Sunday, 28 February 2016

Diocese of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and Ireland Volume 2, Issue 7 27 February 2016 Armenian Church News

Bishop Nalbandian Preaches at St. Sarkis Church
In this issue:
Bishop Nalbandian at St. Sarkis Church
ACC UK Annual Cocktail Reception
Multi-Faith Forum
In Memoriam: Dikranouhi Darzi
The Sunday of the Dishonest Steward
Bishop Armash is the Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Damascus, Syria. During his visit, His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan invited Bishop Armash to St Sarkis Church to preach on the third Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. Bishop Armash expressed his fraternal gratitude to the Primate and reflected on the Gospel reading of the day, based on Luke 15:11-32. Particularly, he emphasised the need for confession and repentance. “Last Sunday we remembered the fall of the first man and woman. Like them, now we are also deprived of the joy of paradise. We are invited to confess and repent.” At the end of the service there was a small reception at the Nevart Gulbenkian Hall. Bishop Armash was invited to speak about the situation of the Armenian community in Syria and in particular in Damascus. He presented the geopolitical situation around Syria and the situation of the Armenian community. He quoted statistics
“We are not only to listen today what is said, which is of course good, but also to open widely our pockets to support them as our brethren and sisters are in desperate need of support and care’’ added one of our beloved members of the London Armenian community, Mr Assadour Guzelian, following His Grace Bishop Armash Nalbandian’s talk on Syria’s current state and what must be done to help our fellow Armenians there.
Diocese of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland
His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate
Diocesan Office
Tel. 0208 127 8364 primatesoffice@
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about migration from Syria and also specifically referred to the Kessab attacks (a historical Armenian village on the banks of the Mediterranean) from the Turkish side and to the explosion of the Armenian Church of Holy Martyrs in Der el–Zore, on 21st September 2014 by terrorists. Bishop Armash emphasised that although there is a big migration, and in spite of warfare, the community is still strong and is filled with hope. There are functioning schools; the churches are full with people, the Armenian organisations are functioning and community life continues. He also thanked the Armenian Diaspora communities for their constant support.
Community members were able to put questions to Bishop Armash to find out first-hand information about the issues affecting the Syrian Armenians. Bishop Hovakim concluded by thanking Bishop Armash for staying a few days in London and making the presentation. He also updated the congregation on the upcoming events in support of Syrian Armenians, such as the Sacred Armenian and Classical music concert which will be held at the St Yeghiche Church on 19th March at 7.30 pm (Tickets are £15 and all proceeds will go towards Syrian Relief).
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ACC UK Annual Cocktail Reception
On 20th February the Armenian Community Council of the UK held its Annual Cocktail Reception at the Marriot Hotel in London, to honour and thank the Council’s committees for their activities during the year. The members and spouses of the different committees and sub- committees of the Council were present at the gathering, among them members of the Council and its Executive Committee. The committees represented included CRAG (Campaign for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide), Ladies’, Publications, Registrations, Heritage, Cultural and Kashatagh, and Syrian Armenian Relief. The staff and trustees of K Tahta Armenian Community Sunday School which functions under the auspices of ACC were also present.
Mrs. Matilda Megerdichian, Chair of the ACC Executive Committee, reported on the annual activities of ACC and thanked members of the various committees and sub-
committees for their dedicated work. Mrs. Megerdichian mentioned that this year, additionally, invitations had been extended to members of the Armenian Genocide Centenary Commemoration Committee who had done excellent work during 2015. She went on to emphasise that the work of demanding recognition of the Genocide had not by any means come to an end by the passing of the Centenary and that CRAG - which has been active since 1965 - will carry on their work. A number of former members of the Centenary Committee have already joined CRAG to take part in its work.
The Primate then conveyed his blessings to those present. The cultural entertainment was provided by Ms Maral Baghjian and Ms Sevan Injejikian who performed two Armenian dances beautifully. The poet Ms Gayané Khachatryan recited two of her
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poems dedicated to the Armenian Community Council and the Sunday School.
At the end of the meeting Bishop Armash Nalbandian, the visiting Primate of the Diocese of Damascus was invited to give his blessing and say a few words about the situation of the Armenian Community in Syria. Also present were the Rev Fr Shnork Baghdassarian, Pastor of St Sarkis Church and the Very Rev Fr Vram Gazaryan, newly arrived from the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin to undertake church services at St Yeghiche Church.
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Ecumenical News
Multi-Faith Guests Welcomed in St Sarkis
Members of the Elmbridge Multi-Faith Forum visited St Sarkis Church on 24th February as part of an “educational day” to learn about Armenians and the Armenian Church. EMFF was established in 2004 byrepresentatives of all faiths in the Borough of Elmbridge. This special trip to St Sarkis was organised by Mr Raffi Sarkissian, who introduced the speakers.
Dr Hratch Tchilingirian warmly welcomed the visitors and gave a short introductory talk about the Armenians and their Church, focusing on the sources of faith of the Armenian Church, her place in the larger family of Christian churches and her traditions. This was followed by His Grace Bishop Hovakim’s presentation about ecumenism and recent developments in the relationship of churches towards a common understanding. The speakers then answered questions from the audience, who were in an Armenian church for the first time. At the conclusion of the presentations, EMFF Chairman Dr Nabil Mustapha thanked Bishop Hovakim and Dr Tchilingirian for their informative talks and warm hospitality. The guests were then invited to a reception in the Vicarage were the conversations continued over Armenian Lenten delicacies.
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Community Life
In Memory of Dikranouhi Darzi
It is with great sadness that we announce that at the age of 82, one of our beloved community members, Mrs Dikranouhi Darzi, has passed away. The funeral service took place on 16th February at St Sarkis Church where Mrs Darzi was an active member of the congregation.
Members, friends and relatives of the Darzi family were present to give their last tributes and respects in memory of the late Dikranouhi Darzi, among them the Armenian Ambassador Dr Armen Sarkissian, and Mrs Nune Sarkissian.
The prayer service was led by Bishop Armash Nalbandian, the visiting Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Damascus. Anais Heghoyan, Aris Nadirian and Sipan Hakopyan sang Armenian sharagans (hymns) during the service accompanied on the organ by Deacon Artur Bobikyan.
During the service Mrs Darzi’s grandchildren Tania, Freddie and Nina assisted the clergy reading Psalms and the Epistles.
Bishop Hovakim Manukyan read a letter of condolence letter from His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, addressed to Lord Ara Darzi and his family on the sad occasion of the passing of their beloved mother. After the final prayer, the eulogy was read by Lord Ara Darzi. Sharing his thoughts, Lord Darzi said: “As I stand here today, I know that no words can do justice to the fullness of my mum’s life. In these few words, I simply hope that I can capture something of the essence of a woman whose force was so powerful in all our lives. Mum was the strongest woman I’ve ever known. A great, strong, proudly Armenian lady. The essence of who she was continued to shine through even in these last months. Her tender charm, her unwavering resolve and her gracious pride never faltered. ... She kept all of us going, always looking forward, as our family moved from Iraq and finally settled here in London in the 1970s. No matter where our family were to be found, our heart and soul will always remain Armenian. Mum’s own strength was drawn from the deep well of Armenia’s ancient history and vibrant culture. How she loved to visit Yerevan! With every trip she was filled with excitement at seeing the friends and the country that she loved so dearly. She showed her commitment in her dedicated attendance at church. It was her one great regret in this past year that she was too physically frail to travel to Yerevan and take the Holy Communion with her
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friends. We are grateful, however, to His Grace for his caring support in bringing this to her at home. Mum was determined that her children would show no less commitment either to church or to culture than she did. She made sure I was a choir boy, and that Vilma and I had Armenian tutors to maintain our language and our deep knowledge of Armenia”.
Dikranouhi Samuel Hagopian Darzi was born in Baghdad on 8th October 1934. She was the second youngest out of six children. Her grandparents and parents emigrated from Armenia to Persia, and then onto Baghdad, where Dicky was born. As a young girl she developed a love for Armenian poetry and enjoyed reciting it at her Armenian school functions. Singing was another of her talents. She particularly enjoyed all the old Armenian troubadour songs.
In Baghdad, Dicky led a very active life promoting the role of Armenian women in local communities and society. She was president of the Armenian Women’s Society, and a prominent committee member of the Regina Nursing Home. She was actively involved in charitable work and fundraising helping the Armenian community and its church. On arrival in England she became a member of the Armenian Relief Society. She married Vartkes in 1959 and had two children, Ara and Vilma, and three grandchildren. On arrival in London she developed a variety of newfound hobbies. She was a talented porcelain painter with a special interest in painting religious icons. She also had a passion for playing bridge, which became a central part of her life. May God rest her soul.
Spirituality: a thought for spiritual meditation
The Sunday of Dishonest Steward
Sunday, 28th February, is the fourth Sunday in the Golden chain of the Lenten Sundays. The Father of the Armenian Church has named the day “The Sunday of the Dishonest Steward.” The name was taken from the Gospel of Luke 16:1-9.
In the account of St Luke we read “And he said also unto his disciples: ‘There was a certain rich man, who had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, how is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, what shall I do? For my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to
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beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, take thy bill, and write fourscore. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.’ And I say unto you, make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations”.
Each of us is a steward in the Lord’s creation. Whether we are God’s stewards or not we do not know and cannot know. But Jesus teaches us like the sons of this world who try to use every opportunity, including their intellect, to secure their life on earth, the sons of light should also do the same using their God-given opportunities to secure a superior and valuable life. Jesus states clearly, “Make friends by means of dishonest wealth, so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes”.
What does Jesus mean by this very simple phrase? Each coin given to the poor is a way of making friends on earth and in heaven. This is best illustrated by the Lord’s eternal words, saying, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing ... Because as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:35-40). Thus, any almsgiving on earth, large or small, is an intercession in heaven before God Almighty.
“Any almsgiving on earth, large or small, is an intercession in heaven before God Almighty”
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This sacred & classical Armenian music concert will be feature:
four soloists from the Saghmosergu Male Choir from Armenia:
Vahe Begoyan, Andranik Malkhasyan, Abel Kyureghyan and Aren Avetyan
Aris Nadirian (Musical Director of the London Armenian Opera)
Anais Heghoyan (Mezzo and Chairman of the Armenian Church Youth Fellowship) The London Armenian Opera Chorus
to sing sacred and classical music from our treasured Armenian composers
Saturday 19th March 2016
The concert will be at the glorious St. Yeghiche Cathedral in Cranley Gardens, London, SW7 3BB and costs £15 a ticket which can be purchased at the door on the day
ALL proceeds from this concert will be donated to Syrian Relief
Any questions please contact the Primate's Office on:
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Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Armenian Church News
6th – 14th June 2016
A unique opportunity to explore the Holy Land and the legacy of the Armenian Church in Jerusalem
Armenians have made pilgrimages to the Holy Land since the 5th century. It is a unique opportunity for every Christian man and woman to have a spiritual journey and retreat. On 9th June, the pilgrims will participate in the Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the Feast of Ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Old Julian Calendar).
For the Armenian pilgrims it has another added value because apart from visiting Holy Places they will visit the Armenian quarter and St. James Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem to get acquainted with the legacy of the Armenian fathers in Jerusalem.
The group will be led by the Primate, Bishop Hovakim Manukyan. Special guides will facilitate the visits. The group will stay five days in Jerusalem at the Christmas Hotel, two nights in Tiberias at the Boutique Hotel and one night in Tel Aviv at the Deborah Hotel.
Cost: £1600(singleroom)
£1350 (shared room)
Includes: accommodation, return flights from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv Airport (including airport taxes and fuel charges), Armenian/English speaking guide services, deluxe coach with free WIFI, entrance fees for tourist attractions on itinerary, half board basis (two meals daily), and farewell dinner.
For more information, please contact:
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Upcoming Events
DIOCESAN PROGRAMMES Forthcoming Events in March
Bible Studies
Every Thursday, at St. Sarkis Church Gulbenkian Hall led by the Primate and the clergy of the Diocese
Next dates: March 3rd, 10th, 17thBible Studies are an important part of the church’s ministry as they provide opportunities for the faithful and those who are interested and curious to have a deeper understanding of Christianity and to ask questions about their faith, beliefs and concerns. During Bible studies we make observations (what do passages in the Bible say?), provide interpretation (what do they mean?) and ask how applicable these passages are to our lives today. Open to everyone.
Great Lent
Liturgy of the Hour of Peace (Խաղաղական ժամերգութիւն) or Liturgy of the
Hour of Rest (Հանգստեան ժամերգութիւն)
St Sarkis Church continues its tradition of Friday night evening Lenten vigil
services. The Services start at 6:30 pm. There will be services on March 4th, 11th,
The services are followed by a Lenten fellowship meal at the Nevart Gulbenkian hall, where the faithful have the opportunity to socialise and encounter the clergy. The faithful are welcome to make a small donation during these meals.
Each meal is prepared by a London–based Armenian organisation such as Primate’s Office, ACYF, St Sarkis and St Yeghiche Ladies Committees and the K Tahta Armenian Sunday School.
Liturgy of the Hour of Sunrise (Արեւագալի ժամերգութիւն)
There will be the Liturgy of the Hour of Sunrise, in the Armenian Churches at St Yeghiche and St Sarkis Churches every Sunday after the Eucharistic service.
There will be also Liturgies of the Hour of Sunrise at St Sarkis Church every Wednesday at 10:30 am on March 2nd, 9th, and 16th
Armenian Sacred and Classical Music Concert for Syrian Relief
Saturday, 19th March, 7:30 pm, St. Yeghiche Church
A concert of Armenian Sacred and Classical Music welcoming in Holy Week. Musical Director Aris Nadirian and Anais Heghoyan will be coordinating this concert. Invited to perform will be soloists from Saghmosergu male ensemble from Armenia and The London Armenian Opera Chorus. Tickets can be purchased at St. Yeghiche Church on the day at £15 and all profits made from the concert will go to Syria Relief.
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Holy Week Celebrations in the Armenian Churches of Holy Trinity in Manchester, St Sarkis and St Yeghiche in London
Palm Sunday (Ծաղկազարդ) and Blessing of Children
Sunday, 20th March, 11:00am
The Liturgy will be followed by the rite of Opening of Doors (Դռնբացէք)
Holy Thursday
Thursday, 24th March, 11:00am
Liturgy of Institution of the Eucharist, 4:30pm Washing of Feet ceremony (Ոտնլուայ), 7: 30pm Passion Evening
Good Friday
Friday, 25th March, 4:30pm
Burial Service of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
Easter Eve
Saturday, 26th March, 5:30pm
Easter Eve Liturgy
Easter Divine Liturgy
Sunday, 27th March, 11:00am
Easter Luncheon
Sunday, 27th March, 2:00pm, Copthorne Tara Hotel
To celebrate Easter together and to feel the joy of unity at Eastertide
The main objective of the diocesan e-newsletter is to serve and reach out to Armenians throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. The community members and organisations are welcome to send their announcements for the e-newsletter, including information not only about public events but also about important family events such as christening, matrimony or passing away.
Prayer intentions for February
We join sister Churches and pray that people may take good care of creation – a gift freely given – cultivating and protecting it for future generations
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Worship Services in the Armenian Churches
Services are held in the Armenian Churches in London every Sunday starting at 11:00 am. In Manchester, there is a service on the 1st Sunday of the month. For further details, please contact the parish nearest to you:
Holy Trinity Armenian Church
229 Upper Brook Street Manchester, M13 0FY
Tel: 0161 273 1074
St. Sarkis Church
Iverna Gardens Kensington, London, W8 6TP Tel: 020 7937 0152
St. Yeghiche Cathedral
13b Cranley Gardens Kensington, London SW7 3BB Tel: 020 7373 8133
Other Parishes of our Diocese:
Cardiff - Tel: + 44 771 279 2304, +44 2920779248.
Dublin - Tel: +44 2891 863559.
Birmingham – Tel: +44 121 675 1469. St John’s Church, Stratford Road, Birmingham, B11 4EA Oxford - Tel: +44 7810 490242.
We invite those who have questions or wish to gain deeper understanding of the faith, moral discernment, teachings and traditions of the Armenian Church to contact the Office of the Diocese of the Armenian Church in United Kingdom and Ireland:
The Primate’s Office
c/o The Armenian Vicarage
Iverna Gardens
London, W8 6TP
or email:
Editorial Committee:
His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate
Garen Arevian
Lena Boghossian
Hovik Hovhannisyan Aznive Simon
Gagik Stepan-Sarkissian Sossi Yerissian

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