CANTERBURY, ENGLAND — A new Armenian khatchkar (cross stone) was consecrated in the Canterbury Cathedral’s Memorial Garden on Friday March 2nd. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby presided over the ceremony.
The khatchkar was consecrated with Muron by Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate of the Armenian Church in the UK. The two-metre tall, half tonne volcanic tufa stone was brought from Armenia and sculpted in Canterbury by Brigadier John Meardon and British-Armenian Vartan Moskofian, who had conceived the idea.
The Cathedral Dean, Robert Willis, noted that the khatchkar commemorates the Armenian Genocide during WWI and is dedicated to the memory of Randall Davidson, the Archbishop of Canterbury 1903-1928, who at the time publicly spoke about the suffering of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.
Above the cross, the letters «ՅԱ» (Armenian for 301) indicate the year of Armenia’s adoption of Christianity as state religion. At the foot of the khatchkar, the inscription reads: «Ու ես կ’երթամ դէպի աղբիւրը լոյսի» (“And I go towards the source of the light”), a quote from poet Daniel Varoujan (1884-1915).