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Durham Diocese responds to Ukraine

St Nic's hosted a rally in Durham Market Place

Churches across the diocese have been praying and raising funds in aid of the people of Ukraine.

On 24 February 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with many Ukrainians fleeing the country and seeking refuge. 

In a message to the diocese, Bishop Paul and Bishop Sarah said: “The situation in Ukraine is clearly very grave and deeply concerning. In the midst of it all, we have hope that God is working out God’s mysterious redeeming purposes.

“Our prayer is for peace. Prayer is the powerful ‘weapon’ God gifts to us.” You can read their full prayer here.

Archbishops Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell have also written a pastoral letter to the clergy and people of the Church of England: “We lament with the people of Ukraine, and we pray for the innocent, the frightened and those who have lost loved ones, homes and family.” You can read their full statement here.

USPG and the Church of England Diocese in Europe are supporting humanitarian work both in Ukraine and with refugees fleeing into neighbouring countries. Their appeal is providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of people still in/fleeing Ukraine, and supporting their recovery. You can learn more here.

Many churches in our diocese have organised services, events and practical help as the situation in Ukraine worsens.

St Nics in Durham organised a rally to support the war-torn nation. The church shared on Twitter: “An honour to help organise and stand in solidarity with those from Ukraine in Durham’s Market Place #StandWithUkraine”.

St George’s in East Boldon held a Peace Vigil for people to come together “of any faith and none” to show their support for Ukraine.

Rob and Margaret Bianchi, both retired priests and consultant executive officers to the Durham-Lesotho Link, have launched an emergency Ukraine appeal via their UK-based charity ODM.

ODM supports the ARCA project in Moldova, which is helping in the effort to provide shelter and supplies for Ukrainian refugees. Rob and Margaret shared this message with ODM supporters: “Last night Eduard, who manages ARCA, could hear the explosions from Russian attacks in Ukraine, 70 kms away. Moldova is a border country with Ukraine and close to the major city of Odesa. There are already reports of queues 30/40 kms long of refugees, trying to cross into Moldova.

“ARCA has a campsite and guest house which Eduard has opened to refugees, in addition he will be working with people in the local villages who will house refugees. Already our guest house is full with 22 people including children and Eduard has picked up another 30 people from the border to house in a local church. The queues are long and we are sure that numbers will grow in the coming days.”

If you would like to make a donation, please bank transfer to Rob and Margaret Bianchi:

Account name: ODM Creative Communications

Sort Code: 77-20-14

Account No: 16275360   

Please put as the reference: Holercani

If you give by bank transfer, please could you send an email to indicating the amount so that they are clear what the donation is for.

Bishop Auckland Parish have shared a list of donations they are taking for Ukraine. They are offering physical donations, financial and prayer support. More information is available here.

The Parish of Jarrow and Simonside is running many appeals for Ukraine. Two members of the St Peter's congregation are crocheting blue and yellow lapel ribbons. There is also a 'Prayer Vigil for Ukraine and for Peace' on Wednesday 16 March at 6pm.

St Paul’s CE Primary School is also raising money, supporting UNICEF Ukraine Crisis Appeal.

The school’s fundraising page says: “After learning about recent events in Ukraine, our children have, as always, reacted with compassion and empathy for those children, who, just like them, were going to swimming, dance and football lessons just a few weeks ago and who now are fleeing their homes and country with the most basic of belongings. “We very much hope that as a school community, and hopefully beyond, that we can raise money to help support the children of Ukraine during these troubling times”

You can donate here.

Two members of the St Helen, Kelloe congregation have sold Ukraine ribbons, raising £400 in donations.

If your church is doing anything in response to the Ukrainian crisis, please do get in touch with our Communications team at

First published on: 3rd March 2022
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