Monday, 8 August 2016

Volume 2, Issue 23 31 July 2016 Armenian Church News Diocese of the Armenian Church in the United Kingdom and Ireland

‘Behind the Scenes’ at the Armenian Street Festival Wrap Meeting and Celebration

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In this issue:
ASF Wrap Meeting
Thank you to all volunteers
‘Circle of Life’ Dance
Stallholders at the ASF
A Farewell to the Chairman
Musical Talent at the ASF
On Monday, 25th July, a feedback meeting and thank you celebration took place in the Gulbenkian Hall amongst many who had helped to organise this year’s ASF. The meeting, which is held every year following the ASF, is designed as a forum for volunteers to give their feedback with a view to improving upon efficiency and the smooth running of next year’s festival. It was also an opportunity for Bishop Hovakim and Dickran Bedrossian to thank all those dedicated volunteers who make the festival happen. Each person was presented with a copy of the new translation of The Armenian Prayer Book of St. Gregory of Narek. Bishop Hovakim presented Dickran with the medal of St. Krikor Narekatsi in appreciation of his hard work as festival organiser over the last 5 years, from which he is now retiring.
Bishop Hovakim said: “Dear Committee members, I would like to thank you wholeheartedly for the hard work that you did at the 6th Armenian Street Festival. It would not have been a success and we would not have had that amazing day without your hard work. While at the 5th Armenian Street Festival I was a newcomer, this time I understood the immensity of the work that was done. First of all I would like to thank Dickran Bedrossian and his wonderful wife Sue. There were a lot of ladies involved in the committees; digin Malas, Yeghine, Araxi, Sylva... There are not enough words to thank them. Thanks to the finance committee; Tamara Stephan, Koko Sabounjian and those who helped them. There is no event in the community without digin Tamara. Thank you to Jeanine Gulvanesian, James Harland and Jane for organising the VIP corner. Thank you to Tatiana der Avedisian and Andre for drafting letters and to Shiraz Vartanian for taking care of the Children's Corner. Mimi Heghoyan organised the raffle - thank you Mimi.
I would like to thank our amazing entertainment group Nouritza Matosian and Karine Bedrossian who were at the frontline guiding people with their
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@

Armenian Church News
announcements. Behind the scenes we had a wonderful group of young people. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of Anais Heghoyan who not only encouraged the whole team and worked hard on the day but also prepared and drafted the booklet. Arthur Gourounlian joined us, full of energy and new insights, who encouraged us to take ambitious steps and helped us to do an immense job in social media as well as amending and improving the creative side.
I am going visit to Akhtamar Dance group and say thank you to each of the young men and women, and the creative directors. Thank you to the Gomidas Choir. And last but not least, to my friends Mr & Mrs Hratch and Shakeh Major Tchilligirian for their performance.
Stepan Yeghiazarian did a lot of work behind the scenes. He did an amazing job; since the beginning of the ASF he has been involved in publicising the event on social media with his organised and methodical work. He did any job that was asked of him. I have heard that during the day when the cold drinks were finished, he went and did shopping without asking anyone, alone carting the whole stock without any help. Thank you. You did it.
I would like also to thank the young volunteers: videography by Armine Voskanian, photography by Sona Gevorgyan and Vahagn Gulakyan. Young students such as Taron Qamalyan, Astghik Poghosyan and the representatives of the youth helped us immensely with logistics.
I had two objectives - the unity of our community and the youth. These two important objectives were achieved. There were also mistakes and we heard your comments. Each comment is valuable for our team. My objective remains to work with the youth and I will continue working closely with our ACYF team with the same energy and vigour.
Coming Together in the Big Circle at the Street Festival
Members of the community, the Primate and the Bishop of London held hands for the “Circle of Life” Armenian folk circle dance led by Shakeh Major Tchilingirian. This was one of the highlights of the Street Festival as everyone -- children, young and old, Armenians from around the world and guests -- took part in one of the most dynamic expressions of Armenian culture. “The Circle of Life” consisted
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of four dances. It started with a ritual “Gorani”. Shakeh explained that “Goranis are from Moush/Daron region and are about lost land and lost love, and the ‘yearning’ for them.” In her introduction, Shakeh explained that “this Armenian ritual, which has roots in ancient culture, brings together a community to share, remember, honour and respect other members of the human family who are hurt, suffering in turmoil or are in distress”. “By joining hands and taking steps together,” said Shakeh, “We affirm our unity with our sisters and brothers all over the world”. The “Gorani” was followed by “Shoror” (Komitasi), “Tsaghkadzori” and a “Ver veri” to the melody of “Ashkhari Hayer”, “celebrating our presence around the globe and the strength in our unity”. Award winning artist and choreographer Shakeh Major Tchilingirian ( has in recent years led "the masses" in the tradition of circle dance at public feasts and celebrations, as part of her ongoing efforts to keep Armenian folk dance culture alive in the life of the communities.
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Some feedback from Stallholders at the ASF..
Ara Sarafian (pictured with Ali Gul Ozbek) said: “The Gomidas Institute and its friends were very pleased to be part of the ASF this year. The event was a great opportunity to let people know about our work related to Armenia and Armenians. We were particularly happy to see so many of our Kurdish and Turkish friends attend the event, including the Mayor of Haringey Ali Gul Ozbek, human rights activist Muharrem Erbey from Diyarbakir, and Erdelan Baran of the Kurdistan National Congress. We thank the organisers and other participants for their hard work in making the ASF possible. We also thank the residents of Kensington for allowing us to share this special day with them.
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Joseph Oughourlian, Chairman AGBU Trust, said: “The 2016 Edition of the Armenian Street Festival was an extraordinary success that gathered more than a 1,000 participants to share the Armenian cultural heritage with Londoners. We are grateful for the Armenian Church of the UK and Bishop Hovakim Manukyan for this wonderful initiative.”
Camilio Azzouz, Secretary AGBU Trust (pictured above with Aurelie Tcharbatchian, AGBU YP Committee) said: “ASF is a fantastic occasion for all the Armenian youth of the United Kingdom across organizations to gather and share their latest projects for the diaspora and Armenia. It is also a great platform to invite our fellow Londoner friends to give them exposure to Armenian traditions. AGBU’s Youth through the Young Professionals, the Interns and the Scholars was delighted to be part of that occasion.”
Armine Afrikian, Chairwoman AGBU London, said: “The London Armenian Street Festival is an annual celebration of Armenian culture and heritage in London. It is a day of fun, fellowship, food and friendship planned every year by the Primate’s Office to promote and celebrate the Armenian culture, heritage, history and identity in London and Great Britain. The AGBU London would like to thank the Armenian Church of the UK & Ireland and especially Bishop Hovakim Manukyan for his commitment and hard work for organising such a wonderful event for the community”.
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Vartan Ouzounian (pictured right) said: "We thank dear Bishop Hovakim Manukyan and the ASF organizing team, for this year's excellent Armenian Street Festival, which generates very important interest within our community and especially the younger generation, in promoting Armenian cultural heritage. The performances by Akhtamar Dance Group, our Komitas choir, and soloist from Yerevan Iveta, were all excellent and impressive. Also a good number of stalls were secured by many organisations in London, giving the opportunity of selling special items, i.e books, Armenian heritage items, and also gives the opportunity of securing new members, as we had for our TCA where we recruited more than 32 new members. On behalf of the Tekeyan Trust London, we wish a successful future for our forthcoming ASF. We may need a bigger space in the future, to accommodate more stalls as well as more people in attending the fun
Bedros Aslanian (pictured left) said: The K Tahta Sunday Language School has been supporting the ASF for the last six years. The ASF provides an excellent opportunity to promote the school and its work teaching the Armenian language, culture and rich heritage. We were delighted to see so many ex-students at our stall and catch up with their news. The school runs eastern and western parallel Armenian classes from nursery age to adults on Sundays between 10:30 to 14:00 and everyone is welcome to join. The school recently celebrated its 38th anniversary and we have been reliably informed that it is the only, longest and continuously running minority language school in London.
For more information please send an email to the Headteacher, Rouzanna Tatulian:
Nara said: "Akhtamar Armenian Performance Group (APG) was proud to participate in the 6th annual Armenian Street Festival, a wonderful day filled with love for Armenian culture. Artistic Director, Arsen Zakaryan, and his wife, Karine Avetisyan, began rehearsals with the performance and children's group a few months before the show, teaching new moves and techniques whilst excitement was building up every week as the day neared. Dancers took the stage outside St Sarkis Church to perform four dances for the crowds, two from the performance group and two from the children's group. Akhtamar APG shared its love for dance with the audience and even joined in with the music and dancing when other performers were on stage. With smiles all around, the performance group had a spectacular afternoon and are looking forward to performing again next year!"
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A Farewell and Thank You from the ASF Chairman
Myself and my family have been involved with the ASF for the last 5 years, and it has been running for 6 years. I was introduced to Bp Vahan and we struck up a friendship right away. Within a few weeks, he’d asked me to help co-ordinate the ASF. It takes a lot of meetings and communication. My priority has always been to bring the community together, and this has particularly been the case this year, with lots more young people attending. The presence of the Bishop of London, Iveta Mukuchyan and Duduk player Gevorg Karapetyan made it very special. An estimated 2,500 people attended.
In my own home, the atmosphere is quite intense but fun, because I watched my wife and grandchildren all kneading dough for spinach boureks (a family recipe), and my son buy a plastic swimming pool just to mix the lahmajoun meat (also a family recipe)! Needless to say, a lot got eaten beforehand! It’s very jolly with delicious baking smells filling the house. One then has to bring all that food to the Gulbenkian Hall, and it’s a lot of hard work, but we keep in mind it is all for the benefit of the Church. Working with our Srpazan Hovakim has been an absolute delight. He has a great deal of patience and is very humanitarian. It hasn't been easy for him to fill a vacancy which demanded a great deal of adaptability, something he has achieved admirably. I'm honoured to know him and consider his friendship very valuable.
After 5 years I think we need to spend less time on meetings and create an Executive Committee with certain volunteers in charge of various sections, such as someone ordering and overseeing set-up of marquees, and a food manager needed to co ordinate volunteers, for example. We had an excellent stalls manager in Bedros Aslanian, and Anais Heghoyan and Arthur Gourounlian were fabulous in charge of entertainments. With more of these Executive Committee meetings rather than general meetings with all volunteers, I believe will improve efficiency. I’m happy to act as consultant to whoever we find for next year, and wish them lots of luck. (Dickran Bedrossian)
Thanks to Andranik, Razmik, Harout, Hamo, Khachig, Sako and Georgik for the delicious kebabs! Andranik Hagopian said: “We’ve been doing the BBQ for the K Tahta School picnic for the last 20 years, and it was a pleasure to cook for the ASF. We’re happy to do it for our community, and it was great to see lots of old friends at the festival. We’d love to continue for years to come.”
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Showcasing Musical Talent at the ASF
This summer was one of the memorable summers I have ever had in my life. Living so far away from Armenia (in Shanghai) and countries with big Armenian communities, when I arrived at Iverna Gardens early in the morning there was a typical busy Armenian noise happening, people moving things, talking loudly in Armenian, laughing, making jokes ...for a moment I thought I was in Armenia! Despite the busyness, the whole atmosphere was so happy. It was a celebration of the fact that we are Armenians. Many smiling faces, the smell of the Armenian food which you could already smell from far away, the music familiar Armenian music beats that your own heartbeat is so familiar to...A day where elderly people, kids, students... everyone were there to celebrate...!
It was a great experience for me not only because I was involved in the organizing committee of the Armenian Street Festival but also for the opportunity that I had as a violin player. I had the honour to play with the
Armenian Church News
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famous violinist Levon Chilingirian at the ASF, which personally for me was one of the highlights of this summer. Standing beside of him and playing Armenian music together was so inspiring, I felt so proud to play with him. During that short period of time he gave me much important advice and shared many stories about his musical experiences. Afterward, he invited me to join him for the Chilingirian Summer School Programme, which takes place every year at Chichester’s West Dean College. It was one week of intense chamber music training, full of master classes culminating in a concert, where together with the other students from different music schools we played chamber works by Beethoven and Schubert. Despite our busy training schedule, we also had some free time, where together with the members of the Chilingirian Quartet we would just sit and have lunch, talk about different things, learn from them, hear their ideas and advice about life and music. One week of unforgettable memories!
It was a great experience for all of our interns who gathered in London for the AGBU Summer Internship Programme. This summer gave me so many good memories and helped me to develop my skills. At some points I was a little bit jealous that all of you have got the opportunity to have each other here, to have a church, and people who try their best to unite you all. I kept comparing the challenges that different Armenian communities of different cities are facing, and I felt like, when you have this amount of people, YOUR people, it must be so much easier to get along when you are new here, or even living here for a long time, and home is not far away anymore, because you create your home together. I looked at it as a great example for our community in China, which is quite small comparable to here, but yet, quite strong and united. I took it as a great motivation, that it doesn’t matter how far apart we are, as soon as we get together, we have power and as we say, we can turn over the mountains (կարող ենք սարեր շրջել)! (Astghik Pogosyan)
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The ‘kebab team’: Khatchig Vartanian, Andik Hagopian, Hamo Barseghian, Razmik Navasartian, Harout, Sako Yeghikian, Georgik Younki
The ‘lahmajun team’: Sue, Mark, George, Guyane, Kapo Kaprielian and family, and Bedrossian family friends
Cakes: Vera, Nora, Mardig, Mareta
Food: Sylva, Zabel, Talin, Heghine, Yvonne, Varteni, Lena, Zaruhi Vouchers: Greg, Sossi, Liza, Hrachik, Alex, Andre, Selineh, Nazik Drinks/ice-cream: Stepan Yeghiazarian
Church stall: Karina
Tombola, raffle: the Heghoyans
Children’s corner: Anthony Shiraz
Finance team: Koko and Tamara
....and everyone else who helped out on the day

Divine Liturgy to be Celebrated
in Cornwall
On Sunday, 4th September 2016, His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan will be celebrating the Badarak at the home of Mrs. Georgiana Joseph in Cornwall. By her kind invitation, Mrs. Joseph has asked His Grace and any guests who would like to attend, to join with her in this special service at an Armenian shrine which she has at her home. After the service, food and refreshments will be served. If you are interested in participating, please register your interest by contacting the Primate’s Office on 0208 127 8364 or
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Upcoming Events
Forthcoming Events in August, September and October 2016
Bible Studies
Every Thursday, at St. Sarkis Church Gulbenkian Hall led by the Primate and the clergy of the Diocese
Next dates: 4th Aug, 11th Aug, 18th Aug
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
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
Liturgy at 11:00am St. Yeghiche and St. Sarkis, 11:15 am at Holy Trinity in Manchester
Pilgrimage to Holy Land
January 2017
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Prayer Intentions for August:
We pray for peace and stability in Armenia
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.
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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 1st SUNDAY OF THE MONTH
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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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