The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will be the speaker at an Advent prayer service for peace in Ukraine which is being hosted by the Diocese in Europe for the Church of England. The online service on 21st December at 5.30pm GMT (6.30pm CET/7.30pm Ukraine time) will include contributions from Kyiv and Moscow and be led by the Bishop in Europe Robert Innes.

Archbishop Justin and Bishop Robert were in Ukraine at the end of November to meet the congregation at Christ Church Kyiv and to see for themselves the devastating impact of the war. In an interview in The Times newspaper, Archbishop Justin said he’d made the journey ‘to be present with people… who feel incredibly isolated. This visit is about showing solidarity with them as they face a profoundly difficult winter.’

Christians from across Europe have joined the previous two Advent prayer services. Diocesan Secretary, Andrew Caspari, said he hoped the final service would attract as many people as possible.

‘I hope that Christians across England, continental Europe and indeed across the Anglican Communion will gather with the diocese for this service,” said Andrew.

“In this way we can show love and support for the people of Ukraine at this poignant moment in the year.

“In Advent we travel from darkness into light as we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Messiah. There can be fewer places on earth where the sense of darkness or desire for light is more powerful than in Ukraine right now.

“I hope as many people as possible will join us online just as they did on Wednesdays during Lent. Please encourage people to join via YouTube or on Zoom to show their love and support for the people of Ukraine.”

To watch the service on YouTube, click here. To join on Zoom, click here. Read Bishop Robert’s blog about his trip to Ukraine here.