Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh hosted an ecumenical prayer service for peace on the one year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Holy Family of London joined Archbishop Cushley along with Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the Church of Scotland, and Bishop John Armes of the Scottish Episcopal Church.
Archbishop Cushley said he was ‘honoured that so many distinguished people’, including the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, ‘were able to join us’.
“This is not political,” he said. “This is about coming to the house of God and bowing our heads before Almighty God and asking him to spare his people, to grant us a peace that we are unable it seems to give ourselves, to do that with humility.”
Bishop Nowakowski described the past year as ‘horrific’, but that ‘the Ukrainian people are very resilient.’
“They are not just fighting for their own existence, they’re fighting for Europe, for democracy, and for freedom.”
“This evening was a time of great emotion for us to be able to pray together with Archbishop Leo and all of the other faith and civic leaders,” he said.
“I think that we have experienced this evening that solidarity, fraternity, and generosity that Scottish people are so well known for.”
The Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, who recently returned from a trip to Sudan with the Holy Father, called the service’s atmosphere ‘humbling’.
“[There was] a real real, deep sense of God’s peace and presence there tonight,” he said.
“We’re here because we felt we had to be here to stand with the people of Ukraine and pray for the people of Ukraine to let them know that we are constantly thinking about them in our prayers.
“We are praying for this awful experience to end.”