Message from Father Stephen on the war in Ukraine

First of all, all of us Orthodox Christians must be deeply ashamed that we find two Orthodox Christian countries fighting each other.  This is a terrible witness to the World.

In our community there are Russians, Ukrainians and half Russian, half Ukrainians.  Please do not fall out with each other.  Many, many people will suffer in this war, many of them entirely innocent victims, children, old people, mothers, fathers, sweet-hearts. Some will come back home maimed, bitter and irreparably damaged.  We are called to love, and that is what we must do, love all without any judgement.

There are only a few things that we can do, here in Shrewsbury, thousands of miles from the conflict, but what we can do, we must do.

First of all we must pray.  There is a list in church,  where we are writing down the names of those we know who are involved in the conflict. When you come into church, please read the names, pray for them and light a candle for them.  Please do not take sides. Russians or Ukrainians, Ukrainians or Russians – most of them are simple people like us, and as always it is the simple people who will suffer whatever happens.…

However there are some practical things that we can do:-

1) Please support the refugee relief effort.  As we have many people in our church who have links with Ukraine we are able to identify people fleeing the country who we can sponsor. Please check our dedicated webpage on helping the Ukrainian Refugees to find out more and to register your support with us.

2) We are in direct contact with two monasteries, one in Kiev, the other a few miles out (they gave us the relics now in the icon on the north wall of the church).  They are taking in large numbers of refugees and one of them has already run out of food.  We can send them money through our Philoptohos account.  Please be generous!

For making donations by bank transfer:

Bank name: Community of the Holy Fathers
Account no.: 00659338
Sort Code: 30-97-62
Reference: Please reference your gift as UKR followed by your name. 

God bless you all. We start the Great Fast this year with a challenge for us all.  Last Sunday we read the parable of the Sheep and the Goats. Let us make sure that we are all with the Sheep!

God bless you, and have a blessed fast, never forgetting that our Lord, has conquered death.

Fr Stephen

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