Saturday, 23 April 2016

Diocese of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and Ireland Volume 2, Issue 14 21 April 2016 Armenian Church

In this issue:
Meeting of Representatives of Parish Councils
Primates Annual Report Summary
Prayers in Birmingham Parish
Armenian Street Festival Planning Continues
ACT UK Meeting
Meeting of the Representatives of the Parish Councils

On Saturday, 16th April at the Gulbenkian Hall, the Primate presided over the meeting of the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Parish Councils. The meeting was moderated by Keghvart Vartanian, Vice-Chair of St. Yeghiche Parish Council.
At the beginning of the meeting the Primate welcomed new members of the Parish Councils; Mr. Bagrat Nazarian and Mrs. Lusine Hanson, Chair and Vice-Chair of St. Sarkis Parish Council and Mrs. Ayda Lundon and Mrs. Kristina Begoyan, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Dublin Parish Council.
The Primate briefed the participants about his activities of the past year and each Parish Council presented a summary of their activities. Respectively, there were reports from the Parish Councils of Dublin, Cardiff, St. Sarkis, Manchester and St. Yeghiche. The Primate presented reports about the Mission Parishes. A financial questions related to the maintaining of Primacy were discussed. Mr. Hratch Tchilingirian and Mr. Viken Haladjian were elected to attend the Church Representatives Assembly to be held in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin from 31st October to 6th November, 2017. The participants also discussed how to

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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Armenian Church News
provide humanitarian aid to the cities and villages of Artsakh. The participants also got acquainted with the projects Ari Toon, organised by the Ministry of the Diaspora of Armenia, and TUMO projects for young people in Armenia. The Parishes were asked to promote these projects in their congregations. In the second half of the meeting, legal questions were addressed. The participants discussed the Constitution of the Diocese. They agreed that the Parishes will study the document once again and will send their comments by 10th May. There will be a general meeting on 21st May to work on the document and finalise it.

The Summary of the Annual Report of the Primate
On 14th November 2015, during the ACT UK meeting, the Primate made a presentation sharing with those present his mission and visions for the next three years:
Diocesan Life
To create a strong and cohesive Diocese with its infrastructure, bylaws and relevant tools that will serve the best interests of the Armenian faithful in the UK and Ireland. The Diocese shall strive to bring together and build nurturing communities based on the teachings of Christianity and in the context of the rich Armenian cultural heritage.
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Parish Life
To ensure that the Diocesan Parishes have pastors or visiting priests and that the life of the Parishes develops in accordance with the canons and traditions of the Armenian Church taking into account the special circumstances of the Diaspora. The Parish is a community of people who share and uphold common Christian Armenian values that enrich their personal and collective lives.
Wider Community Life
To assure that the Church fosters unity in the community and cooperates with all Armenian organisations in the UK and Ireland in order to promote the spiritual and collective cultural identity of Armenians, and to advocate for the just causes of the Armenian people.
Ecumenical Life
To continue an active engagement in ecumenism, especially given the unique opportunities for ecumenical and inter-church relations in the UK and Ireland. Ecumenism is active involvement in local and national efforts of churches to promote Christian unity and cooperation and to engage in advocacy for justice, peace and human dignity.
The following activities have been carried out specifically to implement these
Primates Office: The Primate’s Office was previously based at Armenian House. Since September 2015, with the generous agreement of the St. Sarkis Trust, it is temporarily c/o The Vicarage in Iverna Gardens. The Primate and participants expressed their thankfulness once again to Armenian House Trustees and to the St. Sarkis Managing Trust.
Staff: One full time secretary, Ms. Hrachik Sarian, and one-part time book keeping assistant, Mr. Krikor Sabounjian, who replaced Mr. Alex Adamov in December 2015.
Communications: The e-magazine, which features current and upcoming events, has been expanded to give more information about all the major feasts of the Armenian Church. Ms. Aznive Simon, Mr. Gagik Stepan-Sarkissian and the editorial team are working on e-magazine. Mr. Garen Arevian and Ms. Aznive Simon are helping to create a new Church website, which will be inaugurated in May 2016. YouTube clips about all the major feasts of the Armenian Church are being prepared by Ms. Armine Vosganian.
ACT UK: There have been changes in the number of Trustees and Executive Committee Members. Currently, ACT UK has six Trustees: Bishop Hovakim
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Manukyan, Mr. Paul Manook, Mr. John Torosyan, Mr. Hovnan Hampartsoumian, Mr. Viken Haladjian and Mr. Tatto Couligian. The number of Trustees will increase up to seven. St. Sarkis Parish has nominated its candidate who will be the seventh Trustee. The ACT UK year-end accounts for year ending 2014-2015 (from March 31st to March 31st) have been submitted to Company House. The year-end accounts were delayed because the Primate was only able to undertake the work in December 2015. The year-end accounts for 2015-2016 will be presented soon.
ACT UK had its first Trustees Meeting on 14th November, 2015. At that
meeting the Primate also presented his Mission Statement as well as the objectives of his work. Since then he has undertaken changes in the Trust. There have been several meetings of Trustees and the Executive Committee thereafter on a regular basis. The Executive Committee Members are: Ms. Anais Heghoyan, Mr. Raffi Tanielian, Ms. Tatiana Der Avedisian, Mr. Stepan Yeghiazarian and Mr. Dickran Bedrossian as Chairperson.
ACYF: the support of the ACYF has been very important in recruiting young people who may also serve as deacons and in other areas of church life. The temporary Executive Committee was formed 6 months ago. The Chairperson is Ms. Anais Heghoyan. One of their outreach activities has been to take Christmas and Easter Baskets to elderly members of the Armenian community. They also organise an annual Christmas carol concert. Representatives of the ACYF participated a regional European meeting in Italy in 2015. Anais has also done a special fundraiser event for the Syrian Relief Society (around £7000 will be sent to Damascus).
Ladies Committee: At the initiative of Primate and some active members of the Church the Primate’s Office Ladies Committee was formed in December 2015. Since their formation they have been involved with the organisation of “The Blessing of the Pomegranates” on New Year’s Eve. One of the
other and most successful events was “The Blessing of the Newlywed Couples and Families”. The third event was the organisation of an Easter Lunch at Tara Copthorne Hotel.
Ecumenical Life: After his enrolment the Primate visited the Most Revd. and Rt. Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nicholls, Archbishop of Westminster, as well as the Rt. Revd and Rt. Hon Richard Chartres, Bishop of London. The Primate is constantly in touch with Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Bishops based in the UK, and cooperates with the Kensington Council of Churches. The Primate was actively involved in organising the event at Westminster
Bible studies and workshops, lectures: There have been Bible studies at the Gulbenkian Hall every Thursday at 7 pm. During first year the Primate organised several workshops, including a presentation “Being Christian in a Secular World.” The aim of the workshops and lectures are to help Armenian and non-Armenian Christians to learn more about their heritage and spirituality. An evangelising church needs to open up to the people and not be timid to enter the public realm. Such a presence can only become possible through the Church’s engagement with the world, as well as the testimony and example Christians provide in their working and living environment. What are the opportunities for the Church to engage with the secular world? How could the Church function in the world of media and, education and culture and find ways of collaboration in these spheres? How do the diaconal, charitable activities of the Christian faith become realities in the world today? These are some of the questions that are explored during the workshops and lectures.
Parishes: Working with the parishes has been priority for the Primate. The principal has been always to know about the all parishes and the work they do but at the same time to allow them autonomy. However, the Primate carries out pastoral duties in those parishes where there are no clergy.
Clergy: The Diocese has one permanent serving full time pastor, Rev. Fr.
Shnork Bagdassarian. Rev. Fr. Besag Hatapian and Rev. Fr. Nerses Der Nersessian are assisting the clergy. Last year the pastor of St. Yeghiche, Rev. Fr. Aren Shahinian, got a new appointment. We had a visiting pastor, the Rev. Fr. Movses Sargsyan, who served for 5 months, and the Rev. Fr. Vram Khazaryan is currently helping the Primate to carry out his mission until his final appointment. There have been regular meetings and consultations with priests and deacons in order to exchange ideas about the mission and to learn from each other. Meanwhile efforts are being made to recruit candidates for the deaconate.
Wider Community: during the past year the Primate was actively involved in
Abbey celebrating the lives of the Holy Martyrs on 27th October, 2015. He visited different churches during the Week of Christian Unity has preached at St. Dunstan-in-the-West by the invitation Bishop Jonathan of Fulham and has given the Annual Lecture at St. John Chrysostom Society. These ecumenical meetings are essential for Christian unity, advocacy and justice.
Armenian Street Festival: The Primate attended the ASF on 5th July, 2015. The 2016 festival will be in the whole of the square with the help of Kensington Council. It is expected that other Christian denominations will also participate.
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community life for building bridges and cooperating with members of the Armenian Community. The Primate also attended Armenian Sunday and Saturday schools.
St. Yeghiche Church: St. Yeghiche Church has helped the Primate to obtain a work visa and also contributes the substantial part of his salary. There was a prayer service at St. Yeghiche Church for the victims of terror attacks in France, and a fundraising event for the Syrian Relief Society. The Primate celebrated at St. Yeghiche Church at Christmas and Easter as well as on numerous other occasions and presided over the St. Yeghiche AGM.
St. Sarkis Church: He has celebrated Divine Liturgy on numerous occasions and presided over several events organised by the ACYF, Ladies Committee and St. Sarkis Parish Council including an ecumenical prayer for the Week of Christian Unity. He has also presided over and facilitated Parish Council meetings and the AGM. The Primate also celebrated Palm Sunday and most of the Holy Week celebrations were spent at St. Sarkis Church.
Holy Trinity Church: The Primate visited Manchester twice to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and on several occasions attended the youth gatherings. Holy Trinity in Manchester is the oldest Armenian Church in the UK. The Primate is permanently in touch with Chairs of the Trust and Wardens as well as serving deacons to meet the spiritual needs of the community. Along with other programs, Manchester has a special deacons training programme. A deacon from Birmingham also attends the trainings. The Primate fully supports these projects and meets with the deacons during his travels.
Cardiff Parish: He visited Cardiff in November to get acquainted with the community and celebrate Divine Liturgy. The Primate also visited and co- presided over the inauguration of St. David's memorial of the Armenian Genocide. In January he celebrated the Divine Liturgy and conducted the water blessing service for the community.
Dublin Parish: Dublin Parish is one of the newly planted and flourishing parishes of the Diocese. The Primate visited Dublin for the first time in October 2015 and celebrated Divine Liturgy at Taney Parish Church. Then he co-presided over the celebration of the dedication of a Khatchkar at Christchurch Cathedral on the occasion of centennial of the Armenian Genocide, as well as presiding over the AGM in January. The Primate visited Dublin on Easter Monday and celebrated the Divine Liturgy. He has also taken the responsibility of the pastor of the parish until the congregation is able to have its own parish priest.
Oxford Parish: The Primate visited Oxford in January to celebrate the Divine
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Armenian Church News
Liturgy and at the same time organised a group of 60 people to attend the Bodleian Library guided tour celebrating 2500 years of Armenian history.
Birmingham Parish: The Primate visited Birmingham twice to celebrate Divine Liturgy and visited several families. There is ongoing work to strengthen the parish and provide it with an edifice where they can carry out their work.
Parish Life
Special Prayer Service in Birmingham Parish
On Sunday, 17th April, the Primate visited Birmingham had a prayer service for soldiers, who laid down their lives in the recent military escalation in Artsakh, and held a meeting with the members of Birmingham Mission Parish Council.
He confirmed his willingness to work closely with the local community and to help with further development and growth. The Bishop also confirmed his next visits, including the AGM of Birmingham Mission Parish, which will be held at St.John's Church on 30th April, at 5 pm.
 Community Life
Armenian Street Festival Planning Continues
On Wednesday 13th April, the ASF Planning Committee met at the Gulbenkian Hall of St. Sarkis Church. Reports were made regarding the progress in the planning works. ASF will be held on 17th July. This year the ASF will take up the whole of the square of Iverna Gardens. It will start with the traditional Armenian service of Andastan (blessings of the four corners of the world) and will be followed by an official inauguration. Dignitaries and friends of Armenians will attend the ASF including representatives of sister Churches.
Some of last year’s programme will be the same, and some new groups will provide entertainment. Plans have been made to pay special attention to the children’s corner as well as to provide more provision to the elderly during the ASF. ASF seeks volunteers especially young men and women to help the team on the day.
London hosted its first ever ASF in 2011, and it has now become an annual event. The ASF is a celebration of our culture, history, identity and faith. Last year, the festival offered a comprehensive programme of music including the Jirair Band, the London Armenian Opera, as well as music by Komitas. Traditional dancing from the Akhtamar Dance Group and other entertainments were enjoyed, as well as delicious food, market stalls and activities for children.

On Sunday 17th July the Armenian Church and its community will be hosting its 7th annual Armenian Street Festival (ASF), taking over the whole of Iverna Gardens by High Street Kensington. ASF is a celebration of our culture, history, identity and faith; bringing the community and their friends together for a fun day filled with music, food and dancing.
Our event attracts over 3000 people including the Armenian community, local residents, friends of our community, and representatives of sister Churches in the UK.
On the day we will be offering vendors an opportunity to hire one of our stalls in order to sell their products and raise awareness. Over the years our stalls have sold books, artwork, craftwork, charitable merchandise, jewellery and more. We are offering up to 20 vendors the opportunity to hire one of our stalls for only £100 for the whole day.
If you would like to learn more, please email us: or call 020 8127 8364. Our stalls usually get sold quickly so we recommend contacting us as soon as possible to secure a place at ASF.
Armenian Church News
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ACT UK Trustees and Executive Committee Meeting
On the evening of Friday, 15th July, ACT UK Trustees and the Executive Committee met at the Armenian Vicarage. Reports were made on the financial situation. The meeting was informed that that the final year-end accounts for 2014-2015 were finalised and presented to Company House. It has become public on respective websites and will be distributed to the donors. The Finance Committee has undertaken the task of producing the year-end accounts for 2015-2016. Questions related to the publication of books on spiritualty and cooperation with the Armenian Bible Society were discussed.
ACT UK funds the Primate’s Office’s activities and specific projects such as the ASF, Mission Parish outreach programmes, continuing education ministry projects and publications. It also considers the specific wishes of donors while implementing the projects based on the objectives of the Trust.

Armenian Church News
The Armenian Church News (ACN) publishes announcements of any
Armenian organisation as it is an inclusive channel of communication.
The objectives of ACN are to inform the wider public and its constituency
members about:
Activities of the Primate
Organisations under the auspices of the Primate; ACT UK, ACYF,
Ladies Committee
Worldwide Armenian Church
Upcoming events in the community
The announcements about the community events are published upon the
request of a particular organisation. The articles cannot be longer than 150
ACN do not raise funds on behalf of any other organisation except for the
Armenian Church (ACT UK, ACYF, ASF, Primate’s Office’s Ladies
Committee, St. Yeghiche, St. Sarkis, Holy Trinity, Dublin, Cardiff,
Birmingham, Oxford).
Any article, flyer or information that may contain appeals do not represent
the Primate’s or ACN official position.
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Armenian Church News
Armenian Church News
RTE 1 Radio Interview with Martine Madden was broadcast Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
6th – 14th June 2016
Armenian Church News
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:

Diocese of Tavush
One Community, One School
The objectives of creating Sunday Schools on bordering areas are:
  􏰀  organise and coordinate spiritual education in Tavush
  􏰀  to underline the scientific, moral and spiritual aspects of religious education in the curriculum of the schools
  􏰀  to make the region of Tavush a unique centre of education
  􏰀  to see strengthen the practising of Christianity Between 2016-2019 we are planning to create around 70 schools in the region of Tavush Each school will cost around 2000 USD Any child living in the bordering region has a right to spiritual education. The borders are in good hands if we have people there living according Christian values
“When I grow up I will become like Serbazan”
Little Nelli is a member of the Church Youth Organisation of Noyemberyan City
Strengthening Christianity on the borders creates a stronger nation
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Forthcoming Events in April, May, June and July 2016
Bible Studies
Every Thursday, at St. Sarkis Church Gulbenkian Hall led by the Primate and the
clergy of the Diocese
Next dates: April 21st, 28th
Bible 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.
Solemn Divine Liturgy in Remembrance of the Genocide
Sunday, 24th April, St. Yeghiche Church
11:00am Solemn Divine Liturgy
12:00pm Consecration of the replica of the icon of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide (the original of which was consecrated in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin on 23rd April, 2015, during the canonisation of the Holy Martyrs of the Genocide)
1:00pm Prayer for the Armenian soldiers who died protecting the homeland during the recent aggression of Azerbaijan against Artsakh.
Cardiff Parish
Genocide Remembrance Day
Sunday, 24th April at 11.00am
We will be asking the children to light 9 Candles for the 9th Anniversary of the memorial.
Community Genocide Commemoration Programme
Sunday, 24th April at 2:30pm in St. Yeghiche Church
Community Commemoration Programme including a special guest speaker and cultural programme.

Hamazkayin Lecture: The Armenian Church and National Identity
Friday, 6th May at 8:00pm in the Navasartian Centre
(please see advert for details)
Armenian Liturgical Hymns
Saturday, 7th May at 6pm in Pembroke College, Oxford
Oxford Armenian Choir presents the musical tradition from an ancient church, from the 10th century to the present day
(please see advert for details)
Upcoming Events

Anahid Association Mother’s Day Celebratory Tea Party
Sunday, 8th May, 3pm-5:30pm at the Double Tree Hotel, 2-8 Hanger Lane, Ealing W5 3HN. Tickets £20 (£10 for children under 12) and additional information can be obtained from the Committee members: Klara 0208 998 5250, Juliette 0208 998 5490, Larissa 0208 581 8080, Suzelle 0208 453 0196, Odette 01494 816 757.
Dublin Parish
Divine Liturgy in Taney Parish, Dublin
8 – 11th May, visit to Dublin
Cardiff Parish
Armenian Church Service at Ararat Church
Saturday, 21st May at 10.30am
Dedication Service in Memoriam of Mr. B. Kassardjian
Sunday, 22nd May in St. Sarkis Church
Divine Liturgy and Special Memorial Service for Archbishop Gizirian
Sunday, 29th May, in St. Yeghiche Church (PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE)
Divine Liturgy and special Hogehangist service in memory of the late Archbishop Yeghiche Gizirian, the service will be followed by Hogejash and remembrance event.
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
6 – 14th June (please see advert for details)
Pilgrimage to Holy Etchmiadzin
24-26th June
Visit to Armenia and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, on the occasion of the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome by the invitation of His Holiness KAREKIN II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
Armenian Street Festival
Sunday, 17th July, 12pm-7pm
Iverna Gardens, London W8 6TP
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 April:
We pray for justice and peace in the world and particularly for the heroic people of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). We also invite you to pray for the blessed memory of the dead soldiers and civilians in Artsakh.
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Armenian Church News
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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