Inter faith vigil for Ukraine

Derbyshire's faith leaders, including The Rt Rev, Libby Lane Bishop of Derby, are inviting the public to come together in prayer for and solidarity with the people of Ukraine during an interfaith prayer vigil on Sunday afternoon at Derby Cathedral.

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Derbyshire's faith leaders, including The Rt Rev, Libby Lane Bishop of Derby, are inviting the public to come together in prayer for and solidarity with the people of Ukraine during an interfaith prayer vigil on Sunday afternoon at Derby Cathedral.

Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Jewish, and Quaker representatives are scheduled to speak at the vigil scheduled from 3pm to 4pm, and people in attendance will have opportunities for quiet prayer and to light a candle for an end to violence and suffering.

According to research carried out by the International Organisation for Migration between 9 and 16 March, the United Nations refugee agency estimates ten million people have now fled their homes in Ukraine because of the Russian invasion. As well as the 3.6 million who have left for neighbouring countries, another estimated 6.5 million people are thought to be displaced inside the war-torn country itself.

Peter Robinson, Dean of Derby Cathedral comments: "What people in Ukraine have experienced is beyond comprehension. This vigil is a way for people of all faiths and none to show their support for all those affected by this crisis. It is an opportunity for everyone to offer their prayers to God that all those affected should find comfort, that there will be an immediate end to bloodshed and a speedy and peaceful resolution. The fact that this demonstration of support is coming from different faith traditions is, I think, especially powerful and an opportunity for faiths to both pray and work together for the common good".

Dr Vivekanand Sharma, Temple Priest at Hindu Temple Geeta Bhawan in Derby says: “The suffering and pain of the Ukrainian people is felt by the Hindu Community and we sincerely pray that a lasting solution to the current crisis is found very soon and life returns to as normal as could be under the circumstances. On behalf of the Hindu Temple and Membership, we pray for peace and tolerance in Ukraine”.

Chief Imam, Mufti Hafiz Fazal Ahmed Qadri from Derby Jamia Mosque says: "We believe there's power in prayer. We're not going to change the course of events, but we can certainly express our pain and our commiseration with the people of Ukraine. We stand united with all those affected by war and conflict in Ukraine, Kashmir, Afghanistan and many other places around the world."

Besides Dean Peter Robinson, scheduled speakers include:

  • Very Reverend Father David Senyk, Parish Priest of Saint Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church in Derby.
  • Dr Hardial Singh Dhillon, The Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara, Derby
  • Dr Vivekanand Sharma, Temple Priest, Hindu Temple Geeta Bhawan, Derby
  • Derby Jamia Mosque
  • Eve Sacker - Interfaith Representative, Nottingham Liberal Synagogue
  • Melvin Harris and Alan Barker, Quaker Religious Society of Friends, Nottingham and Derbyshire

Notes for editors

The vigil is organised with the support of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, Derby Branch. The event is an interfaith initiative co-ordinated by the Multi Faith Centre.

Saint Michael the Archangel Ukranian Catholic Church is part of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London. It caters for the pastoral and spiritual needs of Eastern rite Ukrainian Catholics, their friends and families in Derby and surrounding areas. Divine Liturgies are celebrated according to the Byzantine Rite and are predominantly served in Ukrainian with sections of the services conducted in English.

The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) is the largest representative body for Ukrainians and those of Ukrainian descent. It exists to develop, promote and support the interests of the Ukrainian community in the UK. The Derby branch efforts are focussed on promoting fundraising to support the most effective and speediest method of getting humanitarian aid to Ukraine and the surrounding areas and neighbouring countries.  

Derby Cathedral is a lively place of worship with regular services, in person and live-streamed, involving its flourishing Cathedral Choir. As a Church of England Cathedral, it is a sacred place and sign of unity for Christians of many traditions and a meeting place of faiths. Derby Cathedral aims to develop strong relationships with all its stakeholders to become a place for inspirational music and worship, learning, heritage stories, arts and culture.

The Multi Faith Centre is an independent charity located on the University of Derby campus. MFC encourages and facilitates dialogue, co-operation, mutual respect and understanding between a diverse range of people from different faith communities and civil society who by coming together aim to improve the wellbeing of people living in Derbyshire. www.multifaithcentre.org


For further information contact:

Geoff Sweeney, Director
Multi Faith Centre
(M) 07914 932939
(E) g.sweeney@derby.ac.uk

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