Thursday, 9 June 2016

Diocese of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and Ireland Volume 2, Issue 19 4 June 2016 Armenian Church News

The Celebration of the Feast of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin at St. Yeghiche Church in London
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In this issue:
The Celebration of the Feast of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin at St. Yeghiche Church
In Memoriam: Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian
#ASF London
Meeting with H.E.Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Youth for Christ
Trip to Bodleian Library

'Four Monuments and a Pilgrimage: Wales and the Armenians' by Canon Patrick Thomas
May 28th in London’s Navasartian Centre
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
“To the Right Hand of St. Gregory the Illuminator and to Holy Etchmiadzin, the whole of the Armenian Nation is bound."
These words belong to the 17th century Armenian historian Arakel Davrizhetsi who believed that Armenians cannot live without Holy Etchmiadzin, based on his own experience of living with Armenians from Ispahan. The quote was thought to help offer a shining light for the historian during one of the darkest periods in the Armenian history. Today we celebrate the feast of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin, which is the day when we remember St. Gregory the Illuminator's vision of Jesus Christ who descended from heaven and stroke the Earth with a golden hammer to indicate the place where the Cathedral, after the conversion of the Armenian royal family into Christianity at the beginning of the 4th century, should be built. Holy Etchmiadzin nourishes our Armenian spirituality, especially today when the feast of Holy Etchmiadzin coincides with May 28th, the day of the establishment of the first Armenian Republic.
listen to my voice; I know them, and
they follow me.
My sheep
The first Armenian Republic was born in the aftermath of the Genocide, at the end of WWI. The Ottoman armies were attacking Eastern Armenia in May 1918 and Armenia's newly formed troops had to fight successive battles to stop the advances of its enemy. It is said the role and existence of Holy Etchmiadzin played a pivotal role in the final victory of the Armenians in Sardarabad through Catholicos Kevork Surenyants inspirational refusal to abandon Holy Etchmiadzin and move to Sevan Monastery. He declared “If you can’t defend our shrines and the most sacred place, then I will take the sword and die protecting the Church and will accept martyrdom with honour.”
As we recall these events and remember them in our prayer with great spiritual comfort, we should also remember that we have a commitment as heirs of this great legacy.
In the Bible, Jesus said,
This is a special message which we can relate to our feast and the current situation facing Armenians in Artsakh. "As sons and daughters of Holy Etchmiadzin we should listen to the voice, we must support the noble cause of Artsakh” said our primate preaching at St. Yeghiche. This was followed by a special solemn prayer on the occasion
of the feast.
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Ms Ani Badikian, renowned Armenian violinist played a few pieces of famous Armenian and European musicians such as Komitas Vardapet “Tsirani Tsar” (“Apricot Tree”) and a Melody by Christoph Gluck.
A special video, “Archbishop Gizirian in our lives and prayers,” was shown.
The afternoon was concluded by a speech and prayer from our primate.
You can watch the film on our website:
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In Memoriam: Archbishop Yeghiche Gizirian
On Sunday afternoon our community gathered at Church to respect the memory of our late primate Archbshop Gizirian. The event started by a welcoming speech from Rev. Fr. Khazarian, visiting pastor at St. Yeghiche Church.
Mr. Ara Palamoudian, Mr. Stepan Ovanesoff, Mr. Armen Sahakian, Rev. Fr. Shnork Bagdasarian shared their memories of the late Archbishop.
Mr. Movses Chaparian enriched the event by reciting a 19th century poem by Armenian writer Mgrtich Peshigtashlian.
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#ASFLondon Armenian Street Festival
Committee met at the residence of the Primate on the 31st of May to discuss further plans for the upcoming festival.
Thousands of Armenians and non-Armenians are expected to attend the upcoming Armenian Street Festival which will take place on Sunday, July the 17th, 2016 around St. Sarkis Church, just off High Street Kensington.
The Committee is working tirelessly to put on the greatest festival to date with an exciting programme of entertainment including; dancing from the London based Akthamar Dance Group, singing by the Gomitas choir of Tekeyan Cultural centre, duduk playing by Gevorg Karapetyan and finally a surprise celebrity guest who is sure to get the crowd into a frenzy!
The day will include speeches and lots of fun activities for our young guests. There will, of course, be lots of Armenian home-cooked food for our festival goers to enjoy, as well as stalls selling art, jewellery, books and more!
The festival will open with a traditional rite of blessings from the four corners of the world presided over by the Primate and leaders of the sister Churches.
The Planning Committee thanks our young energetic organisers who are managing all the entertainment and media for the day; Arthur, Anais, Karine, Mimi, Tatiana, Stepan, Andre, Sona, Armine, Ani.
The Primate also thanks the rest of our fantastic committee who were able to safeguard the whole of Iverna Square for the Festival to make sure 2016's festival is the best to date!
The Armenian Street Festival Planning
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Facebook: Instagram: Twitter:
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Meeting with H.E.Cardinal Vincent Nichols
On May the 31st His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan visited His Eminence Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster at his residence accompanied by Dr. Harry Hagopian for a visit.
Questions relating to our bilateral relations were discussed at the meeting. Bishop Hovakim Manukyan extended an invitation to His Eminence to visit St. Yeghiche in London on the occasion of the feast of Holy Translators, which will take place on October the 9th, 2016 and informed the Cardinal about the upcoming Armenian Street Festival, which will be held around the grounds of St. Sarkis Church, on 17th of July.
The Primate briefed the Cardinal about the upcoming visit of Holy Father, Pope Francis to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin by the invitation of His Holiness KAREKIN II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, on 24th-26th June, 2016.
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A group of Armenian pilgrims from the UK will also be joining the Primate to participate in the events during the visit of the Holy Father.
His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan and His Eminence Archbishop Vincent Nichols spoke about the Divine Liturgy that Pope Francis celebrated on the occasion of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, when St. Gregory of Narek, 10th century Armenian Saints was proclaimed as the 36th doctor of the Catholic Church. They also discussed the possibility of a joint panel discussion in the Autumn around Armenian Orthodox and Catholicrelations following the visit of Pope Francis to Holy Etchmiadzin. Taking this opportunity, His Grace gave the Cardinal the English Translation of the “Lamentation of St. Gregory of Narek” and the icon of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.
Meeting with the Representatives of the Organisation of Youth for
On 26th May, His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan met with Phil Knox, Director of Resources, British Youth for Christ. During the meeting Phil Know presented his Birmingham based organisation and their programmes targeted at youth of different ages. Ideas were exchanged on how to develop bilateral relations and integrate Armenian youth movements in the UK. The Primate in turn talked about youth related programmes run by the Armenian Church in the UK and Ireland, and invited him to the upcoming Armenian Street Festival.
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Trip to Bodleian Library
On 2nd June, 2016 the Primate visited the Bodleian Library in Oxford and met with Dr. Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s librarian, to present him with the English Translation of St. Gregory of Narek.
The Primate’s office has an agreement in place to ensure that any new publications are given to the libraries and therefore, they were deeply appreciative to be the first to receive a copy of the recently published book.
St. Gregory was a 10th century Armenian mystic and monk, residing in Narek monastery near Lake Van (Western Armenia) and today he is the most venerated saint among Armenians. His book is also the most cherished spiritual book by Armenians.
At the end of the meeting Richard Ovenden organised a small guided tour for the primate and his guests; Garen Arevian, Raffik Khandaryan and, two young members of the Church Sona Gevorgyan and Taron Qamalyan around the library.
Our primate thanked Richard Ovenden for receiving him and also for promoting Armenian culture, referring to the recent exhibition “Armenia, Masterpieces from an Enduring Culture.” The exhibition was inaugurated on October 23rd, 2015 and it celebrated more than 2,500 years of Armenian history and culture with a sumptuous display of manuscripts, books, sacred objects and everyday artefacts from the Armenian community, handed down through the generations.
The English translation of the “Book Lamentations” by St. Gregory of Narek will now be part of the already rich collections at the Bodleian library.
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'Four Monuments and a Pilgrimage:
Wales and the Armenians' by Canon Patrick Thomas

On the symbolic day when the German Bundestag passed a resolution with a majority vote recognising the Armenian Genocide, Pembroke College, Oxford, celebrating its 50th anniversary since the establishment of the Armenian professorship at the college, ran a series of lectures to commemorate the day.
The first lecturer was Canon Patrick Thomas, a Welsh writer, Vicar of Christ Church Carmarthen and Chancellor of St David’s Cathedral. The author of books such as “From Carmarthen to Karabagh, a Welsh Discovery to Armenia” and “Remembering the Armenian Genocide 1915,” he gave a lecture on Armenians and was introduced by Theo van Lint, Calouste Gulbenkian professor of Armenian Studies.
After the lecture Bishop Hovakim thanked Canon Patrick and Professor Lint highlighting what a great ambassador Canon Patrick is for us as he promotes our culture across the UK through his publications and presentations. Since then, we are pleased to announce that Canon Patrick has happily committed to translating his article and books into Armenian.
Please, visit our website to view the full presentation:
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May 28th in London’s Navasartian Centre
Presentation by Mourad Papazian
points of this process the Armenian lobby was present and active as representatives of the French-Armenian citizens, in order to shift the policy decision in favour of self-determination for the people of Artsakh.
Following his speech, attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions, leading to a stimulating and intellectual discussion.
The session exposed many different angles of the Four Day War, including the relevance of the memory of First Armenian Independence, the role of international powers and peace-brokering organisations in the Artsakh
peace process, the significance of Armenia’s domestic situation on foreign policy, and the importance of war-induced nationalistic fervour on the future of Artsakh.
The discussions were concluded with warm words from His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, and the evening ended with a reminder of the universal aspirations of a free, independent and united Armenia.
For this event, the Navasartian Centre was embellished with images of the 1918 First Republic, the memory of a state that was born against all the odds due to the vehement struggle for autonomy. The images reminded us that a peaceful Artsakh will also emerge against the odds, due to a just and passionate desire for self-determination.
May the 28th is the culmination of a victorious month in the historic Armenian calendar, uniting events from different time periods into a common narrative that all Armenians can relate to; the narrative of victory in the face of tyranny.
This year’s May the 28th event in London’s Navasartian Centre reminded us that the spirit of the day is relevant and active today in Armenia and Artsakh, especially in the light of the recent Four Day War.
Mourad Papazian, a member of the ARF Bureau from France, presented on the latest events in Artsakh. The event was attended by His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate of the Armenian Church in the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as Mr Tigran Galstyan, counsellor at the Armenian Embassy, Mr Ara Palamoudian, Chairman of the Armenian Community Council of the UK, representatives of various political parties and members of the community
In his speech, Mourad Papazian emphasized the position of European countries on the conflict, paying special attention to France as the country he presides and lobbies in.

He provided an insight into the French policy-making process, explaining at which
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I am extremely grateful to Professor Theo Maarten van Lint for inviting me here tonight. Perhaps I should begin with an apology. My Medieval Welsh tutor at Cambridge used scathingly to dismiss a well-known Arthurian scholar with the damning words “He knows no Irish.” I am painfully and shamefully aware that my Armenian is limited to a small stock of phrase book expressions and a couple of very brief prayers. I hope you will forgive me for that. My life has, however, been profoundly enriched over the past eleven years by learning something of Armenian history, culture and spirituality, and by getting to know several dear Armenian friends. As a result I have become involved with others in helping to build bridges between the Welsh and the Armenians.
Traditionally Wales is divided into four areas: north-east, north-west, south-east and south- west. They roughly correspond to the four ancient dioceses of the country, and the four basic dialect areas of the Welsh language, a Brythonic Celtic tongue which is still spoken by around twenty per cent of the population of Wales. There are also four Armenian monuments in Wales, one in each of the four quarters of the land. This doesn’t seem to have been intentional, though it is rather wonderful that things have worked out that way. Some years ago Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian invited me to take part in the Armenian Antasdan ceremony, the Blessing of the Four Corners of the World. Accidentally or providentially, the four memorials provide an Armenian blessing for the four corners of Wales.
Each of these four Armenian monuments has a very distinct character. The oldest is a Victorian stained glass window in a medieval church. The second is a khatchkar in the garden of a building erected as a non-denominational centre for peace, healing and reconciliation. The simplest is a plaque with an inscription in three languages (Armenian, Welsh and English) in the foyer of an administrative building. The most recent is a statue that provides a focus for the cloister garden of a cathedral that is generally regarded as the most sacred place in Wales, and one of the holiest sites in the British Isles. Each memorial marks a special stage in the relationship between the Armenians and Wales.
The village of Hawarden, in north-east Wales, was the home of William Ewart Gladstone, the great nineteenth century Liberal politician and prime minister. Gladstone opposed the pro-Ottoman policies of his Conservative rival, Benjamin Disraeli. He was particularly critical of the treatment of Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire. In 1876 he responded to the massacre of Bulgarians with a hugely influential pamphlet, Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East. On 2nd March 1894 Gladstone’s final term of office came to an end with his resignation as prime minister. The ‘Grand Old Man’, as he was known, was by that time 84 years old. He retired to live in Hawarden Castle.
To many people it must have seemed that Gladstone’s political life had now drawn to a close. However, a major crisis arose which soon stirred him back into action. News was beginning to reach Britain of the massacres of Armenians instigated by the ‘Red Sultan’ Abdul Hamid. When a meeting was held in London on 17th December 1894 to express indignation at the Sultan’s actions, a letter from Gladstone was read out condemning Turkish outrages. The Grand Old Man’s words were enthusiastically received by all those present. Twelve days later Gladstone celebrated his 85th birthday. Among the gifts which he received was one from a source which as unexpected as it was welcome.
Please, visit our website to view the full presentation:
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Prayer Intentions for June
We invite faithful to pray for the volunteers who spare no time and energy to help the Communities and Churches in their works and duties
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Armenian Church News
Upcoming Events
PROGRAMMES Forthcoming Events
Bible Studies
Every Thursday, at St. Sarkis Church Gulbenkian Hall led by the Primate and the clergy of the Diocese
Next dates: June 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th
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.
Divine Liturgy in Birmingham
Sunday, 19th of June, 1:30pm
Divine Liturgy at the Mission Parish of Birmingham (St John’s Church, Stratford Road, Birmingham, B11 4EA)
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.
Feast of Transfiguration
Sunday, 3rd of July
Divine Liturgy
St. Sarkis, St. Yeghiche and Holy Trinity in Manchester
Armenian Street Festival, Sunday, 17thof July,
Iverna Gardens, London W8 6TP

Pilgrimage to Holy Land
January 2017
Armenian Community in Oxford
The Silent Books Project: The Armenian Genocide and its Perception
Suzan Meryem Kalayci (PhD Candidate, European University, Florence)
Wk 7 9 June, 7:00-8:30pm (Thursday) Harold Lee Room
Reception in Honour of Robert W. Thomson with the Participation of Oxford Armenian Choir
16 June (Thursday) 5:30-7:00pm, Pichette Auditoriu, Wk 8
Robert Thomson and the Development of the Study of Armenia
Dr Levon Avdoyan (Armenia and Georgia Area Specialist, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.)
16 June (Thursday) 7:00-8:30pm Lecture
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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.
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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
The Armenian Vicarage
Iverna Gardens
London, W8 6TP
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Editorial Committee:
His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate
Garen Arevian
Lena Boghossian
Hovik Hovhannisyan Aznive Simon
Gagik Stepan-Sarkissian SossiYerissian


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