Protesting against war in Ukraine

The brutal war in Ukraine has triggered the largest war-related migration of people since the Balkan War of the 1990s. As the war develops the situation on the ground can change quickly.

The UNHCR estimates that a third of Ukrainians have been forced from their homes since the invasion began in the largest human displacement crisis in the world today.

More than seven million people from Ukraine have become refugees across Europe with a similar number displaced within the country and millions more stranded in affected areas. Most of those fleeing are women and children, the elderly and the sick. Most are leaving with the few possessions they can carry.

Those left behind face an uncertain future. People are living with no food, no water, no heat, no electricity. They need urgent respite from violence and humanitarian assistance.

Despite the heart wrenching stories and distressing pictures coming out of Ukraine, there are practical ways in which we can all help to show solidarity and support with those most affected. This page contains information for parishes and individuals seeking to respond.

Parish toolkit

Pray

The first thing we can do is pray. On the morning of the invasion of Ukraine, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued a call for people to pray for the people of Ukraine and Russia and for peace.

This call to prayer remains as urgent today as it did at the start of the conflict.

Please find below two prayers which can be used to pray for the situation.

We also have a page of resources including prayers and readings chosen for prayer services for Ukraine.

Prayer for the Peace of the World

Almighty God,
from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed:
kindle, we pray, in the hearts of all, the true love of peace
and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom
those who take counsel for the nations of the earth
that in tranquillity your kingdom may go forward,
till the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Download the prayer for the Peace of the World graphic

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.
Amen.

Archbishop Justin Welby
Archbishop Stephen Cottrell

Download the prayer for Ukraine graphic

Give

There are two safe and secure ways where your gift can support those most in need:

The first is through the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal which is supported by a number of charities including Christian Aid, the ecumenical relief and development agency of the British and Irish churches. Your gift will help provide food, bedding and temporary accommodation for people who have fled the war in Ukraine.

The second is through the USPG-Diocese in Europe Emergency Appeal which is looking to support the front line work of chaplaincies across Europe as well as Christian charities carrying out humanitarian work both in Ukraine and responding to the arrival of refugees in neighbouring countries.

Please avoid organising charitable collection of toys, clothes and bedding as this is often inappropriate and not what is most needed. 

Act

There are thought to be more than seven million refugees who have now fled Ukraine and many more millions who have been displaced within Ukraine. Many of these have sought to join family or friends in other European nations.

More than 138,000 Ukrainians have arrived seeking sanctuary in the UK.

About 38,000 of those have made use of the UK family visa scheme which is open to the extended family members of Ukrainians with permanent status in the UK (e.g. Indefinite Leave to Remain), and Ukrainian family members of British nationals and EU citizens with settled or pre-settled status. If you are in touch with Ukrainians in your community you can direct them to how to apply and the eligibility rules here.

A larger number have arrived via the Homes for Ukraine scheme. This includes a hosting scheme for Ukrainians. Please note that while this scheme has been open for some time there is still a demand for new hosts, particularly as we reach the end of the initial sponsorship arrangement.

Events in Ukraine also mean we are expecting a new spike in applications over November and December 2022. Check if your diocese has a scheme or register with RESET or the Sanctuary Foundation if you have an interest in becoming a host. The toolkit above has the latest details on hosting arrangements and resources.

Church Urban Fund has partnered with the Benefact Trust to launch our Refugee Support Small Grants Programme.

Together, they are supporting Christian projects that help refugees arriving in England from Ukraine and Afghanistan. They offer small grants between £500 and £5,000. Registered Christian charities and members of Churches Together in England are all welcome to apply. More information is available on here.

If you have broader questions about how your church might be able to be part of sponsorship schemes you can also contact our National Community Sponsorship Representative Domenica Pecoraro.

This section will be updated as more details emerge.

Female choristers are shown singing in red cassocks in the cathedral Truro nave and a Ukrainian flag in front of them Hugh Hastings

Truro Cathedral Choir recording a setting of Ave Maria, by Ukrainian contemporary composer Valentin Silvestrov, to raise money for Ukrainian children through Unicef

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Contact the National Community Sponsorship Representative

Churches stand with Ukraine

Churches and cathedrals have been lit up in the colours of the Ukrainian flag as a symbol of solidarity with those affected by the war.


Source URL: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/community-action/war-ukraine-responding