Churches across the UK and Ireland to unite in prayer for Ukraine

People of faith from across the UK and Ireland will come together on Sunday 3 April to pray for the people of Ukraine and for an end to the conflict.

Ukraine flag with prayer hands

Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, is encouraging people to take part in the event, which has been coordinated by Christian Aid.

The act of witness and prayer is also supported by faith leaders across the UK including Archbishop Justin Welby, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, His Eminence Archbishop Nikitasare, Rev Dr Hugh Osgood, Bishop Tedroy Powell, and The Most Reverend Andrew John the Archbishop of Wales.

Lord Wallace, said:

"Watching regular news reports of the tragic and violent events in Ukraine, it would be all too easy to feel helpless. But, as followers of Jesus, we cannot ignore the plight of the Ukrainian people.

"Our response must be rooted in prayer, not least so that those who suffer and are in fear might know they are not forgotten and most certainly not forgotten by God.

"That is why Christians across the land will unite in prayer on 3rd April and pray that in the darkness of unprovoked aggression those suffering will know the light of hope, and that above the deafening clamour of bombardment, they will hear words of love and peace.

"And it will be an opportunity to renew calls for a ceasefire and to express support for those delivering humanitarian aid and assistance. I hope that Christians in every corner of the land will take this opportunity to display solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine."

Across the country, churches of all denominations are encouraging congregations to pray for Ukraine and to hold a visible act of witness – including the lighting of candles - in their local community.

Churches and Christian organisations continue to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine with prayers and appeals for aid. Christian Aid is working with partner organisations through the ACT Alliance to help people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

One of their partners, Hungarian Inter Church Aid (HIA), has sent food and other essentials to Transcarpathia in Ukraine. HIA has also scaled up a field office in Beregovo including providing tents, mobile toilets and blankets, to support tens of thousands of refugees.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said:

"'When we pray, we invite the presence of God into the messiness and darkness of our world. When we pray together, we witness to the possibility of unity and the promise of reconciliation that God promises us in Jesus Christ.

"I urge all Christians to come together on the 3rd of April to pray and light candles for the people and the peace of Ukraine: to pray for hope for those fearful of the future, to pray for God's comfort for those suffering, and to pray for the Holy Spirit to turn hearts towards the compassion and justice that the resurrected Christ promises us will eventually prevail."

Chair of Christian Aid and former Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, added:

"Like the people of Ukraine looking out for their neighbours or the charity workers delivering emergency food to people seeking refuge, we must bring hope.

"That is why Christians from across the UK and Ireland - recognising the God-given human dignity and rights of every human being - are uniting in an act of witness to pray for Ukraine and an end to the conflict.

"With one voice, we are uniting behind a simple message: immediately agree to a ceasefire and unequivocally commit to protect civilians and key services.

"Every prayer, every gift, every action brings hope to the people of Ukraine. By joining us, you can give hope to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine."

You can find specially written prayers on the Prayers for Ukraine page or download God With Us, a worship resource on the theme of refugees, migration and sanctuary.

Congregations can also use these suggested songs from the Church of Scotland hymn book CH4 as part of your response in worship to the situation in Ukraine.