Reflecting on the conflict in Ukraine: “Death and ruination can be overcome only by compassion and love” 

Friday 24 February, will mark one year since the invasion of Ukraine. 

Our chaplaincy in Kyiv is prominent in our minds, but also the chaplaincies in Moscow and St Petersburg who witness constantly to the Gospel values of peace and reconciliation. Today we share three reflections ahead of tomorrow's anniversary with you.

“I encourage Anglicans across our diocese to mark this anniversary with prayer, upholding all those suffering from the ravages of the war and all those working for peace. We remember God’s promise that, despite the destruction of war, that it is God’s will for a new, peaceful, just and blessed society, which arises from the ruins of violence. As the psalmist says, “He makes wars to cease in all the world; he shatters the bow and snaps the spear and burns the chariots in the fire”. (Psalm 46.9-10) And again, “Truth shall spring up from the earth, and righteousness look down from heaven”. (Psalm 85.11).” - Bishop David. 

Read Bishop David’s full refection here.

“As Archdeacon with responsibility for our small congregation in Ukraine, my prayer is one of thankfulness for their fortitude and courage through all the troubles, and it continues to be a prayer for their physical safety and spiritual well-being. I pray also for the leaders of our countries, that wisdom to seek a just resolution and the avoidance of escalation may guide them in their decision-making and lead to a free Ukraine and a restoration of peace. We live in the Easter faith and in the assurance of God´s guiding spirit.” The Ven Dr Leslie Nathaniel, Archdeacon of Eastern, and Germany & Northern Europe 

Read Archdeacon Leslie’s full reflection here.

Christina Laschenko, Churchwarden of Christ Church in Kyiv, Ukraine, wrote this reflection on the anniversary of conflict in her home country. 

“Our small Anglican congregation in Kyiv has shrunk to 10 people who attend bi-weekly prayers and services in the premises of Lutheran church in Kyiv.   
We are staying here in Ukraine, and we are going to pray and give hope to all people around us who require physical and material help, human support and spiritual encouragement in these dark times. 

Commemorating one year of full-scale war we are entering the Lent period, time of trials. But the darkest hour is before the dawn, and we are looking forward for Easter, the time of Resurrection and Triumph of Life.” 

Read Christina’s full reflection here.

Our appeal with USPG has raised over £400,000 for those affected by the conflict. We met some of those at the projects in Helsinki and Budapest, and share some of their stories with you below. 

“When you view these short clips you will be reminded that these are human lives, not statistics. They are stories of those who have escaped from death, but whose husbands, fathers and brothers are still defending their homeland. You will also hear moving words of gratitude for friendship, welcome, safety and a sense, even temporary, of home” Bishop David 

You can watch these stories on the Diocese in Europe YouTube channel.  

If you feel able to donate to the Ukraine emergency appeal, visit