Armenian Church News, Vol. 1, Issue 3, 25 July 2015
Another Successful Armenian Street Festival
The Fifth Armenian Street Festival was held on Sunday, 19th July, on the grounds of St. Sarkis Church in Iverna Gardens, Kensington. The beautiful sunny morning started with celebration of the Divine Liturgy, Badarak, followed by the traditional process of Antasdan, the service of the blessing of the four corners of the world.
At the formal opening of the Street Festival, Dr Hratch Tchilingirian welcomed everyone on behalf of the Armenian Church of St Sarkis and the Diocese of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and Ireland, and then introduced the new Primate. “On this gloriously bright day, we also have a special occasion to celebrate: the beginning of the tenure of our new Primate, His Brace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, who formally started his mission a week ago.” Dr Tchilingirian highlighted the new Primate’s qualities and underlined: “Bishop Hovakim brings with him the warmest spirit of Armenia and Holy Etchmiadzin, extensive engagement in the Ecumenical world and pastoral experience as former primate of Diocese of Artik. He is not only a good shepherd and a leader, but first and foremost, a wonderful human being.” Dr Tchilingirian then called upon everyone to “warmly embrace Bishop Hovakim in his new ministry and service to our community and lend him our hands, hearts and minds for the edification of Armenian communities in the United Kingdom and Ireland.”
Bishop Hovakim and the dignitaries proceeded to the entrance of the Festival for the cutting of the ribbon which signified the start of the Festival, which is a beautiful expression of Armenian life, heritage, identity and faith.
Bishop Hovakim welcomed everyone to the Festival and blessed this annual event. Nouritsa Matossian, the Master of Ceremonies, introduced Steven Pound MP, who addressed the crowd with words of encouragement and appreciation.
Armenian music and delicious food was on offer throughout the day. The Jirair Band provided live entertainment and a cultural program was presented in the afternoon. Renowned violinist Levon Chilingirian, accompanied by Tigran Grigoryan on the piano, gave a concert in the St. Sarkis Church. A selection of Komitas songs delighted the audience. This was followed by a performance by the London Armenian Opera. Under the direction of Aris Nadirian, mezzo-soprano Anais Heghoyan and the choir presented parts of the Opera Davit Bek. Outside in the Iverna Gardens, the Akhtamar Dance Group and the children’s group performed a selection of Armenian fold dances and invited the crowds to join them.