The South Wales Community – History
Cardiff Parish has its roots as a community going back the early 1980s when Karabet Torosyan brought the community together by placing an advert in the South Wales Echo.
There was no social media or internet in 1981!
The first gathering was held at 22 Maes -yr-Awel in the village of Radyr some 4 miles from Cardiff City Centre.
From around 2000 the community was motivated and rallied behind Eilian Williams to support his efforts in the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Those 6 years will always be ones we will never forget.
In 2009 Cardiff was proud to have supported Armenag Topalian’s Legal Opinion and we consider this to be one of the most important decisions we have ever made and a true milestone for Cardiff.
Cardiff Parish proper was established in 2010 under the guidance of Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian.
The name Cardiff Parish is misleading as 50% of the community actually reside outside of Cardiff and we have parishioners in Swindon, Bath, Bristol, Newport, Cardiff, Bridgend, Port Talbot & Swansea – in effect a one hundred mile corridor along the M4.
We have on average 10 major events each year. We try to organise a diverse range of activities to ensure we cater for a broad range of interests.
We have interaction and wonderful dialogue with the Church in Wales and The Baptist Church and we are grateful to both for all their support.
Typically we begin with Christmas Service in January, Easter Service in March/April which as a tradition we celebrate in Christ Church Carmarthen.
Around 24th April we organise activities on genocide recognition and these can be by way of lectures, book launches and pilgrimages to the various memorials in Wales.
As the autumn draws closer we organise picnics and barbeques. Around 3rd November we have a Memorial & Remembrance Service at the Memorial in Cardiff.
In the winter months of November and December we attend the Christmas concerts performed by the Cardiff Polyphonic Choir and support one of our parishioners who is a member of the choir.
We finish each year with New Year’s Eve celebration fireworks, Father Christmas and merriment.
The Church is the people not the building. Having said that we are most fortunate to have two Churches that we use, these are some 40 miles apart which is useful as those in the west find it easier to travel to Christ Church in Carmarthen (the Church of Canon Patrick).
Those on the east and in Cardiff find it more convenient to use Ararat Baptist Church (the only church with this name in the UK). The vicar is the Rev David Hibbin.
Ararat Baptist Church
St Davids Cathedral Pembrokeshire 2015 – erected for the recognition of the 24th April as Armenian Genocide Day by the Church in Wales.
Caernarfon City Hall 2014 – erected to commemorate the unanimous vote by Gwynedd Council in recognising the Armenian Genocide
Cardiff Temple of Peace 2007 – erected for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the National Assembly for Wales
Our gratitude to the National Assembly for Wales, the Church in Wales and the people of Wales who have supported our small community over the past 25 years.
In particular our sincere and undying thanks to Eilian WIlliams and Canon Patrick Thomas for their help in helping our community to maintain our dignity and preserve our Armenian heritage.
Our thanks also to the Primate’s Office as well as the Parishes of Manchester and Dublin who have supported our small but growing community and have made us feel that we are not alone and no matter how small in numbers we are still Armenians.
For more information about the Welsh-Armenian Community, please click here.