On Sunday 9th May 2021 a church service of commemoration and consecration took place at St Yeghiche Church in Kensington. Fallen Armenian soldiers both from World War II, and from the Artsakh war against Azerbaijan, were remembered and honoured. Father Nshan Alaverdyan officiated the service and led the congregation in Worship.
His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan preached, in both Armenian and English, about Victory Day and what this represents for Armenians and the world at large. He further consecrated an important bell, which was given as a gift to the church by Krikor Melkonyan, by washing it with wine, water and Holy Chrism.
After the conclusion of the liturgy there was a procession to the khachkar in the church courtyard and there Bishop Hovakim rendered a short speech. Gagik Kirakosyan (Charge D’affaires) and Armand Abramian (Armenian Community Council UK) laid a wreath of poppies at the foot of the khachkar, as a mark of respect for all those Armenian soldiers who had lost their lives in the Second World War and more recently.
The Honorary Ambassador of the city of Genova, Francesca Boschieri, spoke about Genova’s solidarity with the Armenian people. She told us about some of the oldest images of Christ which reside in the Armenian Catholic church in Genova, San Bartolomeo degli Armeni. She expressed her feelings as to how these religious images are like a mirror, in that they reflect both the suffering of Jesus and the joy to be found in him also. The service was concluded by Mer Hyranik being sung in unison by those attending. Please click here to watch.