Sheffield Cathedral captures anniversary of the Ukraine war with a moving exhibition and vigil
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One year ago this week, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began and since then thousands of lives have been lost and many more children and adults have been displaced leaving family behind to flee their homeland.
Many have been searching for safety and sanctuary, while all the time clinging on to the hope that one day they will be able to return home and for many Ukrainians, their journey has brought them to Sheffield.
Sheffield Cathedral has now joined with the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain and Sheffield Abbeydale Rotary to mark the first anniversary of this tragedy with two special events.
Between February 21 and 27, a photo exhibition at Sheffield Cathedral follows the journey of Ukrainians now living in Sheffield since the start of the war. It is an emotional collection of images and personal memories which depict a journey of hardship and joy, of sorrow and separation and of new friendships.
Denis Kozhushenko, curator of the photo exhibition said: “The images tell a story of courage and resilience over one year during which Ukrainian lives have been lost and broken. Ukrainians found shelter here in Sheffield and everyone has been very welcoming. Of course, we want to return home when it is safe but for now, we have a new life in Sheffield. Thank you.”
Tomorrow, on Thursday, February 23, ‘In Sorrow, with Hope’ will be a special evening to reflect on the tragic events of the past year.
The evening will include music and readings by members of Sheffield’s Ukrainian community and will feature a world premiere of choral music by Polish composer Paulina Waclawik, performed by the Tallis Consort.
Reverend Dr Casey Strine, Minor Canon Theologian, said: “We’re pleased to be able to host both a photo exhibition and an evening vigil to reflect on the tragic situation in Ukraine. This is a time for us to mourn those who have been lost, and many whose lives will be indelibly scarred by this unjust war. It is also an opportunity to sustain the hope that this war can be ended with a just peace, and that lives can be rebuilt.
"As a place for all people, Sheffield Cathedral is grateful to show these photos and host the vigil, and to model what it might be for the wider community of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, and the United Kingdom to also be a place for all people.”
Ken Marshall said: “Sheffield Abbeydale Rotary has been supporting Ukrainian refugees since they first arrived in the city. Some of the pictures in the exhibition show children enjoying art activities. Art therapy is popular amongst the Ukrainian community, helping children to overcome the trauma of war and to settle into new surroundings.”
Both the exhibition and evening vigil are free to attend. For more information and to register your intention to attend ‘In Sorrow, with Hope’, visit the Sheffield Cathedral website: www.sheffieldcathedral.org.