We are all appalled and saddened by what we are seeing on the news of people fleeing war in Ukraine, or living in what are siege situations. How can we help?
Last updated 20 June, 2022
On this page we explore some of the main ways you and your church can respond to the situation in Ukraine which include:
We know that churches across the Diocese have already been responding generously and compassionately to the situation in Ukraine. From prayer vigils and donation drops to reaching out to Ukrainians in their local communities to show solidarity. Read more about the response by churches
Each and every person's situation and capacity will be different, so here is a range of suggestions that individuals and churches may like to consider.
I know there is a deep yearning in people to offer a generous welcome to the victims of war and it is wonderful to see and hear of such open-heartedness. The key to interpreting what we might do, personally and together, is in through prayer for discernment.
Bishop Simon Burton-Jones
Unless you have specific contacts in a place, it is usually better to donate money rather than items, as the money can be used for whatever is most needed and avoids sending unnecessary items into an already chaotic situation.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is encouraging donations of money to the USPG Ukraine Emergency Appeal in which the Diocese of Europe is a partner.
You may also wish to consider supporting the local charity, ChildAid (to Eastern Europe) of which Bishop Simon is a patron.
ChildAid to Eastern Europe is an established Christian charity based in Bromley with a history of working with vulnerable children across Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine.
In these challenging times, ChildAid and their partners in eastern Europe have already begun supporting refugees both in Ukraine and in Moldova, providing emergency support on the ground.
"At ChildAid, we are focusing on supporting our partners on the ground in both Moldova and in Ukraine. Financial aid is needed to fund food, water, nappies, personal hygiene items, housing, transport – all items that are needed right now. Money has the terrific advantage over other gifts in so far as it can be used immediately, bringing about immediate benefits; money can also help local economies and communities stay afloat."
(Stephen Barbor, Commissioned Evangelist, St Stephen's Tonbridge and ChildAid staff team member)
Other appeals available:
- Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine appeal
- Unicef has organised a 'Help the Children of Ukraine' appeal.
- The UNHCR Refugee Agency emergency appeal to help ensure that Ukrainians forced to flee their homes are sheltered and safe.
- The Red Cross has established a Ukraine Crisis Appeal to provide food, water, first aid, medicine, warm clothes, and shelter.
The Church of England has published a ‘toolkit’ of resources for parishes seeking to help refugees and evacuees from Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion of the country.
This ‘toolkit’ contains a range of resources for parishes seeking to help refugees, including:
- A brief guide to what is happening in Ukraine and the humanitarian response, together with details of organisations and appeals.
- Information on how parishes and individuals can take action to support those arriving, both through the family visa scheme and the humanitarian sponsor scheme (Homes for Ukraine).
- Advocacy, prayer and theological resources for churches, as well as safeguarding advice.
Offering a home
The Government has announced its 'Homes for Ukraine' scheme to allow Ukrainian refugees to come to the UK. If you are a member of clergy occupying board or parsonage housing, please see our Clergy offering homes to refugees section below,
There are a number of organisations trying to help individuals, churches and communities work together to provide wraparound support for any refugees who may come to the UK, as well as provide homes.They include:
- Reset (Communities and Refugees) is helping register and match refugees from Ukraine with sponsors across the UK.
- The Sanctuary Foundation is inviting churches and individuals to pledge to provide support for Ukrainian refugees in their church and community if they are able. Potential support involved could include:
- Welcoming a Ukrainian family to live in your community
- Finding and possibly furnishing suitable accommodation
- Raising support funds
- Volunteering time to provide integration support.
The Diocese has developed a process and guidance for clergy who wish to offer lodging for refugees in their own home as part of the Government's Homes for Ukraine scheme. Please note that this guidance is only applicable to clergy occupying board or parsonage housing.
While we recognise the generosity of heart from clergy households who would like to help in such a direct way, it is important that clergy households work the guidance through with their Archdeacon to help consider all the risks that this additional ministry might bring.
In our guidance, we explain some of the things you should consider before offering lodging to refugees. We also explain the process you will need to go through with the Diocese to confirm your intention to offer a space in your home.
The process has been designed to help us assess whether approval can be granted, as well as enable pastoral conversations to be had with clergy directly about whether this is the right step for them. Please access if via the following links:
- Letter introducing the guidance
- Clergy offering lodging to refugees guidance (Diocese of Rochester)
- Diagram: Clergy offering lodging to refugees flow chart
- Template Lodger Agreement
We are very aware that the circumstances of each household and each church are different, and some are in a better place to help than others. We hope our guidance and the process assist you as you consider your next steps.
If you need further help We have set up a dedicated email associated with this matter, and so if you have any questions about the process, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to share details of what you, your church, or community are doing more generally in relation to Ukraine, please email our Lead Community Engagement Adviser, Magali van der Merwe directly on: email@example.com.
Other useful guidance and resources
A number of councils across the areas of the Diocese have set up dedicated support pages or contact lines to help those supporting Ukrainian refugees in their community.
Kent County Council
Kent County Council Support page: Support for Ukrainian nationals - Kent County Council
Welcome book - Welcome to Kent Handbook (Homes for Ukraine scheme)
Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board have produced a guidance leaflet:
Ukraine Support email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to Dartford book : https://www.dartford.gov.uk/downloads/file/1584/welcome-to-dartford
Medway Support page Medway's services and support | Medway's services and support | Medway Council
Translator - if hosting Ukrainians and need urgent help with translating information, please call on 01634 333 333 and ask to be transferred to an interpreter.
Kent & Medway
Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board have produced a guidance leaflet:
Download materials to advertise the helpline below:
Supporting those who may traumatised
If you are a host family or are supporting refugees in your community, below is a round-up of guidance to help you offer welcome and support to those who may be traumatised:
- Welcome: a guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK (English version)
- Welcome: A guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK (Ukrainian version)
- Welcome: A guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK (Russian version)
HealthProm has produced a cultural sensitivity sheet
The Red Cross has advice on coping with the Ukraine crisis, including support for those suffering with trauma: How to support people in Ukraine FAQ | British Red Cross
The Red Cross has also produced the following info:
- Advice for Ukrainians arriving in the UK (English)
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- Ð¯Ðº Ð³Ð¾Ð²Ð¾Ñ€Ð¸Ñ‚Ð¸ Ð· Ð´Ñ–Ñ‚ÑŒÐ¼Ð¸ Ð¿Ñ€Ð¾ Ð²Ñ–Ð¹Ð½Ñƒ (Ukrainian)
- Ð˜Ð½Ñ„Ð¾Ñ€Ð¼Ð°Ñ†Ð¸Ñ Ð´Ð»Ñ Ð³Ñ€Ð°Ð¶Ð´Ð°Ð½ Ð£ÐºÑ€Ð°Ð¸Ð½Ñ‹, Ð¿Ñ€Ð¸Ð±Ñ‹Ð²Ð°ÑŽÑ‰Ð¸Ñ… Ð² Ð’ÐµÐ»Ð¸ÐºÐ¾Ð±Ñ€Ð¸Ñ‚Ð°Ð½Ð¸ÑŽ (Russian)
- Information for Ukrainian nationals arriving in the UK (English)
- Information for Ukrainian nationals arriving in the UK (Ukrainian)
- Information for Ukrainian nationals arriving in the UK (Russian)
- Ukraine crisis support offer
- Thrive LDN: Guidance for supporting the mental health and wellbeing of displaced Ukrainians
- Hosting people who may be traumatised - tips and guidance from Trauma Treatment International
A number of local churches that are supporting Ukrainian refugees in their communities have enquired about obtaining translations of the liturgy into Ukrainian and Russian - which is a widely used written language in Ukraine in literature, media, and business.
- Service of the Word (three languages) - The Diocese of Chelmsford has kindly shared a “service of the word” in three languages which can be used by churches in our Diocese as required.
- Canadian BCP (similar to English 1662 BCP) in Ukrainian
- Church of England liturgies in Russian - The following have been made available by the Anglican Chaplaincy in Moscow: BCP: Morning Prayer, Holy Communion, and Litany Common Worship: Holy Communion, Morning Prayer on Sunday, Compline, Collects, Baptism, Marriage, Funeral.
Translations of the Bible
The Diocese's Lead Community Engagement and Social Action Adviser, has worked with The Bible Society in order to obtain copies of The Bible in Ukrainian for local churches to share with Ukrainian refugees living in their community.
Limited numbers of the following are available:
- Illustrated Children's Bible
- New Testament
- Beyond Disaster: A Survivor’s Guide to Spiritual First Aid to the Diocese.
Full Bibles should also be available in the near future.
- Ukrainian/English Lexicon – simple phrases and words
- Posters in Ukrainian advertising church services, toddler groups, coffee mornings - Free resources fromTogether@Home
There are many refugees in the UK and around the world from other conflicts, and it is important that we do not forget them in the new horrors in Ukraine.
The Church of England's Ukraine toolkit contains signposts to a number of organisations that can provide information about to offer welcome to all refugees and how Community Sponsorship works generally.
(Prayers shared in Holy Trinity, Coxheath)
Pray for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, Russia, and Eastern Europe, who are living through a war that they don’t want, fleeing violence, and working to support victims.
Every Wednesday in Lent, the Diocese in Europe is holding a Vigil with Prayers for Peace in Ukraine. This simple 30-minute service will include prayers, music, readings and a reflection or some information from a part of the Diocese directly affected by the crisis. The service will be on Zoom every Wednesday at 18:00CET/17:00GMT from 16 March at least until the end of Lent. Click for Zoom link and further details
- Praying for peace in the world - prayers and liturgy compiled by the Church of England and endorsed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.
- Lord's Prayer in Ukrainian - Diocese in Europe (download from Vimeo)
- Prayers and Liturgy compiled by the Diocese in Europe (pdf)
- ChildAid prayers - sign up to receive regular prayer updates.
You may find some of the following information helpful in providing some context and general information about how we can support Ukraine at this time:
The Ukrainian Institute has collated together a variety of information about ways people can support Ukraine at this time.
If you have any questions relating to Ukraine and how you or your church may like to offer support, please contact your Archdeacon, or the Diocese's Lead Community Engagement Adviser, Magali Van Der Merwe on email@example.com
Share what you are up to. Contact Communications on firstname.lastname@example.org