11 FEBRUARY 2012 ISSUE 6, VOLUME 3
E-NEWSLETTER H- J:RJIK A WEEKLY ONLINE PUBLICATION OF THE PRIMATE’S OFFICE OF THE DIOCESE OF THE ARMENIAN CHURCH OF THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
His Holiness The Catholicos of All Armenians Meets with Chairmen of Church Councils
On Monday, 6th February, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians arrived in London, accompanied
The Primate’s Office
c/o Hye Doon 25 Cheniston Gardens Kensington London, W8 6TG
0208 127 8364
by Norvan Primate Armenian Diocese of France and Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate of the Diocese of the UK and Ireland, for a two- day visit. During his visit, His Holiness met with the Primate and discussed the various diocesan programmes and details of forming a diocesan administrative structure in the UK and Ireland that is in agreement with the traditional Armenian Church canons and bylaws. His Holiness presided over a meeting attended by all the chairmen
and representatives from all the Armenian Church Councils, Trusts, Boards of Wardens and Mission Parish Councils. His Holiness Catholicos Krekin II thanked the Church council leaders for working together with the Primate on developing and offering new programmes and on building a strong foundation for a diocesan structure. His Holiness had the opportunity to meet with several church councils individually as well as with benefactors of the Armenian Church.
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The Primate’s Office c/o Hye Doon (Armenian House) 25 Cheniston Gardens Kensington, London W8 6TG
Archbishop Zakarian, of the
11 FEBRUARY 2012
ISSUE 6 VOLUME 3
... AND MADAGH
Guests and representatives organisations, Dr Tchilingirian expressed thanks to all for sharing the special prayer service together with the church's congregation on occasion of the Church's name day. "The inspiration to serve our church comes from the people that we serve," said Dr. Tchilingirian, adding, "What we have achieved over the previous year is because of the people". He noted that last year a tradition has been started at St. Sarkis Church to publically acknowledge the retiring Trustees who have served the church over the years. He then invited Armenag Topalian, who retired as a Trustee late last year after seven years of exemplary service to St. Sarkis Church as Treasurer and Manager of Investments.
Armenag Topalian has served the Armenian community in Great Britain for some 40 years in various organisations and in many roles. "It has been a great pleasure for me and my colleagues to work with Armenag over the years, as someone who not only has vast experience in financial matters and investments, but as someone who is extremely reliable, thorough and dedicated to responsibilities delegated to him," said Dr. Tchilingirian. Mr. Topalian was presented with a "Distinguished Service" certificate on behalf of His Grace Bishop Vahan and St Sarkis Church Trustees. The Primate's "Letter of Blessing and Appreciation" was read in Armenian by the church's pastor, the Revd. Fr. Shnork Baghdasarian.
Celebrating St. Sarkis Day with Ecumenical Service
The annual celebration of Saint Sarkis Name Day, the Patron Saint of the Armenian Church of St. Sarkis, was marked by an Ecumenical Service for Peace on Saturday, 4 February and the blessing of traditional Madagh following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, 5 February. His Grace Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate, presided over the celebrations.
The Ecumenical Service for Peace brought together the congregation of St. Sarkis Church, ecumenical guests and representatives of Armenian community organisations and trusts. Mrs Julie Mills, the Mayor Councillor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Ambassador of Armenia, Her Excellency Karine Kazinyan were the guests of honour, along with a host of ecumenical representatives, which included Archbishop Seraphim, Metropolitan of Glastonbury; Bishop Elisey of Sourozh, Russian Orthodox Church; Bishop Angelos, Coptic Orthodox Church Centre; Canon William Taylor, Chairman of Anglican and Eastern Churches Association; Canon Patrick Thomas, the Canon Chancellor of St Davids Cathedral; the Very Revd. Jonathan Greener, Dean of Wakefield; the Revd Meurig, representing Bishop Geoffrey Rowell, the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe; and the Revd Reiss, representing the Rector of St Margaret's Church Westminster. The Very Revd. Garegin of Holy Etchmiadzin and church pastor the Revd. Fr. Shnork Baghdassarian. In his spiritual message, the Primate underlined the faith and courage of Saint Sarkis the Captain (4th century), who is a beloved saint of the Armenians and is who is a beloved saint of the Armenians and is
considered the patron saint of love and young people in Armenia. He then invited the Hon. President (Chairman) of St. Sarkis Church, Dr. Hratch Tchilingirian, to make a short presentation. After welcoming the ecumenical and civic
The Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea
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“Our clergy will be happy to visit and bless your home. Call your local Armenian Church office.”
28 JANUARY 2012
ISSUE 4, VOLUME 3
2ND ANNUAL ARMENIAN STREET FESTIVAL
The Primate’s Office announced a new date for the Second Annual Armenian Street Festival in the UK: Sunday, 29th July, 2012.
The date was changed due to scheduling conflicts with events already planned by other Armenian organisations. Since its inception last year, the Armenian Street Festival was planned by the Primate’s Office as an all-Armenian festival and the emphasis has been put on inviting as many Armenian organisations and groups to be part of the planning and producing of the event as possible.
Last year’s Festival attracted many celebrities and dignitaries including the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and over two thousand people. The Festival generated an income of over £6,000 after expenses.
As always volunteers are needed to help with the various aspects of the Festival. If interested please contact the Primate’s Office bySPphEoCnIeA: 0L20P8O1I2N7T8S3O64FoIrNeT-mEaRilE: pSrTimatesoffice@armenianchurch.co.uk.
First Armenian Church Annual Assembly
Due to scheduling conflicts with activities and programmes in several Armenian Churches in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Primate’s Office has announced a new date for the first Annual Assembly of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Assembly will take place on Sunday, 11th March, 2012 in the St. Yeghiche Armenian Church in South Kensington, London, at 2:00pm, following the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
During the Assembly the following will be presented and discussed: the Primate’s Report; the report of the Armenian Church Youth Fellowship (ACYF); the activities and financial report of the Primate’s Office; and a proposed list of activities and budget for the year 2012.
All are invited to participate in the Assembly. This is an effort to engage our people in every aspect of the Armenian Church operation and administration. The Armenian Church has always been the heart and soul of the Armenian people. There will be a registration desk at the entrance of the church. The faithful need to register prior to participating in the assembly.
For further information, please contact the Primate’s Office at: 0208 127 8364 email@example.com
The magnificent altar of the St. Yeghiche Church In Cranley Gardens, London
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11 February 2012
ISSUE 6, VOLUME 3
According to the Armenian Church Lectionary
Sunday – 12 February
Isaiah 63:18-64:12 Titus 1:1-11 John 7:37-52
Monday – 13 February
Zechariah 8:1-3 Romans 8:28-39 John 15:17-21
Tuesday – 14 February
Isaiah 24:21-25:8 Acts 7:47-50 Galatians 4:1-7 Luke 2:41-52
Wednesday – 15 February
Titus 1:12-2:10 John 8:12-20
Thursday – 16 February
Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-8 Isaiah 49:8-9 Hebrews 12:1-7 Luke 6:20-26
Friday – 17 February
Titus 3:1-15 John 8:21-30
Saturday – 18 February
Ezekiel 3:16-19 2 Corinthians 6:1-14 Matthew 12:22-32
The Mission Parish Council of the Armenian Church and The Council of Christians and Jews Cardiff Branch
are proud to announce a lecture
States, Lies and Genocide The nature of the relationship between two Twentieth Century Genocides
7:30pm Thursday 16th February 2012 Ararat Baptist Church
Merthyr Road Whitchurch Cardiff
Our speaker will be
Writer, broadcaster and historian of genocide, and Honorary Research Associate at Swansea University
As a historian, research into his own family's Holocaust history led Mike to investigate a remarkable Nazi conspirator who witnessed the Armenian Genocide, and five years later briefed Hitler on genocide.
Everyone is welcome to attend each of our meetings
Following the Continuing Education Ministry course on “Prayer in the Armenian Church Tradition”, the Primate’s Office is happy to announce that the Bible Study groups will resume its discussion sessions this month in Nevart Gulbenkian Hall of the St. Sarkis Church, according to the following schedule:
Tuesdays at 18:30-20:00 in Armenian, 23rd February
Thursdays at 19:00-20:30 in English, 25th February You do not have to be a biblical scholar or a regular church-goer to attend our Bible Study sessions. All are welcome, including new friends.
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ISSUE 6, VOLUME 3
REVD FR. SHNORK BAGDASARIAN TO REPRESENT THE DIOCESE OF UK AND IRELAND IN HOLY ETCHMIADZIN
The Revd Fr. Shnork Bagdasarian, Pastor of the St. Sarkis Armenian Church in Kensington, London, left on a trip for Armenia to represent the Diocese of the Armenian Church of the UK and Ireland in an Annual meeting of Armenian clergy from all over the world in Holy Etchmiadzin on the occasion of the feast of Saints Leon and his companions. Replacing Fr. Shnork in church services at St. Sarkis will be the Very Revd Fr. Bisak Hatapyan.
SAINTS LEON AND HIS COMPANIONS
This Tuesday, 14th February, the Armenian Church calendar remembers Saints Leon (Ghevond or Leontius) the priest and his companions. The feast commemorates the sacrifices made by a group of martyred clergy, known collectively after their leader as the Levontian (or Ghevontian) Fathers. The group included Catholicos Hovesp; the bishops Sahag and Tatig; and the priests Arshen, Manuel, Abraham, Khoren, and their heroic leader, St. Leontius. He opposed of the presence of hundreds of Persian magi in Armenia who were trying to re-impose their pagan religion (Zoroastrianism) upon the Armenians. In the Battle of Avarayr (451), it was St. Leon and his companion the priests who fought along witWh rittheecapstoioldnisefrosr,tohenseltehcetefdrpohnottolisn. es, firing the soldiers' zeal and courage as they struggled to defend their faith. The Levontian fathers were captured, tortured and killed by the Persians. Their martyrdom is remembered every year on the Tuesday before the commemoration of Vartanank during the week before the beginning of Great Lent. May the memory of the righteous be eternally blessed. Congratulations to all those who carry the names of the Levontian martyrs.
THE FEAST OF VARTANANK AVARAYR
This Thursday, 16th February, Armenians around the world will commemorate the Battle of Avarayar, the first battle in the history of humanity fought in defense of Christianity (451), and to honour the memory of General Vartan Mamigonian who led the Armenian troops against the invading Persians and was martyred in the battle. Avarayr was fought on May 26, 451 on the Avarayr Plain (Vaspuragan), between the Armenians and Sassanid Persians, but it is always commemorated on the Thursday of the week prior to Poon Paregentan and the beginning of Great Lent. You did not need to be an army expert to realize that Armenians had little hope of military victory in the battle. Although Vartan Mamigonian and his clergy have done their best to prepare the 66,000 Armenian troops physically and spiritually for the holy battle, they knew they will be facing a Persian army many times their own troops. Indeed, there were over 220,000 Persians with squadrons of armed elephants. The Persians were victorious on the battlefield itself, and General Vartan was martyred, but the Persians had heavy casualties as well. However, Armenians persevered through subsequent uprisings and guerilla warfare, led by Vartan's successor and nephew, Vahan Mamikonian. In 484, the Persian Shah Peroz I was forced to sign the Nvarsak Treaty, which guaranteed religious freedom to the Christian Armenians with permission to construct new churches. For us, Armenians, the Battle of Avarayr was a victory, in that it was our organized way of saying no to forced assimilation; we cannot and do not want to exist without our faith. For centuries, the Christian faith as received and lived by Armenians has become a pillar of our identity. Avarayr and the subsequent events protected and preserved our identity as Armenian Christians. Otherwise, we would have been easily assimilated with the Persians and other neighboring super-powers.
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