Faith minister joins London church leaders to show support for Ukrainians

Minister of Faith Kemi Badenoch and leaders of the Church of London gathered today (9 March 2022) at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London to show their solidarity and support for the people of Ukraine and the role that the Christian church can play in welcoming Ukrainians newly arrived in the UK.

The Minister met with leaders including the rector of Ukraine’s cathedral and the Archbishop of Westminster, and said government and religious leaders stood “shoulder to shoulder” with the Ukrainian community, which has a “deep and long standing” with the UK.

Minister of Faith MP for Kemi Badenoch said:

The UK and Ukraine have deep and long-standing ties, with the first Ukrainians arriving in Manchester over a century ago. Today, in 2022, tens of thousands of people born in Ukraine now live in the UK – and I hope they will continue to do so for a long time to come.

Since the beginning of the conflict, the people of this country have been impressed by the determination and the courage shown by the Ukrainians.

It sparked an outpouring of support across the UK with people across the country donating to help the humanitarian effort and attending solidarity vigils.

As always, the church and other faith communities have been at the heart of these humanitarian efforts, and I stand with faith leaders in calling for peace and offering our full support.

Those who attended the meeting included:

  • Minister Kemi Badenoch – Minister of State for Equality and Community Levels
  • Cardinal Vincent Nichols – RC – Archbishop of Westminster
  • Ven Luke Miller – Archdeacon of London – Anglican
  • Archbishop Nikitas Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain
  • Archbishop Angaelos – Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of London
  • Bishop Christopher Chessun – Bishop of Southwark – Anglican
  • Bishop Lynne Cullens – Bishop of Barking -Anglican
  • Rev Msgr Kevin Hale – Vicar General Diocese of Brentwood
  • Revd George Watt – Moderator, URC Thames North
  • Phil Barnard – Team Leader, London Baptist Association
  • Lieut. Colonel. David Shakespeare – Salvation Army
  • Les Isaac OBE – Chairman of the Ascension Trust
  • Ven Elwin Crockett – Archdeacon of West Ham – Anglican
  • Andy Frost – Moderator of the Free Churches Group Jesus International
  • Rev Dr Jongikaya Zihle – Methodist Conference

The Bishop of London, The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE said:

Church leaders of all faiths across London have been horrified by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine as it continues to unfold. Today we are united in prayer for peace.

As millions of Ukrainians are forced from their homes, families torn apart by senseless conflict, we as Christians and as a community must do all we can to support those fleeing war and those left behind. in Ukraine.

The Very Reverend Father Mykola Matwijiwskyj, Rector of the Cathedral, Vicar General of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London, said

Church leaders gathered at the Ukrainian Cathedral in central London to support Ukraine and its God-loving people as they suffer the atrocities of war and crimes against humanity.

Today, leaders of all faiths across London join together to pray for peace and work together to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those fleeing, so that the displaced can find comfort and peace soul in their traditional churches.

DLUHC is launching a new sponsorship program to ensure that Ukrainians forced to flee their homes due to this terrible conflict have a path to safety.

The program will connect charities, businesses and individuals with those without family ties to the UK, allowing them to come here for an initial 12 months, with the opportunity to work and access public services.

This is in addition to the extended family pathway and visa changes for people already in the UK that we have introduced following extensive engagement with Ukrainian partners on the support needed now, which will enable tens of thousands of people to reunite with their families. and stay here safe.

Martha J. Finley