From prayer vigils to donation drops, churches across the Diocese have been responding to the situation in Ukraine.
On Ash Wednesday, Holy Trinity Church, Coxheath opened their church for the day and reached out to the Ukrainians who work on the local fruit farm.
The Revd Lorna Faulkner, Curate says: “All the Ukrainians from the farm were given the day off and many of them arrived at 9am and stayed with us all day. We prayed a short prayer liturgy together every 2 hours - the last one of the day was led in Ukrainian by one of the workers.”
Members from across the Coxheath community came throughout the day to pray, light candles, and generously gave monetary donations which could be sent back directly to the families in Ukraine. Two year 8 boys from the local school came with a cake as a gift for the Ukrainian workers.
Lorna adds: “It was a strange mix of heart-warming and utterly heart-breaking - the images the farm community shared with us that had been sent from home were really hard to see. But it was a very important day for the community of Coxheath and for the farm community, as we stood together in solidarity and prayer with them.”
In the Archdeaconry of Bromley and Bexley, the congregation at St John’s Sidcup has equally been deeply moved and distressed by the situation in the Ukraine.
Starting with a prayer vigil held at the weekend, over £700 was collected to donate to the relief effort being coordinated by the Red Cross – and more is still coming in.
In addition, donations of first aid equipment, blankets, sanitary products and other goods have been collected at the church’s Place of Welcome hub, which are - thanks to special permissions being granted- being taken direct on vans to assist Ukrainians where it is most needed.
This has been organised through Ukrainian connections in the church and the wider community, and in particular, in collaboration with Sidcup Partners.
Information about how to support Ukraine at this time:
- The Ukrainian Institute has collated together a variety of information about ways people can support Ukraine at this time.
- UK Government - Ukraine: What you can do to help
- USPG and the Diocese of Europe - Ukraine Crisis Appeal
- Unicef has organised a 'Help the Children of Ukraine' appeal.
- The UNHCR Refugee Agency emergency appeal to help ensure that Ukrainians forced to flee their homes are sheltered and safe.
- The Red Cross has established a Ukraine Crisis Appeal to provide food, water, first aid, medicine, warm clothes, and shelter.
- Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine appeal
- Archbishops' Pastoral Letter - includes prayers and liturgy that can be used at this time.