On March 2, a khachkar (cross-stone) was erected in the UK in the city of Canterbury in memory of the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. The khachkar was installed in the garden of Canterbury Cathedral thanks to the initiative of the British Armenian diaspora. It was consecrated by the head of the diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the UK Bishop Hovakim.
The event was attended by Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the UK Arman Kirakosyan, 105th Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Portal Welby, Dean Robert Willis, public and cultural figures, as well as about 200 representatives of the Armenian diaspora.
After the consecration of the khachkar, a reception was held at which Dean Robert Willis in his speech emphasized the great importance of the installation of the first khachkar at Canterbury and in the entire UK, noting that the khachkar is a symbol of memory, hope, and peace.
In turn, the Ambassador of Armenia Arman Kirakosyan noted that the khachkar, symbolizing the medieval art of Armenia, from that day would be a part of the over 1,400-year history of Canterbury.
The ambassador gratefully recalled Archbishop of Canterbury Randall Davidson (April 7, 1848 – May 25, 1930), through whose efforts British materials relating to the Armenian Genocide were collected and published, as well as financial assistance was provided to the First Republic of Armenia.
The Canterbury Cathedral is a gothic cathedral in Canterbury. The official title of the cathedral is Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Christ at Canterbury. Canterbury Cathedral is the mother cathedral of the Anglican Communion. Here resides the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England and the symbolic leader of the Anglican Communion.