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Bishop Robert visits Moscow chaplaincy

Bishop Robert has travelled to Moscow for a short pastoral trip. While in the Russian capital he and his wife Helen will spend time with the chaplain to St Andrew’s, Revd Canon Malcolm Rogers and his wife Alison, and present St Andrew’s with a gift – a chalice from Lichfield diocese. Bishop Robert will also preside at the confirmation service of 12 candidates. In addition, he is expected to be invited to the Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church and to see members of the UK’s diplomatic staff based in the city.

‘This trip is a pastoral visit and was in my diary before the invasion of Ukraine,’ Bishop Robert explained. ‘I routinely visit our clergy across the diocese, and I am in Moscow to support my chaplain here. I am also looking forward to spending time with the diverse and committed congregation at St Andrew’s.’

Bishop Robert’s visit comes as the devastating conflict in Ukraine continues into a sixth month. He said the backdrop of war made the trip even more important.

‘It’s precisely at times like this that our clergy need my support. Our chaplain in Moscow has a difficult, challenging and costly ministry. My visit is a sign of the importance I attach to standing with him.’

Bishop Robert will also brief Revd Malcolm on his recent visit to the World Council of Churches in Geneva. While there he was part of the committee which drafted a statement on the war in Ukraine, deploring the invasion and calling for an immediate ceasefire and dialogue to bring a sustainable peace.

Bishop Robert has been very clear in condemning the invasion of Ukraine and his Lent appeal in partnership with USPG earlier this year raised nearly £350,000 to support Ukrainian refugees who have fled to surrounding countries.

To read the WCC statement on Ukraine click here.