Archbishop meets His Holiness Karekin II and Bishop Hovakim in Canterbury


The Archbishop of Canterbury welcomed His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians, with Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate of the Armenian Church in the UK and Ireland, to Canterbury.

The Archbishop of Canterbury receives an icon gift from His Holiness Karekin II in Canterbury. Photo: Lambeth Palace, 28 January 2024. Lambeth Palace

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, was honoured to welcome His Holiness Karekin II, with Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, to the Old Palace, next to Canterbury Cathedral, for a morning meeting on Sunday 28 January 2024. 

The church leaders met three months ago in early October in Armenia, at the Mother See of Etchmiadzin, Armenia. The Archbishop’s visit took place against the backdrop of the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the displacement of almost the entirety of the region’s 120,000 Armenians to Armenia itself.

The Most Revd Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, meets with Nagorno-Karabakh refugees in Armenia in October 2023. Image: BBC News.  BBC News

While he was in Armenia, the Archbishop spoke to many displaced families housed in a church-run hostel supported by the Armenian church, hearing their stories.

At Sunday’s meeting in Canterbury, both leaders discussed once more the ongoing humanitarian crisis triggered by the conflict including matters such as the welfare of prisoners and the protection of cultural heritage, and what assistance religious organisations and the international community might be able to offer. The Archbishop assured His Holiness of his prayers for the Armenian Church and its people.

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