The adoption of Christianity as the State Religion of Armenia in 301 A.D. (the first nation to do so) defined its future. Since then, their faith (along with the Armenian Apostolic Church) has been the badge of identity of the Armenian people. Despite experiencing the tragedy of repeated genocides and persecution, the Armenian people have survived.
Many now live in communities scattered throughout the world and all have their stories to tell. This book has been compiled to commemorate the 150th Anniversary (Easter Sunday 2020) of the consecration of Manchester's Holy Trinity Armenian Church. Whilst it focuses on the Manchester Community, it also outlines some of the Nation's complex history and explores why Armenians left their historic Homeland and travelled over 3,000 miles to Manchester. These early travellers were respected merchants with established trade networks throughout Asia Minor and Europe; they were well-educated and very wealthy. At the same time, Manchester, nicknamed "Cottonopolis", was the industrial and commercial center of the world's trade in cotton and cotton goods.
This partnership generated a phenomenal growth in the international trade in 'finished goods' and both Manchester and the merchants did very well indeed. Essentially, Manchester's Holy Trinity Armenian Church was built on cotton and its Community also became prosperous and influential. The merchants could afford to build their Church and were not short of donations to furnish it. Modest in size and unremarkable in appearance, it has stood by a busy main road close to Manchester's city center for 150 years, meriting perhaps no more than a second glance from the passer-by, yet concealing a splendid Armenian interior. As the first purpose-built Armenian Church in Northern Europe, it harbours centuries of history and tradition.
It is hoped that this long-overdue book will help to enlighten the reader about the Armenian people who, to date, have been shrouded in mystery, if known at all.
The Manchester Armenian Community is proud of its Church and history and included in this book is a catalogue of just some of its treasures.
|Message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II||3|
|Message from The Rt Revd Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate and Pontifical Legat||5|
|Message from The Rt Revd Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester||6|
|Cross presented to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the consecration of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Manchester||7|
|Who are the Armenians? ||8|
|The Armenians and Christianity||11|
|The Formation of the Armenian Diaspora||14|
|The Armenians under The Ottoman Empire||17|
|The Founding of the Manchester Armenian Community||19|
|Growth, Decline and Influence||25|
|Evolution: 1950s and Beyond||27|
|Societies and Associations||31|
|The clergy who have served the Parish||35|
|Significant political events||38|
|References and Further Reading||42|
|Selected artefacts from the Church||44|