London Church Leaders met with Faith Minister Kemi Badenoch at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London to demonstrate solidarity and support for the Ukrainian people and the role the Christian church can play in welcoming newly arrived Ukrainians in the UK.

The minister met leaders, including Rector of the Ukrainian Cathedral, Archbishop of Westminster, and the Archdeacon of London, and said the government and faith leaders stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with the Ukrainian community, which has a ‘deep and long-standing connection’ with the UK.

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

“Church leaders of all denominations across London have been horrified by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine as it continues to unfold. Today, we stand together in praying for peace. As millions of Ukrainians are being forced from their homes, families torn apart by a senseless conflict, we, as Christians and as a community, must do all we can to support those fleeing from war and those who remain in Ukraine.”

Minister of State for Levelling Up and Communities, Kemi Badenoch MP, said:

“The UK and Ukraine have a deep, long-standing connection, with the first Ukrainians arriving in Manchester over a century ago. Today, in 2022, tens of thousands of people born in Ukraine now call the UK home – and I hope they will continue to call it home long into the future. 

“Since the conflict began, people in this country have been in awe of the determination and courage Ukrainians have shown.

“It has sparked a wave of support across the UK with people up and down the country making donations to help the humanitarian effort, and attending vigils to show solidarity. Today, I stand together with faith leaders in calling for peace and pledging every possible offer of support.”

Rector of the Ukrainian Cathedral, Very Rev Fr Mykola Matwijiwskyj

“Church leaders have gathered at the Ukrainian Cathedral in central London to stand with Ukraine and its God-loving people as they suffer the atrocities of war and crimes against humanity. Today, leaders of all denominations across London unite to pray for peace and to work together to ensure the safety and welfare of those fleeing so that those displaced may find solace and peace of soul in their traditional churches.”

Across London’s churches and communities, practical efforts are underway to support  the people of Ukraine. Among the initiatives is that at All Saints Hanworth, where the Revd Sergiy Diduk, a Ukrainian Anglican priest who leads a congregation of Ukrainian Christians who come to All Saints from across the Capital, has started a collection for humanitarian supplies.

Those who attended the meeting included:

  • Rector of the Ukrainian Cathedral, Archpriest Mykola Matwijiwskyj,
  • Cardinal Vincent Nichols – RC – Archbishop of Westminster
  • Archbishop Nikitas (Archbishop of Thyateira and Britain)
  • Archdeacon Luke Miller, Archdeacon of London
  • The Very Reverend Archimandrite Nephon Tsimalis (Archimandrite of Thyateira and Britain)
  • Archbishop Fidelia Onyuku-Opukiri (Council of African and Afro-Caribbean Churches)
  • Archbishop Angaelos (Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of London)