currently working hard on creating means of financial support from the UK. He has designed a donation page on his university union page which allows donations using PayPal account. The website can be browsed at: In the Bible, Gospel of Matthew (25:40), Christ teaches us that whenever we help someone in need we are in fact serving the Lord Himself. Thank you in advance for giving Gevork the chance to live.


This Sunday, 21st August, will be the fourth and final Sunday that actor Kevork Malikyan will be to sitting with a bucket outside the entrance of the St. Sarkis Church, in Kensington, London, to collect donations for the Armenian Cathedral in

Dikranagerd, Historic Armenia. Please stop by to say hello and support the noble cause. Those who cannot be at St. Sarkis Church this Sunday but wish to make a donation to support the fundraising efforts, can make their donations payable to the “Armenian Church Trust of the UK” and mail it to the Primate’s Office: 25 Cheniston Gardens, Kensington, London W8 6TG. Thank you.



(According to the Armenian Church Lectionary)

Sunday 21/8

Prov. 11:30-12:4 Zechariah 2:10-13 2 Cor. 6:16-7:1 Luke 1:39-56

Monday 15/8

Song of Solomon 6:3-8 Malachi 3:1-2 Galatians 3:24-29 Luke 2:1-7

Tuesday 16/8

Wisdom of Solomon 9:9-10:2 Esther 10:4-9 Judith 15:8-16:4 Ephesians 1:3-12

Matthew 1:17-21

Wednesday 17/8

Fasting Day

1 Cor 15:58-16:11 Mark 4:10-20

Thursday 18/8

Jeremiah 1:1-10 Jeremiah 38:1-13 2 Peter 2:9-22 Mathew 2:16-18

Friday 19/8

Fasting Day

1 Cor 16:12-24 Mark 4:26-34

Saturday 20/8

Wisdom of Solomon 9:13-10:3 Micah 7:18-20 1 Cor 12:28-13:3 John 20:a24-31


Last Friday, 19th August, the Continuing Education Ministry of the Primate’s Office launched the four-session course titled “Exploring the Hymns and Prayers of Our

Badarak.” The lecture was presented by the Very Revd Dr. Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate, at the Nevart Gulbenkian Hall. The course will continue to meet on Fridays, 26th August, 2nd & 9th of September. Each session, beginning at 6:00pm, will last 2 hours with a 10-minute break in the middle of the session. It is never too late to join in. No knowledge of Armenian is required or necessary to participate in the course. Admission is free. Contact the Primate’s Office for further information: 020 8127 8364, or e-mail:


The office of the Patriarchate of the Armenian Church in Istanbul, Turkey, has announced the preparations for the second celebration of the Divine Liturgy

(Badarak) in the Holy Cross Church, island of Akhtamar, on 11th September. Deputy Patriarch Abp. Aram Ateshyan will preside over the celebration of Badarak. .

Armenian Church Outreach Online

You can read all the news and updates concerning the Armenian Church ministry and programmes in the UK, Ireland and worldwide and learn about past and forthcoming events in the Armenian Church by visiting the official website of the Armenian Church in UK and Ireland:

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Bible Study Groups

There will be no Bible Study sessions during the month of August. The two groups will resume their study sessions during the first week of the month of September. For further information please contact the Primate’s Office at:

The Primate’s Office

The Very Revd Dr. Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate, can be reached at the Primate’s Office (25 Cheniston Gardens, Kensington, London W8 6TG) by phone: 020 8127 8364, or via e-mail: Appointments can be made by contacting the Primate’s Office. Please note that messages left on the office at St. Sarkis Church (Vicarage) are not accessed by the Primate nor by his staff. Also, due to the unavailability of any funding or budget for the Primate’s Office, the office is managed by part-time volunteers, who try their best to process messages left on the answering service, as soon as it is humanly possible.


The Primate’s Office: 25 Cheniston Gardens, Kensington, London W8 6TG, UK Website: • E-mail: Phone: 020 8127 8364 • Fax: 087 2111 5548

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