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Prayers and emergency provisions: churches helping support people of Ukraine 

Churches across England have been combining prayer for Ukraine with practical help for refugees and others suffering because of the Russian invasion, reports

At Kings Lynn Minster in Norfolk - which held a prayer vigil (see image below) on Sunday hearing first-hand accounts via members of the local Ukrainian community - members of the public have been donating to the UNHCR Emergency Appeal for Ukraine.

Also in Norfolk, donations are being dropped off at St Peter’s church in the village of Kimberley (part of the Barnham Broom benefice) as part of a collection organised by the local Polish community.

In the diocese of Newcastle, Prudhoe Parish Church has been running a busy drop-off centre for supplies for Ukrainian refugees.

They are asking for camp beds and mattresses; bedding; non-perishable food and toiletries for delivery to the Romania-Ukraine border as part of an initiative with partners in Pentecostal churches.

Morpeth Parish has created a Peace Wall, with young people lining the church railings with ribbons as part of its ‘Prayers for Peace’ project.

In south London, St Clement with St Peter Church, East Dulwich, is supporting a collection of essentials items – from bandages and first aid equipment to powdered food and torches – organised by the local Polish centre.

And the Croydon Health Services Chaplaincy is asking people to drop off essential items such as clothing and bedding as well as holding prayer services.

In the Parish of Berkswich in Stafford, in the Diocese of Lichfield, worshippers are raising money for the First Baptist Church in Wroclaw, Poland, which is transforming its school’s classrooms into dorms to welcome Ukrainian refugees (see photo below right). 

Vicki Adamson, from Berkswich, previously taught English at the school when she lived there.

Her husband, Fr Graham Adamson, said: “The very classrooms which Vicki taught in are now being filled with bedding and other furniture to house people fleeing the war in Ukraine. We would like to offer our help at this time, and are raising money to assist them in providing medication, food, bedding, and other much needed forms of support.”

Meanwhile Lichfield Cathedral has announced it will be holding weekly prayers for Ukraine, every Thursday between noon to 12.30pm and has set also up a prayer station will also be available during its opening hours.

Other cathedrals taking action include Chester which is collecting money for the UNICEF fund. Clergy joined a vigil in the Town Hall Square.

Church schools have been playing their part. Among them Primrose Hill Primary Academy in Lydney, Gloucestershire, which has been collecting supplies to take to a drop off point in Bristol. 

Meanwhile churches across the country have been holding prayer vigils and rallies in support of the people of Ukraine. Among them St George’s Church, East Boldon, in the Diocese of Durham, held a vigil and St Nic’s church in the centre of Durham helped organise a community rally in support of Ukraine.

There have also been vigils at Bradford Cathedral and at Hove Methodist Church, organised by Brighton & Hove Inter Faith Group.

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