Ukraine – One Year On

22nd February 2023

Cathedrals will be lit up blue and yellow – there will be vigils, processions, prayers on the hour, special services shared with our Ukrainian communities and exhibitions sharing their stories – as we mark the one-year anniversary of the whole scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces this week.

Ukraine, one year on: How our cathedrals are marking this anniversary

“Their bravery and steadfastness in confronting aggression and tyranny is an inspiration to all freedom-loving peoples….

“Their sacrifice is made as much for us, as for their own, and we are humbly and deeply grateful for it.”

Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, High Sheriff of Suffolk, on the vigil at St Edmundsbury Cathedral

Bradford Cathedral – a Prayer Vigil for Peace in Ukraine will be held this Friday at 6pm. The hour-long service will include a lament for the impact of the war, prayers for peace and a celebration of Ukrainian identity. It will include contributions from refugees and other members of the Ukrainian community in Bradford including the Bradford-based Ukrainian choirs, Fialka and Dibrova. The service is held with the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB) and will feature stories and music from Ukraine, along with Bible readings, the Lord’s Prayer sung in Ukrainian, and the opportunity to light candles.

Bristol Cathedral – is hosting a photography exhibition in support of RE:ACT Disaster Response entitled ‘Capturing Conflict’. The exhibition is a curation of hard hitting and evocative images, taken by some of the UK and Ukraine’s leading photojournalists.

The Dean of Bristol, the Very Revd Mandy Ford said:

We are honoured to highlight the vital work RE:ACT are doing in Ukraine. As the anniversary of the war in Ukraine arrives, we pray for the victims, for the wounded and the captive, the grieving and the homeless, for those fleeing from war and those who remain.

RE:ACT is a UK-based humanitarian NGO that responds to emergencies in the UK and internationally. In March 2022, RE:ACT launched Operation Pace to address the urgent needs of the Ukrainian people following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. One year on, RE:ACT continues to work hard to provide food aid, medical equipment, and supplies to towns and villages on the front line.

Anyone can support RE:ACT’s humanitarian efforts by visiting their website

 The exhibition is presented on a digital display until 6 March along with prayer cards for Ukraine and a candle stand. Please note some of the images may not be suitable for all audiences, especially those under 16.

Ukraine, one year on: How our cathedrals are marking this anniversary


Canterbury Cathedral – The Chapel of St Nicholas in the Crypt will be set aside for prayers and quiet reflection to mark the 1st anniversary of the war in Ukraine.

There will be special Ukrainian prayer cards available in that chapel, along with a votive stand with candles. Prayers will also be said by our Chaplains on the hour, and we will include special prayers in all our services that day.

Entry to the Cathedral will be free for anyone who wishes to come and pray for peace.

Canterbury Cathedral Ukraine Invasion on year on.

Carlisle Cathedral – will offer prayers to mark the one-year anniversary during a special service of Evensong on Sunday at 3pm. Members of the Ukrainian community in Carlisle have been invited and prayers written by churches in Ukraine as well as music in Ukrainian will mix with the timeless prayers of Choral Evensong to mark this important anniversary.

Coventry Cathedral – a candlelit vigil will be held in the ruins of the old Coventry Cathedral at 6.30pm this Friday. Earlier in the day there will be liturgy and a memorial mass at the Ukrainian Church which will be livestreamed on YouTube: (80) One year anniversary of invasion of Ukraine – 10am Friday 24th February 2023 – YouTube

Ukraine, one year on: How our cathedrals are marking this anniversary

Derby Cathedral – a procession will set off from the Cathedral Green for a prayer vigil with candlelit prayers and silent reflection in the cathedral this Friday from 6pm – 7.30pm. On Sunday there will be a special  service for Ukraine in the Cathedral, with prayers and Ecumenical guests and speakers 2 – 3pm

Durham Cathedral – will turn blue and yellow this week and is marking the anniversary on Friday with a day of prayer for peace and justice. The day includes a livestreamed prayer in the morning on Facebook, prayers read by Ukrainian and other symbolic guests throughout the day, along with specially themed Eucharist and Evensong services.

Ely Cathedral – is hosting GOLGOTHA 2022 – Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine and Christ’s Passion. This exhibition is by Stephen Tromans who began a series of paintings immediately after the invasion, setting the terrible events in Ukraine against the Easter story, which was unfolding at the same time. In these works, on display in the Lady Chapel one year later, he seeks to draw out the meaning of Christ’s Passion, and what it has to say now in speaking of human suffering and human evil. In doing so he draws on the work of great artists of the past, such as Goya, Picasso, Rubens, and Rembrandt who have sought to depict both the horrors of war, and the suffering of Christ.

Gloucester Cathedral – there will be a march starting from the Mariner’s Church in Gloucester Docks at 4.45pm this Friday which will end at the Cathedral with a special service of Evening Prayer with members of the local Ukrainian community to remember and pray for all those caught up in this conflict and those who have lost their lives in the conflict.

Peterborough Cathedral – will light up yellow and blue in solidarity with Ukraine this week. It will host an exhibition of photographs showing aspects of daily life in Ukraine for those who remain there. Ukraine One Year On: The New Normal.

There will be Prayers and Borscht at 12 noon on Friday to mark the one year anniversary. Borscht is a traditional soup made with beetroot, onions and other ingredients, and is a Ukrainian favourite. And during the week one of the side chapels has been set aside for those who would like to come and light a candle and spend a while in quiet prayer for all those caught up in the war.

During the anniversary week, the west front of the Cathedral will be lit in blue and yellow, the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

Follow this link for more information about Peterborough Cathedral’s Ukraine Welcoming Network Project

Ukraine, one year on: How our cathedrals are marking this anniversary

Rochester Cathedral’s spire will turn blue and yellow for Ukraine this week. There will be aspecial evening commemorating Ukrainian culture on Friday which will include music, prayers and poetry and has been jointly organised by Rochester Cathedral and Medway Help for Ukrainians which was formed in March 2022 to support Ukrainians arriving under the Homes For Ukraine scheme and family visa sponsorship. The newly formed Ukrainian Children’s Choir will perform.

The event will take place underneath Peace Doves, Rochester Cathedral’s latest large-scale artwork. The artwork, by Peter Walker Sculptor, is made up of thousands of handmade paper doves bringing a message of peace and hope.

Canon Dr Gordon Giles, Canon Chancellor of Rochester Cathedral said:

 “As an act of commitment to and solidarity with those here and in Ukraine who pray for peace and security for their land, we are hosting this evening which will showcase Ukrainian culture and celebrate our friendship as we stand alongside Ukrainians under the emblematic doves of peace, sharing acts of faith, hope and love in these troubled times.”

Ukraine, one year on: How our cathedrals are marking this anniversary

Sheffield Cathedral – is hosting a photographic exhibition In Sorrow, With Hope: Marking One Year Of War In Ukraine which follows Ukrainians now living in Sheffield and the journey and experiences they have faced following the war. On Thursday the cathedral will hold an event for all to come together to reflect on the past year which will feature the first performance of a new choral piece composed in response to the war by composer Paulina Waclawik entitled Dona Nobis Pacem, performed by Tallis Consort and conducted by Chris WhyIn addition to Waclawik’s musical reflection and other choral pieces, there will be readings and opportunities for silent reflection. Thursday 23 February 7 – 8.30pm.

Ukraine, one year on: How our cathedrals are marking this anniversary

St Albans is lighting up blue and yellow, flying the Ukrainian flag, marking the one-minute silence and chaplains will say prayers on the hour every hour written especially for the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine by the Dean of St Albans, the Very Revd Jo Kelly Moore, who chairs the Association of English Cathedrals.

Ukraine, one year on: How our cathedrals are marking this anniversary

St Davids Cathedral from the Church in Wales will make a pilgrimage on the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine to St Non’s Chapel for pilgrim prayers at the shrine of St David. They will follow this ancient pilgrim route but with a different focus at this time. The walk on Friday will include prayers and discussion around the plight of refugees and will take place from 10.30- 12.30

St Edmundsbury Cathedral will host a Candlelit Vigil to mark one year since the invasion of Ukraine on Friday at 5.30 pm. The service will feature prayer, moments of reflection and some elements of sung Ukrainian Liturgy and will be jointly led by the Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich and Ukrainian Priest Father Bohdan Сhyborak.  The service will be attended by both the High Sheriff of Suffolk, Major Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton and the

Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Lady Clare, Countess of Euston and representatives of UK armed services who will lay a wreath dressed in Ukrainian colours in remembrance of those who have lost lives in the continuing conflict.

Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, High Sheriff of Suffolk, said:

It is of the greatest importance, and a privilege, that we are able to join with our Ukrainian friends in Suffolk in remembering and mourning before God the

heart-rending sacrifice made by the Ukrainian people over the past year since the devastating and illegal invasion of their land by the forces of the Russian Federation. 

“Their bravery and steadfastness in confronting aggression and tyranny is an inspiration to all freedom-loving peoples.”

Wells Cathedral – will host a devotional performance of the Durufle Requiem on Sunday 26 as part of its vigil marking one year of war in Ukraine, remembering the many lives changed and lost in the conflict. Performed by Wells Cathedral Choir in the Nave of Wells Cathedral. Admission is free and there is no need to book and there will be a retiring collection in aid of Somerset Supports Ukraine and Wells Cathedral.

Worcester Cathedral – The Guild of Bellringers will ring the cathedral bells for an hour ahead of the Sung Eucharist service at 10.30 on Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent. This will be dedicated to those that have lost their lives and those that continue to be affected by the conflict.

Winchester Cathedral – will host a talk by Luke Harding, The Guardian’s Ukrainian correspondent, in aid of DEC Ukraine on Thursday 23rd March at 7.00pm. Luke Harding is a journalist, writer, and award-winning foreign correspondent. Between 2007 and 2011 he was the paper’s Moscow bureau chief. The Kremlin expelled him from the country in the first case of its kind since the Cold War and in summer 2022 put him on an official blacklist.
He was in Kyiv on February 24, 2022, when Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale attack and has reported extensively from Ukraine.

York Minster – will hold a short vigil this Friday at 12 noon with readings, prayers, music and reflections from the Ukrainian Community in York.

 Commenting on the vigil, the Revd Canon Maggie McLean, York Minster’s Canon Missioner said:

The war is a tragedy for the people of Ukraine, for Europe and for Russia. We will hold this vigil and pray for the end of this terrible conflict. We must also hold onto the hope that the people of Ukraine will experience peace and safety in their country in the near future.”