His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukayan, Primate of the Armenian Church in the United Kingdom and Ireland was at St Peter’s RC Church, Bloxwich, Walsall, on Sunday.
The occasion was to celebrate Christmas Mass with the local Armenian community. In the Oriental Orthodox Church, Christmas is celebrated on 6th January.
Parish Priest of St Peter’s Father David Doran said, “It was wonderful to have Bishop Hovakim Manukayan here today, and we pray for his ministry. He is the Primate of the Armenian Diocese of the United Kingdom and Ireland.”
He continued, “Historical testimonies in Armenian, Syriac, Greek and Latin show the Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew preaching Christianity in Armenia. St. Gregory the Illuminator helped convert the Armenian people in the 4th Century.”
“In recent times, the Armenian Church has had to struggle with persecution in the Soviet Era. When the USSR collapsed, Armenia became independent. His Holiness Karekin II currently leads the Armenian Christians,” he added.