Sheffield religious leaders plan event at Cathedral to remember those killed in Ukraine and call for peace

Religious leaders across Sheffield’s faiths have declared support for Ukraine and plan an event remembering those who have died and calling for peace.

Friday, 18th March 2022, 3:17 pm
Updated Friday, 18th March 2022, 3:17 pm

The move has been announced in a joint statement issued by Sheffield leaders of faiths including the Church of England, the Catholic Church, and Jewish and Hindu groups, and will see people come together next week for remembrance and a peace call.

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The statement says: “The horrific events unfolding in Ukraine have drawn the attention and ire of all, including the faith communities of Sheffield and South Yorkshire. The following letter expresses our condemnation of this unprovoked invasion, our solidarity with Ukraine, and our willingness to help.

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Sheffield Cathedral will be the venue to an event to remember those who have died in the war in Ukraine and call for peace. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

“In particular, we will do our part to meet the call to show a generous welcome to those Ukrainians who come to the United Kingdom in search of sanctuary. We hope as many people as possible can join us on Wednesday March 30 at 5pm in Sheffield Cathedral to remember those who have died, to call for peace, and to show our support for all Ukrainians.”

Religious leaders: Russia attack on Ukraine ‘wicked’

“As leaders in the faith communities of Sheffield, we join with so many others to condemn the unprovoked attack on Ukraine by Russia. It is an act of outright wickedness. Likewise, we join with all those crying out for peace there.

“In our distinct ways, we all hold the people of Ukraine in our thoughts and prayers, and desire to see peace with justice in their land. In the interim, we join with others in demanding that those involved in the conflict allow for humanitarian aid into Ukraine, and the departure of people outwards from it.

“Nothing less can be accepted. We join together to call on the leaders of the world to work actively to de-escalate and end this conflict. We pray for reason to prevail—and quickly so as to avoid the unnecessary death and suffering visited on innocent people every further day this conflict continues.

“Within the United Kingdom, we join with all those voices pleading for HM Government to pursue policies that show a generous welcome for Ukrainian refugees seeking sanctuary here. As residents of Sheffield, a City of Sanctuary, our faith communities stand ready to do all we can to welcome and support those fleeing from Ukraine—locally, nationally, and even internationally.

“Together, in faith, we shall do all we can to promote compassion and to see the way of peace prevail in the form of secure, long-term agreements that create justice, stability, and harmony in Ukraine, Russia, across Europe, and around our interconnected world.”

Thousands killed in Russian invasion of Ukraine

Thousands of people – soldiers of both sides and civilians – are reported to already have died in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began.

The statement is from: Right Reverend Dr Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield; Venerable Malcolm Chamberlain, Archdeacon of Sheffield; Patsy Cunningham, Sheffield and District Reform Jewish Congregation; Right Reverend Ralph Heskett, Bishop of Hallam; Reverend Gareth Jones, Sheffield Methodist District; Reverend Gill Newton, Chair of the Sheffield Methodist District; Dr Vithal Patel, President of the Sheffield Hindu Samaj; Mr Howard Saffer, Chair of the Seven Hills Shul, Sheffield and District Reform Jewish Congregation; Very Reverend Abi Thompson, Dean of Sheffield Cathedral; Rabbi Yoinosson Golomb, United Synagogue Sheffield.