Canon Dr Patrick Thomas, Chancellor of St Davids Cathedral and Vicar of Christ Church, Carmarthen, has been awarded a gold medal by His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians (head of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church)
The award recognises Canon Patrick’s work with the Armenian community in Wales, and his contribution towards the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The medal will be presented by His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manoukyan, Primate of the Armenian Church in Britain and Ireland, at a special trilingual (Armenian, Welsh and English) service in St Davids Cathedral on 28 April at 2pm.
Canon Patrick will give an address about the Armenian Genocide, and prayers will be said by Bishop Hovakim and Bishop Joanna at the Genocide Memorial in the Cloister Garth.
This is not the first time that Canon Patrick’s dedication to the Armenian cause has been recognised. In 2015 he was given a gold medal by the Ministry of the Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia during a service that marked both the centenary of the Genocide and the installation of the beautifully sculptured memorial statue by Cardiff-based Armenian artist Mariam Torosyan.
A film of the event was broadcast as a major item on the Armenian television news. Since then other Anglicans have followed the lead given by St Davids. There are now Armenian Genocide memorials at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, and Canterbury Cathedral.
Canon Patrick remarked that the award from the Catholicos came as a complete surprise. “It was wonderful to be honoured in this way. The friendship of Armenians in Wales and beyond has been an enormous blessing in recent years, while the Armenian spiritual tradition has been a constant inspiration, particularly in difficult times. I certainly owe far more to the Armenians than they owe to me.”