Bishop's call to prayer for Ukraine

The Bishop of Coventry writes:

I write to you from the Houses of Parliament. I have been here all week. The Ukrainian Crisis has been a constant theme. Each day I’ve led prayers in the House of Lords, with the persistent threat of war in Europe lending them great urgency and poignancy.

As the week has unfolded, our worst fears have been realised and the people of Ukraine are now suffering a terrible onslaught. One of the lines from the ancient psalm I used this morning says, ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me: yea he delivered me out of all my fears’.

So, this is the time to increase our prayer and to seek the Lord, that God’s ways of peace would prevail and break through the violence. I call on all people of prayer across Coventry and Warwickshire to join the wave of prayer that is rising in the world.

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury has called on ‘Christians to make this Sunday a day of prayer for Ukraine, Russia and for peace’.
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  • The Pope has called for Ash Wednesday on 2 March to be a Day of Fasting for Peace.
  • The Conference of European Churches and the world communions of Lutherans, Reformed and Methodists have called for prayer in Ukraine and the region and invite us to an online prayer service on Ash Wednesday 2 March at 17.00 (CET), bringing together Christians from Ukraine and other parts of the world, seeking peace and an end to the ongoing conflict.
  • The Church of England Diocese in Europe will be inviting people to join them on 1st March as congregations from Ukraine and Russia pray together for peace.

The Diocese of Coventry knows about the damage, destruction and death that war brings.  Indeed, the Community of the Cross of Nails has a presence in Ukraine, at St. Paul’s Cathedral Community in Odessa, and earlier in the month Dean John Witcombe led prayers for the community and the wider region.

Therefore, the thought of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers dying at an early age, civilian populations caught up in the conflict and vast movements of refugees fleeing the violence breaks our hearts. Let us be resolute in our commitment to a vision of peace and the blessings of reconciliation, and let us be ceaseless in prayer.

The Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth
Bishop of Coventry


Bishop Christopher subsequently recorded this video on Friday 25 February...


First published on: 24th February 2022
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