What can your church do to support Ukrainians?
Like the rest of the world, we at Welcome Churches have watched in horror the atrocities taking place in Ukraine.
We stand with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and across the world in prayer and we call for peace and reconciliation, an immediate end to hostilities, and for a change in heart for the Russian regime.
The UN estimates around 4 million people have fled Ukraine. Whilst the majority have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, we expect to have, and have already seen, Ukrainians arriving in the UK.
Welcome Churches’ vision is to see every refugee welcomed by their local church, so our response to the situation in Ukraine is focused on the Church.
There is much that is still unknown about how, and how many refugees from Ukraine will come to the UK.
But, as with all those fleeing conflict and seeking refuge in a new country, they will need holistic support. We believe the Church has a key role to play in providing this welcome.
So, what can your church do?
Pray! Most importantly, you can pray. Our God is a God of compassion, justice, and mercy, and the Prince of Peace.
- Pray for an end to violence and justice to be done.
- Pray that God would protect all those who have had to flee their homes and make long and tiring journeys.
- Pray that God would comfort those who have been separated from their families.
- Pray for all the neighbouring countries who are being overwhelmed by the number of refugees they are caring for.
- Pray for refugees arriving in the UK that they would feel welcomed and safe, and that our government would pursue a compassionate response to those seeking refuge.
Your church might want to respond by organising a prayer event for Ukraine and those arriving in the UK.
Sign up to our Welcome Network
We invite your church to sign up to our network to show that you are ready to welcome refugees!
This is the best way we can support and equip your church to show welcome.
By joining our network, we can refer refugees seeking community in your area, which may include Ukrainians when they arrive, to your church to be welcomed.
You will also be able to access more of our resources and training, and stay updated with our work. Share and use our Ukraine Welcome website.
Our website ukrainewelcome.org has been created to provide resources for Ukrainians arriving in the UK, and those supporting them.
It contains plenty of practical advice and resources such as information about schooling, benefits, registering with a GP and how to write a CV – all this information is available in Ukrainian, Russian, as well as English.
One thing you can do is share these resources far and wide so Ukrainians coming to the UK can access this information to help them navigate life in the UK!
If your church has connections with any Ukrainian individuals or families who wish to come to the UK, you can refer them to us through our contact referral form on the website.
Have a conversation and get ready to welcome!
We encourage churches to gather together to have a conversation about how they will be responding to the situation in Ukraine.
Find out if anyone in the congregation plans to be a host through the government’s ‘Homes for Ukraine’ Scheme. If so, your church can register your interest to host with us here: https://www.ukrainewelcome.org/expression-of-interest-form
Even if only one family, or no one in your congregation is planning to host, Ukrainians will need other support beyond accommodation from a local community that will make them feel welcome – everyone can play a part in this.
Perhaps some people will focus on simply befriending a family or cooking meals for them.
It might be that you have members of your congregation with specific expertise in areas. These may include expertise in education or healthcare, who could help Ukrainians navigate these areas. It would be great to coordinate your response as a church.
Perhaps your church will respond by financially supporting a particular organisation or church in Ukraine or one in Eastern Europe that is working with refugees.
If you would like to support the work of Welcome Churches, you can donate to our ‘Beyond the Crisis Appeal’ here.
There is a part for everyone to play in showing welcome.
Ruth Blakey, Welcome Churches
Ruth Blakey works as Communications Administrator for Welcome Churches and is passionate about equipping people to be welcoming to refugees and asylum seekers. She is also currently studying for a master’s degree in Conflict Studies at LSE.
Joanna Mwansa, Welcome Churches
Joanna is the Communications Manager at Welcome Churches. Welcome Churches have a vision to see every refugee in the UK welcomed by their local church.