Saturday, 16 July 2016

Armenian Church News Diocese of the Armenian Church in the United Kingdom and Ireland Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church Arrives in Armenia - Welcoming Service Held in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin

We are very sorry we are not able to publish photographs at this time.

On 24th June 2016, under the theme "Visit to the First Christian Nation" Pope Francis launched a three-day visit to the Republic of Armenia.
The Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church was welcomed by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; and Mr. Serzh Sarkisyan, President of the Republic of Armenia, at the Zvartnots International Airport. They were accompanied by their delegations as well as representatives of the Catholic and Armenian Catholic Church.

After the chartered aircraft landed, Pope Francis was greeted at the bottom of the jetway, by the President Sargsyan and First Lady Ms. Rita Sargsyan, after which the Patriarchs of the two churches exchanged a fraternal embrace.
After a brief conversation at the airport with the President of Armenia, His Holiness and Pope Francis, accompanied by their delegations, left for Holy Etchmiadzin.
In this issue:

Pope Francis visits Armenia:
Holy Etchmiadzin
Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial Complex

AGBU Interns visit London
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@
Volume 2, Issue 21 8 Ju
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In the Mother See, the two Pontifs were met by the members of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin and officials. On this occasion, numerous pilgrims, from Armenia and the Diaspora, welcomed the Pope with flags and signs. Amongst them were His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate of the Diocese of the UK and Ireland, accompanied by members of our community, Raffi and Alice Tanielian, and Alan and Nicole Simonian.
The procession of clergymen of the Armenian and Catholic Churches, under the ringing of the bells of the Mother Cathedral and the singing of the hymn “Glorious God”, led the Catholicos of All Armenians and the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church to the Mother Cathedral.
At the Cathedral, the Pontiffs bowed in front of the Altar of Descent kissing the Holy Bible and the Holy Cross, then ascended the Main Altar of the Cathedral where a brotherly embrace was exchanged.
Pope Francis through the recitation of the prayer "Preserve us, Christ our God", blessed the pious faithful.
Following the prayer, His Holiness Karekin II welcomed Pope Francis and stated:
Your Holiness, beloved brother in Christ,
We give glory and thanks to God, as we welcome you, and the delegation accompanying you today, with brotherly love and prayer in this holy cathedral, where the Only-Begotten Son descended. We are deeply touched that per Our invitation You have visited Armenia, to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. This ancient cathedral is the testimony of the covenant set between our people and God. It is on this sacred site that Jesus Christ descended and with His venerable Holy Right Hand establi  
Etchmiadzin which is the Holy of Holies of the entire Armenian nation.
By divine providence, through the vision and zealous efforts of the second Enlightener of the Armenians, Catholicos St. Gregory; the lanterns of faith that were lit in the hearts of our people through the preaching of St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew, were renewed.
Since that day the light that is emanating from Holy Etchmiadzin binds our people with their history, sacred treasures and homeland spread around Ark- bearing Mount Ararat.
We are immensely delighted that today in this holy cathedral of Etchmiadzin the prayers of the two pontiffs of the Sees of St. Peter and Sts. Thaddeus and Bartholomew, are united in the glory of God, pleading peace for our faithful and for all the world, calling for a strong spirit of love and brotherhood and fruitful cooperation.

At this moment it is with warm feelings, that we remember the visit of St. John Paul II to Armenia in 2001, on the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of the proclamation of Christianity as the State religion in Armenia.
That was the first visit of a Pontiff of the See of St. Peter to our land, which became a new incentive for cooperation in the brotherly relationship between our Churches.
You also have made notable impact in strengthening the brotherly relationships between our Churches, by showing particular kindness towards the Armenian Church and our people on various occasions throughout your ministry.
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The visit of Your Holiness is a renewed testament to the brotherly relationships and collaboration of our Churches and is mutually empowering for the faithful of both the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. Your visit also fills us with optimism that our testimonies of faith, reinforced with Christian love, will be felt more strongly in our lives.
Our people remember with gratitude your solemn Mass celebrated in memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide in the Basilica of St. Peter, with your historic sermon condemning the Genocide.
We give thanks to God that today together with Your Holiness, the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church, with our faithful Armenians, including those who have come to Armenia on the occasion of Your visit, can pray and beseech the intercession of the canonized martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, whose bloodshed is a testimonial of victory not only for the Armenians but also for the Christian faith as a whole. As the apostle says, abundance of grace is multiplied through the Glory of God by the thankfulness of many, (2 Corinthians 4:15).
After the destruction caused by the Armenian Genocide and the Godless years of the Soviet era, our church is living a new spiritual awakening by freely realizing the Christ-bestowed mission in the lives of our people in conditions of independent statehood in our Homeland. Our church is also engaging in a greater participation in the life of pan-Christian relations, strongly believing that at a time when the world is filled with deepening spiritual, political, economic, and humanitarian crisis, it is important more than ever for the Sister Churches to jointly pray and cooperate for the fruitfulness of the mission of Christ’s holy Church, for keeping and cherishing Christian ethical values in the world, for strengthening love towards mankind, through which true results of security and prosperity can be actualized.
We extend our prayer for the stability and prosperity of the Holy Church of
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Christ, for the spread of the spirit of love and favour of our Lord, and for increasing peace and life in solidarity in the world.
We call on the Lord to support Your Holiness, and wish you a long and healthy reign, for the sake of prosperity of the Roman Catholic Church and for consolation of the faithful.
Welcome to the Biblical land of Armenia and to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
Let the mercy, grace and blessings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ remain with us all, evermore. Amen.

Pope Francis also delivered a message and it stated:
Venerable Brother, Supreme Patriarch-Catholicos of All Armenians, Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is very moving for me to have crossed the threshold of this holy place, a witness to the history of your people and the centre from which its spirituality radiates. I consider it a precious gift of God to be able to approach the holy altar from which the light of Christ shone forth in Armenia. I greet the Catholicos of All the Armenians, His Holiness Karekin II, with heartfelt thanks for his gracious invitation to visit Holy Etchmiadzin, and all the Archbishops and Bishops of the Armenian Apostolic Church. I thank you for your cordial and joyful welcome. Thank you, Your Holiness, for having welcomed me into your home. This sign of love eloquently bespeaks, better than any words can do, the meaning of friendship and fraternal charity.

On this solemn occasion, I give thanks to the Lord for the light of faith kindled in your land, the faith that has given Armenia its particular identity and made it a herald of Christ among the nations. Christ is your glory and
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your light. He is the sun who has illuminated and enlivened you, accompanied and sustained you, especially in times of trial. I bow before the mercy of the Lord, who willed that Armenia should become, in the year 301, the first nation to accept Christianity as its religion, at a time when persecutions still raged throughout the Roman Empire.
For Armenia, faith in Christ has not been like a garment to be donned or doffed as circumstances or convenience dictate, but an essential part of its identity, a gift of immense significance, to be accepted with joy, preserved with great effort and strength, even at the cost of life itself. As Saint John Paul II wrote: “With the ‘baptism’ of the Armenian community... the people acquired a new identity that was to become a constitutive and inseparable part of Armenian life. It would no longer be possible to think that faith did not figure as an essential element among the components of this identity” (Apostolic Letter for the 1700th Anniversary of the Baptism of the Armenian People [2 February 2001], 2). May the Lord bless you for this luminous testimony of faith. It is a shining example of the great efficacy and fruitfulness of the baptism received over seventeen hundred years ago, together with the eloquent and holy sign of martyrdom, which has constantly accompanied the history of your people.
I also thank the Lord for the journey that the Catholic Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church have undertaken through sincere and fraternal dialogue for the sake of coming to share fully in the Eucharistic banquet. May the Holy Spirit help us to attain the unity for which our Lord prayed, so that his disciples may be one and the world may believe. I gladly recall the decisive impulse given to developing closer relations and strengthening dialogue between our two Churches in recent years by Their Holinesses Vasken I and
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Karekin I, and by Saint John Paul II and by Benedict XVI. As significant stages of this ecumenical engagement, I would mention: the commemoration of the Witnesses to the Faith in the twentieth century during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000; the consignment to Your Holiness of the relic of the Father of Christian Armenia, Saint Gregory the Illuminator, for the new Cathedral of Yerevan; the Joint Declaration of His Holiness John Paul II and Your Holiness, signed here in Holy Etchmiadzin; and the visits which Your Holiness has made to the Vatican for important events and commemorations.
Tragically, our world is marked by divisions and conflicts, as well as by grave forms of material and spiritual poverty, including the exploitation of persons, not least children and the elderly. It expects from Christians a witness of mutual esteem and fraternal cooperation capable of revealing to every conscience the power and truth of Christ’s resurrection. The patient and enduring commitment to full unity, the growth of joint initiatives and cooperation between all the Lord’s disciples in service to the common good: all these are like a radiant light in a dark night and a summons to experience even our differences in an attitude of charity and mutual understanding. The spirit of ecumenism takes on an exemplary value also outside of the visible confines of the ecclesial community; it represents for everyone a forceful appeal to settle divergences with dialogue and appreciation for all that unites us. It also prevents the exploitation and manipulation of faith, for it requires us to rediscover faith’s authentic roots, and to communicate, defend and spread truth with respect for the dignity of every human being and in ways that reveal the presence of the love and salvation we wish to spread. In this way, we offer to the world which so urgently needs it a convincing witness that Christ is alive and at work, capable of opening new paths of reconciliation among the nations, civilizations and religions. We offer a credible witness that God is love and mercy.
Dear brothers and sisters, when our actions are prompted by the power of Christ’s love, understanding and reciprocal esteem grow, a fruitful ecumenical journey becomes possible, and all people of goodwill, and society as a whole, are shown a concrete way to harmonize the conflicts that rend civil life and create divisions that prove hard to heal. May Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, Saint Gregory the Illuminator, “pillar of light for the Holy Church of the Armenians”, and Saint Gregory of Narek, Doctor of the Church, bless all of you and the entire Armenian nation.
May he preserve you always in the faith you received from your ancestors, and to which you have borne glorious witness throughout the ages.”
Following the offering of a prayer, under the singing of the Pontifical hymn, a procession of clergy led His Holiness and the Pope to the Pontifical Residence.
During the visit, the Patriarch of the Roman Catholic Church, hosted by the Catholicos of All Armenians, will stay in the Mother See.
The Hrashapar Service was attended by representatives from the dioceses of the Armenian Church, State officials, benefactors of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and pilgrims.
Meeting of the Pope and the Catholicos of All Armenians in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
On the evening of 24th June, the meeting of Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church and His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; was held in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The meeting was attended by the delegation of the Catholic Church; Bishops of the Armenian Church; Diocesan Primates from Armenia and Diaspora and Locum Tenens, including His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan.
During the meeting, His Holiness Karekin II, welcomed Pope Francis to the Biblical land of Armenia and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. He also conveyed his fraternal love and best wishes to the members of the delegation.
“There is joy in our homes and in our souls today, as our beloved brother has visited the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, and as the Armenian nation has a special warm affection for him. The
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clear evidence of this is the presence of the high- ranking priests from our dioceses around the world, who have travelled here together with the faithful of their communities. Our people consider your visit as an opportunity and chance to express their feelings of gratitude for your caring attitude towards our people, the Armenian Church and Nation. In this sacred sanctuary we offer our prayer to heaven, asking Lord to grant you long healthy years to guide the Roman Catholic Church, and implement the mission of Christ’s Church together with the Spiritual Primates of the Sister Churches and the faithful, for the sake of a more peaceful and better world and the happier life of humankind”, stated the Catholicos of All Armenians.
In turn, Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church expressed his gratitude to His Holiness for the warm reception and fraternal love, stressing that in Holy Etchmiadzin he feels at home. Emphasizing the importance of united prayer and peace in the remarks of His Holiness, Pope Francis added that as Churches they are called to be the preachers of peace.
At the end of the meeting, a mutual presentation of the delegations of the two churches and an exchange of gifts was made.
On the occasion of the visit, the Catholicos of All Armenians presented a Liturgical Chalice to Pope Francis, on which the St. Peter Basillica of the Vatican and the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin were engraved on the sides of the cup, as well as the holy apostles of the two churches. His Holiness also presented an icon of the Holy Martyr’s of the Armenian Genocide and a miniature sculpture of the Pope. In turn, the Pope gifted to His Holiness a mosaic of the Holy Mother of God.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Pope Francis recorded a message in the Pontifical Memory register. Following the meeting a private meeting between the two Pontiffs was held.
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Pope Francis Visited the Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial Complex
On 25th June, Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church and His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; visited the Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial Complex, where the two Pontiffs were met by Mr. Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia and the First Lady Ms. Rita Sargsyan.
A solemn procession of clergy, led by honour guards, walked to the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument. Children with icons of the Armenian Genocide victims were standing on the path to the Memorial Complex. Following a wreath placing in memory of the martyrs, the national anthem of the Vatican was performed.
Under the presidency of His Holiness and Pope Francis, an Intercessional Rite of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide was offered in front of the eternal flame. The choir of Holy Etchmiadzin sang the hymn "Hrashatsan pakutsmamb", which is dedicated to the Saintly Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. Bible passages, psalms and remarks were read by the clergy of the two Churches.
The ceremony ended with a prayer by Pope Francis, through which the Pope of Roman Catholic Church asked for the intercession of the holy martyrs, for the Armenian nation and the whole world.
Following the service, the Armenian duduk was played by renowned artist Mr. Jivan Gasparyan; and honorable artists Mr. Gevork Dabaghyan and
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Mr. Kamo Seyranyan.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the RA President and two Pontiffs visited the Memorial Park in memories of the Genocide victims in Armenia, where the Pope blessed an evergreen tree planted in his name.
At the end of the visit to Tsitsernakaberd, a group of descendants of Armenian Genocide survivors approached Pope Francis, whose ancestors sought shelter in the Papal Castel Gandolfo castle-summerhouse during the years of genocide, by the decision of Pope Pius XI.
Pope Francis also toured the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute exhibition and wrote a note in the register of memories and it stated in part: “Here I pray with pain in my heart, so that never more will there be tragedies like this, so that humanity does not forget and knows how to overcome the evil with good.
May God grant the beloved Armenian people and the entire world peace and consolation. May God protect the memory of the Armenian people. Memory should not be diluted or forgotten, memory is source of peace and the future”.
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Catholicos of All Armenians and Pope of the Roman Catholic Church Visit Gyumri
On 25th June, after visiting the Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial Complex in Yerevan, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; and Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church; flew to Gyumri.
Following their official welcoming to Gyumri, His Holiness and Pope Francis traveled to the St. Vartanants central square in Gyumri, where the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church offered a Divine Liturgy. In attendance was His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, along with members of the London Armenian community.
His Holiness and Pope Francis also visited the Armenian Catholic Holy Martyrs Church in Gyumri. They were met by His Eminence Archbishop Rafael Minasyan, clergy and representatives of the Armenian Catholic community at the entrance of the Church.
Following the private prayers of the two Pontiffs, the Catholicos of All Armenian blessed the representatives of the Armenian Catholic community and disabled children through the “Guard Us” prayer. Leaving the Holy Martyrs Church, His Holiness and Pope Francis left Gyumri and returned to Yerevan.
Bishop Hovakim visits Pyunic Centre for the Disabled
Whilst in Yerevan, His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan took the opportunity to visit the Armenian Association for the Disab led Pyunic Centre,” accompanied by Raffi Tanielian, a sponsor of the centre. This is a centre were many handicapped children get treatment. It has its own sports club, some members of which will attend the Paralympic games in Brazil later this year. There they met with soldiers who were wounded and lost their feet in Kharabakh recently, but are able to walk again with the use of artificial feet.
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Ecumenical Service and Peace Prayer in the Republic Square of Yerevan
On 25th June, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church, an Ecumenical Service and Peace Prayer was held in the Republic Square of Yerevan. The prayer service was attended by around 60,000 Armenians and guests from different countries from around the world.
The entrance of His Holiness and Pope Francis was heralded by the ringing of the bells of the churches in Yerevan. The two Pontiffs, along with 12 high- ranking clergymen of each church, ascended the stage, which had been specially prepared for the Service.
During the joint prayer, passages and prayers from the Holy Bible were read, as well as the Holy Resurrection hymn was sang.
During the Service the Catholicos of All Armenians conveyed his blessings and remarks to the attendees.
Then Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church gave his blessings and remarks, a small extract of which follows:

“I have greatly desired to visit this beloved land, your country, the first to embrace the Christian faith. It is a grace for me to find myself here on these heights where, beneath the gaze of Mount Ararat, the very silence seems to speak. Here the khatchkar the stone crosses recount a singular history bound up with rugged faith and immense suffering, a history replete with magnificent testimonies to the Gospel, to which you are heir. I have come as a
pilgrim from Rome to be with you and to express my heartfelt affection: the affection of your brother and the fraternal embrace of the whole Catholic Church, which esteems you and is close to you.”
At the conclusion of the Service, His Grace Bishop Armash Nalbandyan, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Damascus, also gave a speech:
“I have come to attend this Peace Prayer Service from Syria, a country which continues to suffer from the lack of peace. For many years war and terrorism do not end here, as a result of which numerous innocent people are killed or become refugees; including children, elderly and women. Settlements, churches and mosques, schools and hospitals are destroyed. It was in the recent past, three years ago that the Holy Martyrs Church which housed the relics of the Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide was blown up in the Syrian desert of Der Zor.
Today, in the presence of the President of the Republic of Armenia and under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II and Pope Francis, through a joint prayer, we offered our prayers for the peace and stability of the world, this region and our beloved Armenia.
Your Holiness, on the occasion of your historic visit to Armenia, which you call a pilgrimage, on behalf of our people You will be handed a symbolic gift - a sculpture of Noah's Ark. Noah's Ark, which descended to the top of Mount Ararat is the enduring symbol of mankind's salvation and rebirth. In the recent years, Armenia became such an ark of salvation for thousands of families who became refugees in the Middle East and who are the descendants of Armenians who survived the Armenian Genocide.
And now, Armenians arrived from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait and Iran will add one handful of soil brought with them into this Ark where an Armenian grape cutting will be planted. Let this symbolic gift be a lasting memory of the Armenian world in the St. Peter Cathedral, as a remembrance of this soul-stirring Service which was offered for world peace.”
Following the remarks, Ave Maria was performed by jazz artist Gary Kesayn following which, children from the Middle East offered His Holiness and Pope Francis the soil brought from their countries for blessings. Following the blessing, the children dressed in historical Armenia costumes, placed the soil into the miniature of Noah’s Ark and the Armenian grape cutting was planted there.
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Pontifical Divine Liturgy in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
On 26th June, in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, at the St. Trdat Open Air Altar, His Holiness Karekin II offered a Divine Liturgy, with the prayerful presence of Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Pontifical Divine Liturgy was attended by Mr. Serzh Sarkisyan, President of the Republic of Armenia and First Lady Ms. Rita Sarkisyan; Mr. Galust Sahakyan, RA National Assembly President; Mr. Hovik Abrahamyan, RA Prime Minister; Diocesan Primates of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church; Supreme Spiritual Council members; Mr. Berge Setrakian, AGBU President; benefactors of Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin; delegates from dioceses around the world; social and cultural figures; representatives of the diplomatic missions and international organizations and numerous pilgrims from Armenia and Diaspora.
The Service began with a solemn Pontifical procession, where His Holiness Karekin II and Pope Francis, accompanied by a procession of clergy of the Armenian and Catholic Churches, and under the ringing of the bells of the Mother Cathedral and singing of the hymn Khorhurd Khorin, were led to the St. Trdat Open Air Altar, where the Catholicos of All Armenians offered a Divine Liturgy.
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AGBU Interns from Around the World Visit London
My name is Astghik and I was born in Yerevan, Armenia. At the age of 16 I graduated from high school and moved to Shanghai, China for my further studies, majoring in performing arts, specializing in the violin.
It has been already 7 years since I’ve moved and being from a country which is quite different from China, every day can be quite challenging. It is always sounds quite “exotic” when I tell people that I am ChinaHAY (Armenian from China) because many people could not imagine that in China there are Armenians. Our community in China was officially created couple of years ago and now there are more than 400 Armenians, which is not a large number for China but quite big for us.
Having such a small community there it was always a little bit hard to share and spread my culture towards the Asian people. But I am glad that the profession that I have has no language and can reach every kind of audience. Before learning the language I have used music as a tool to share with them my culture by organizing Armenian themed concerts, where people could hear my music and get to know it from that side. After learning the language it opened new doors which afterwards gave me other opportunities to reach the public by organizing Armenian Themed Lectures where I would introduce them to Armenia, Armenian History and Composers. After couple of years I received an invitation to take part in a Famous Chinese Talk Show on Shanghai TV where, until now, I am representing Armenia and every week together with five other people from different countries we talk about our country’s customs, traditions and people.
Keeping my Armenian origins and my traditions has always been my number one priority. It’s always much easier when you are in a country where there are many Armenians, Armenian Schools, Church, big community....There is always a place for you to go, whenever you feel alone, but in our case, it has been always different, as we don’t have all of that, we find that everything in each other, by talking about our country with strangers, by representing our culture whether
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it’s on TV or in reality, by meeting each other as much as possible and speaking Armenian all night long and spreading it as much as possible. Every time we met another Armenian it really became like a festival. As Saroyan said “wherever they meet and they create a new Armenia- is exactly what happens when we see each other. So meeting new Armenians and getting to know Armenian communities and having their support is one of the important things to me.
Having and feeling support has always been a key to the success of reaching all those things. Personally for me, every time I talk about the support of my main career achievements, automatically the AGBU comes to mind first. Since 2014 they have supported me with a fellowship for the performing arts which was a great help towards my studies, and also helped me with plans and ideas that I have used to organize events and Armenian activities in China. In 2015 December I was invited by the AGBU Performing Arts Department to New York to take part in the AGBU Performing Artists in Concert which was in the famous Carnegie Hall. Being the Artistic Director of the Concert and playing with the Armenian Young Musicians coming from different parts of the world was an honor and so inspiring. This year, I was one of the 12 lucky Armenian students from whole over the world who have got a chance to spend their summer and do an internship in London (LSIP). We have students from the US, Argentina, Armenia, Greece, Serbia, Canada and of course China. We have met each other here and we became a small family. The whole internship will be 6 weeks and during this period of time all of us have many opportunities to learn, meet people and discover London.
I am working with the organizing committee of the ASF (Armenian Street Festival) which takes place every year in the center of London, where many Armenian people gather together and celebrate. For me it was something new, as I had never heard about it while I was in China and getting to know that there is an actual day where Armenians can celebrate the fact of being an Armenian and gather together and have some fun, while enjoying performances, music, food and dances, it was so exciting. Not being able to meet Armenians every day in China, it is so nice to go to work and just simply enter that Armenian environment, to get to know so many Armenians and feel at home. Thanks go to Srbazan Hovakim, Hrachik Sarian and the others who made me feel at home and welcomed me so nicely.
Every week together with our LSIP group we have many activites. Thanks to Camilio Azzouz and Alex Kazanjian who have orgaznied everything for us. Apart from working, we also have time to get involved in Armenian Community activities. Last Sunday we all went to St. Sarkis Church for Patarag. As in China there is no Armenian Church, for me, personally, it was one of the best moments so far. The minute you enter the church, the smell, the spirit....there is no place on this Earth that you can feel that. There is something magical and holy that happens only in the Armenian Churches. All of us were really excited and happy to be able to take part in it. During the Patarag, Bishop Hovakim welcomed all of us and presented us to the people who were there on that day, they welcomed us so warmly and we received applause from them. It was so touching and nice. Afterwards Bishop Hovakim talked to us and gave us books by St. Grigor Narekatsi. It was one beautiful Sunday.
As we all have different professions; marketing, architecture, engineering, design, journalism, music, it is very interesting when we meet at the end of the day and discuss our day, work, challenges, interesting things that have happened.
We all cannot believe that there is only less than a month left, because during this short period of time we became a small AGBU Family. There are still many things that are going to happen during this month, but this is a one of a kind experience and the memories that the AGBU gave us, I am sure will impact on our future and we will never forget this experience. (Astghik Poghosyan)
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Upcoming Events
Forthcoming Events in June, July and August 2016
Bible Studies
Every Thursday, at St. Sarkis Church Gulbenkian Hall led by the Primate and the clergy of the Diocese
Next dates: 14th, 21st, 28th July
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.
Deacons Training Programme
Every Saturday evening at St. Sarkis Church starting from 24th July, 2016
Armenian Street Festival
Sunday, 17th July, 12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Iverna Gardens, W8 6TP
Celebrating the 1st of Navasart, Armenian New Year and Youth Gathering
Thursday, 11th August, 7 pm
Gulbenkian Hall, W8 6TP
Visit to Stratford upon Avon, Home of William Shakespeare
Friday, 12th August
The visit will include visit to Shakespeare’s birthplace, Hall’s Croft, Ann Hathaway’s Cottage. For details, please contact Jeanine Gulvanesian or Karina Gevorgian, e-mails: or
Feast of Assumption of St. Mary (Astvadzazdin) and Blessing of Grapes
Sunday, 14th August
Liturgy at 11:00am St. Yeghiche and St. Sarkis, 11:15 am at Holy Trinity in Manchester
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy and Life-Giving Cross
Sunday, 11th September
Liturgy at 11:00am St. Yeghiche and St. Sarkis, 11:15 am at Holy Trinity in Manchester
Feast of Holy Translators
Sunday, 9th October
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Liturgy at 11:00am St. Yeghiche and St. Sarkis, 11:15 am at Holy Trinity in Manchester
Pilgrimage to Holy Land
January 2017
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 July:
We invite the faithful to pray for the volunteers who give their time and energy to help the Communities and Churches in their works and duties
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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.
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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
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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