Prayer service and minute’s silence marks first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson were among the dignitaries joining Ukrainian Eparch Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski at an ecumenical prayer service at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London.

The two politicians joined other key guests in lighting candles for peace at the service that marked one year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Faith leaders offered their prayers, including Archbishop John Wilson, Archbishop of Southwark, alongside his newly-ordained auxiliary, Bishop Philip Moger. Monsignor Keith Newton from the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was also present.

The Bishops’ Conference National Ecumenical Officer, Fr Jan Nowotnik, read the Gospel before Bishop Nowakowski recited the prayer for Ukraine.

The whole occasion served as a moving tribute to the fallen of the war – especially the children.

Under a canopy of paper angels, made by Ukrainian school children in the UK, each one representing the tragedy of a child registered as killed in the war, a poignant rendition of ‘Through the fields of Ukraine’ was sung by pupils from St Mary’s Ukrainian School.

Once the faith leaders had offered prayers on behalf of their communities, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and the Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Mr Vadym Prystaiko addressed the congregants denouncing the war and calling for peace.


On the eve of the anniversary, Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski spoke to us about the need to keep the plight of Ukrainians, both in their homeland and in the UK, in our thoughts and prayers at this time.