Ukraine appeal tops £150,000

STORIES
First published on: 30th March 2022

The response to our Ukraine appeal has been extraordinary. With over £150,000 donated to our joint appeal with the Diocese in Europe and additional funds from the Bishop in Europe’s Lent appeal the total so far is almost £200,000.

USPG’s General Secretary, Rev’d Dr Duncan Dormor was delighted, saying,

‘Thanks to an incredible, generous response from supporters we have raised over £150,000 to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries,’ he said. ‘These vital funds will help the Diocese in Europe’s ecumenical partners to carry out humanitarian work and will support chaplaincies within the Diocese in Europe to scale up their local refugee response.  USPG is working with the Diocese to make sure that its chaplaincies can respond to long-term issues caused by this devastating conflict.'

 

The Most Rev'd Samuel Sunil Mankhin handing over a cheque to USPG's Duncan Dormor

We’ve even had support from as far away as the Church of Bangladesh, which gave £1,000 to the appeal, with the Most Rev’d Samuel Sunil Mankhin visiting the USPG office to offer his support in person. The Central Theological College in Japan has also pledged to give £1,000 to the appeal.

 

‘I am thrilled and humbled by the extraordinary generosity of those who have given money – thank you all.’

Rt Rev’d Robert Innes, Bishop in Europe

 

The Bishop in Europe, the Rt Rev’d Robert Innes, added, ‘I am thrilled and humbled by the extraordinary generosity of those who have given money – thank you all. The plight of Ukraine and its people has touched our hearts and the Church is responding. The unique structure of our diocese means that our chaplaincies are already doing vital work to help refugees. We will work with partners on the ground, such as Caritas, to ensure that the money that has been donated goes to those in need.’

 

Across the Diocese, from Poland and Hungary to France and Norway, stories are emerging of how chaplaincies are providing care and practical support. This includes food, accommodation, pastoral care, help with translation and financial gifts. 

 

Across the Diocese, from Poland and Hungary to France and Norway, stories are emerging of how chaplaincies are providing care and practical support. This includes food, accommodation, pastoral care, help with translation and financial gifts.  Many of the four million refugees are young woman with children who left husbands and fathers fighting in Ukraine.

 

In Budapest, the chaplaincy has partnered with The Next Step Programme, which has been helping refugees acclimatise to Hungary and the EU since 2015. The chaplaincy has also partnered with an organisation called Menedékház which has found housing for 60 refugees. 

 

‘Some of our own parishioners have been to the border, particularly in the initial days of the war, and assisted people,’ said Fr Frank Hegedűs, chaplain at St Margaret's in Budapest and area Dean for the region. Among those helped by St Margaret’s are a group of Nigerian students who had been studying in Ukraine.

 

In Poland, Chaplain Rev’d 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 has been able to give small grants to people, ‘helping to restore the dignity and respect they deserve,’ explained David. 

 

In the Norwegian town of Bergen, Anglicans meet at the Mariakirken (St Mary’s Church), just 100 yards from a hotel that has turned into a refugee centre for 350 Ukrainian refugees. It is thought that number is likely to rise to 500 in the coming weeks. Some 30 refugees attended the Anglican service at Mariakirken last Sunday.

 

‘While the language was a challenge, they were still able to convey to us their shared sense of shock and grief and some of the challenges they are facing as they adjust to a foreign land,’ said Kirk Weisz, Curate at Bergen Anglican Church.  The congregation is small but plans to work with local partners to help the refugees to settle in and make connections.

 

It is a similar story of care and compassion in France too. “The church is responding in as many ways as we can,” said Rev’d Charlotte Sullivan, Chaplain at Holy Trinity Church in Maisons-Laffittes near Paris. The vicarage is currently hosting three Ukrainian refugees. So far, the chaplaincy has supported people with visa applications and emergency health conditions through a drop-in café where three translators are available.  

 

USPG and the Diocese in Europe will work with partners to ensure all the donated money reaches those who need it most.