Ukraine Appeal: Briefing to Chaplaincies

On Friday 18 March, the Diocese held a virtual briefing to inform chaplaincies about the Bishop's Lent and Easter Appeal, in partnership with USPG. Here are the key highlights from the briefing:

This year, the Bishop's Lent and Easter appeal is bigger than usual and aims to support people in Ukraine and those who have fled to neighbouring countries.

The 2022 Appeal is going towards providing aid for people in Ukraine and those who have fled from the war and we are working in partnership with USPG, following other successful projects not least with refugees in Greece. Information on how you can donate to the appeal can be found here. 

The full chaplaincy briefing explaining the Lent and Easter Appeal can be viewed on our Youtube Channel. 

Welcome by Bishop Robert

Pictured: Bishop Robert Innes

Bishop Robert opened in prayer and welcome. He then spoke about the context of the crisis, the action of the Church of England and the situation of the Diocese in Europe's chaplaincies in Ukraine and Russia.

He said "We have a human humanitarian crisis. The UN is preparing for up to 7 million internally displaced persons and as many as 5 million refugees, which would be the largest war related migration since the Balkan wars of the 1990s,”.

With chaplaincies both in Ukraine and Russia, Bishop Robert shared the situation in both Moscow and Kyiv; "We hope that St. Andrew’s Moscow will stay open as long as possible. Alison Rogers and the curate Glenn Ruffle have returned to the UK. Revd Canon Malcolm Rogers remains in Moscow at present."

“In Kyiv, the church officers have now fled to safety Christina, their Churchwarden is in Switzerland and Tamarai, the treasurer is in Chennai. We're committed to rebuilding the congregation in Kyiv, when we can. Funds have been allocated from the Diocese towards the costs of a chaplain when it is possible to licence one and further specific gifts have been received for the mission and ministry of Christ Church, Kyiv," continued Bishop Robert.

Neither the Diocese or USPG have operational projects in Ukraine itself, so we need to work with partners. Funds from the appeal will be going to Caritas who are already working in Ukraine and the Lutheran World Federation. 

"Many of our chaplaincies will be working with Ukrainian refugees. So in this meeting, we want to explore how our chaplaincies can link into the bishop’s appeal as both recipients and donors." 

Chaplaincies supporting refugees

Pictured: Fr Frank Hegedűs, St. Margaret's in Budapest, Hungary

Fr Frank Hegedűs, the chaplain at St Margaret's in Budapest and also the area Dean for the region described how people were responding to the crisis in Hungary. You can listen to Fr Frank's experience in Budapest here. 

Frank told the meeting "Some of our own parishioners have been to the border in the initial days of the war, and assisted people.  In Budapest, we have identified three projects to be recipients of funds from the appeal. 

  • Firstly, Menedekhaz (House of Refuge) has allocated one of their buildings to house sixty refugees. Menedekhaz was supported by the Bishop's Lent Appeal in 2017. 
  • Next Step are providing food and meals for refugees arriving in Budapest. 
  • Thirdly, a new project is transforming an office space into a space for daycare where mothers and their children can meet together.

In Poland, Revd David Brown emphasised the counselling need for refugees and volunteers. He also highlighted the importance of cash for refugees fleeing conflict. The Anglican Church in Warsaw have been able to give small grants to people, helping to restore the dignity and respect they deserve. You can listen to Revd David Brown's experience here. 

At the Anglican Pro Cathedral in Brussels, a community kitchen has been able to provide hot meals for refugees. The kitchen already provides 2500 meals a week to the Red Cross Refugee Centre which is in another part of the city. They are providing hundreds of extra meals to people who have fled Ukraine. You can read more about the community kitchen here. 

If your chaplaincy is supporting refugees in an existing project, working with partner organisations to aid refugees or have identified a project to help those who have fled, you can find out more information about receiving funds from the appeal. Please contact Rebecca Boardman at and Andrew Caspari at 

The Fund

Rebecca Boardman, Regional Manager for Europe, Oceania and East Asia at USPG outlined the appeal so far and future plans for the appeal funds. The fund is supporting the work of chaplaincies with refugees as well as charities connected to our ecumenical partners who have projects up and running.


We have pledged to support Caritas' longer term operation within Ukraine through the appeal. 

Caritas have nearly one thousand people on the ground in Ukraine and have been supporting people through their projects for twenty years. Caritas help vulnerable Ukrainians meet essential needs now so that they may live with dignity. They provide help covering four main areas; Assistance to children, youth and families, Health care, social problems of migration and assistance in crisis situations. 

"They're doing this by ensuring that Ukrainians have access to necessary Information, hygiene supplies, food and water whilst in transit. They're providing transportation services to help displaced families reach friends, families and service providers," said Rebecca. 

She continued "Ukraine has one of the largest caseload of children who live in institutions in in state run care centres in the world. And this is also an area that Caritas SPS has significant in experience. And so they're ensuring the safe evacuation and protection of these children".

Lutheran World Federation

The appeal will also support the Lutheran World Federation, which is poignant given that the Diocese in Europe's chaplaincy in Kyiv gathered in the Lutheran church building. 

The Lutheran World Federation will be supporting people through existing projects in Ukraine.

Anglican chaplaincies

The appeal is seeking to support the actions and responses of Anglican chaplaincies .This may be scaling up existing projects, partnering with other organisations so funds from the appeal can reach those projects. 

"We're acutely aware that we're currently in the third week of this conflict and that needs feel immediate, but we also know that the impacts and the needs will continue to evolve into the weeks, months and possibly years ahead". said Rebecca "Whilst there is a response now, this will need to be kept up and supported in the medium to long term, and we're committed to doing that alongside the Diocese."

Preventing Human Trafficking

Revd Canon Rachel Carnegie, Executive Director of Anglican Alliance, spoke about the need to be aware of human trafficking whilst supporting refugees. Traffickers are targeting women, children and men fleeing Ukraine. 

In the context of the war in Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of people are currently on the move. Several people from Caritas on the Ukrainian border have noticed signs that criminal groups are organising on both sides of the border and the risk of human trafficking and smuggling is high. Traffickers are offering accommodation and transportation to exploit refugees. Here are some links and resources to help chaplaincies, partner organisations and refugees address this issue.

Links and Resources

Clewer Initiative - Information resources about human trafficking from the Church of England's Clewer Initiative.

European Freedom Network: Practical advice for refugees from Ukraine on keeping safe and about trafficking hotlines – given in English, Ukrainian, Hungarian and Polish. 

European Union: Safety and Security information, resources and helplines for refugees from Ukraine - English, Ukrainian and Polish.

Safeguarding Team - The Diocese in Europe's Safeguarding team is available to speak about any safeguarding concerns.

Further resources - Further resources including flyers in English and Ukrainian, safeguarding information and human trafficking information can be found here. 


Pictured: Andrew Caspari, Diocese in Europe

Many churches and people within the UK would like further information on providing accommodation for refugees who wish to travel to the UK. The government initiative in this area has only just been launched.  The Diocese in Europe is not currently in a position to directly match refugees with homes in England but chaplaincies can help with the application process.  Useful information is on the Church of England website:

Church of England - Responding to the war in Ukraine

The Charity Reset UK has established a portal where refugees can register their interest in coming to the UK and hosts can offer accommodation.  It is hoped that refugees can be helped in using this resource.

This site is connecting refugees with sponsors across the UK.

Q&A Session

Prayer from Bishop Robert

God of peace and justice, we pray for the people of Ukraine today. We pray for peace, and for the laying down of weapons. We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow, that your spirit of comfort would draw near to them. We pray for those with power over war or peace, for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions. Above all, we pray for all your precious children at risk and in fear that you would hold and protect them. We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.