A Prayer for Ukraine
God of peace and justice, we pray for the people of Ukraine today. We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons. We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow, that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them. We pray for those with power over war or peace, for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions. Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear, that you would hold and protect them. We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Archbishop Justin Welby
Archbishop Stephen Cottrell
As we hear from partners and organisations about calls and ways to help we will provide information below. If you would like to offer your help please contact the organisers directly.
The following report on areas of response was circulated by Paul Dever on the 16th March 2021.
Bishop Andrew and Bishop Jo
As we unite in anguish for the plight of the people of Ukraine – in this diocese, in our nation and across most of the world – we want to thank you for all you’re doing to lead our churches and communities in lament, prayer, and generous giving. And we want to propose three particular avenues for engagement and support across our diocese as the crisis unfolds.
So many people are asking, ‘what can we do?’ At this stage – and mindful that there is a long road ahead – we would highlight three dimensions for response:
Spiritually: let’s continue to pray for peace. For no less than a change of heart from Putin; and for God’s mercy amid the turmoil, especially for all those in dire straits. This is a time where those not normally involved in church may long for opportunities and resources to help them to pray if we’re able to offer vigils for the wider community.
Advocacy and action: we encourage you to pledge support for the Humanitarian Sponsorship scheme which the Home Office are still developing (likely to be announced early next week). One way to do this, to capture current concern and even help shape that scheme, is through the Sanctuary Foundation where you can register as individuals and communities (and businesses) to support Ukrainian refugees in your community. Over 40 churches in the diocese of Chichester have already signed up. (Note that this is not? a scheme to house refugees - that will be the government's responsibility - but willingness to be the Community Sponsor for a refugee family; e.g. to meet them at the airport, befriend them, and help them access services and support as they settle in or near your parish.)
Financially: we can keep giving financial aid through the charities and funds which are working on the ground. We encourage in particular a church-to-church channel, so that we empower our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and bordering countries – such as through the Ukraine Emergency Appeal which is a joint venture between the Diocese in Europe and USPG.
More resources are available on our website here.
Bishop Andrew and Bishop Jo
Barnabas Outreach Trust
Clive & Ann are travelling to Romania from 28th April – 3rd May and will meet up with Pastor Octavian Ivanica of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Alexandria. The top floor of the church has already been converted to receive and accommodate Ukrainian refugees. We will be taking donations to help support the refugees and those helping them, and will assess their needs. We will also be in contact with other Romanians who are looking after refugees to see where further assistance can be offered. Clive & Ann plan to travel to Romania again at the end of June and hope to be able to support the work with Ukrainian refugees further. A donation form can be found here.
to find out more
Ukrainian refugees (from MP Chris Grayling)
Firstly on the tragic situation in the Ukraine, following a meeting on Friday night, we have now formed a group locally to prepare for the arrival of Ukrainian refugees in the area. Some will be staying with their families, but there will be a need to provide homes or accommodation for those without local connections here.
The process is being co-ordinated by the local Refugee Network, together with a group of local churches, myself and one of the Borough Councillors.
Anyone who wants to be a host for one of these people or for a family group will need to go through a formal vetting process. If you are interested, please do bear in mind that this is a commitment that could last for more than a few months. Clearly we hope people can return home soon, but there is no guarantee of this as you will know. So please only offer if you are willing for this to be a pretty long term thing.
In order to register, please go to the website of the charity Refugees at Home, which is doing the processing of offers for us. It is at https://www.refugeesathome.org/host-application/
You will then receive a call from one of the volunteers who are working for the charity to talk through and check your offer with you.
If you are registering, please could you also let the local refugee network team know so that we have an idea of how many are putting their names forward and so how many people we can help locally. The email is email@example.com
If you are an experienced social worker, GP or Occupational Therapist with experience of doing home visits and checks, the charity will need more volunteers to do this work. If you are willing to help, you can register to do this at https://www.refugeesathome.org/hv-description/
Finally the local team are collecting details of people with teaching experience who can help any children who come to the area. In particular they are keen to find a former senior member of a teaching staff or head teacher who is willing to volunteer to lead a new team to do this.
If you are willing to offer to do either of these and you have the relevant experience, either current or before you retired, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
They are also keen to hear from anyone else willing to train as a volunteer or indeed just to make a donation to support their work. In addition if you are local landlord interested in finding out about renting to a refugee family then please contact the network to find out more.