Liverpudlian living in Ukraine says vigil at Bombed Out Church is ‘really touching’

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A rally for peace and solidarity with Ukraine will take place at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church on Tuesday night.

A Liverpudlian living in Ukraine says tonight’s vigil for peace and solidarity at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church carries huge symbolism and ‘means a lot to many people’.

The event in Liverpool as been organised following Russia’s invasion of the eastern European country and the continued assault on Ukraine’s major cities, with a mounting cost in human life.

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The vigil has been called for by the United We Stand - Solidarity Network (UWSSN), Polish Migrants Organise for Change (POMOC) and Liverpool Universities Polish Society. It will take place between 6pm and 8pm on March 1.

Poland has already seen thousands of people pour over the border from Ukraine as they flee Russian troops advancing on the orders of president Vladimir Putin.

St Luke’s aka The Bombed Out Church. Photo: stock.adobe.comSt Luke’s aka The Bombed Out Church. Photo:
St Luke’s aka The Bombed Out Church. Photo: | Photo:

Insight from Ukraine

Peter Cribley, 33, a communications consultant from Liverpool, living in the city of Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine, said: “The Bombed Out Church means a lot to many people, not least because it’s a symbol of the damage war can do and the need for peace.

“But also because, like Ukraine, it’s carried on being a symbol and a special place for people even after so much destruction.

“Hearing about this vigil is really touching.”

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Solidarity with Ukraine in Liverpool

Organisers have confirmed speakers at the vigil will include activists and campaign leaders representing UWSSN, POMOC, Liverpool Universities Polish Society as well as Merseyside BLM Alliance, Reclaim Pride Liverpool, Socialist Alternative and city councillor Anna Rothery.

The vigil will follow the flying of the Ukrainian flag over Liverpool, the Cunard Building and St George’s Hall lit up in Ukrainian colours and Ukrainian-led demonstrations outside the Town Hall.

Liverpool’s gestures of solidarity have been regarded as ineffectual posturing by some social media users but they have largely been met with positive responses.

Rev Dr Taras KhomychRev Dr Taras Khomych
Rev Dr Taras Khomych | Rev Dr Taras Khomych

Rev Dr Taras Khomych, a Ukrainian Catholic Priest in Liverpool and senior lecturer in theology at Liverpool Hope University, welcomes the support of the city.

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Rev Khomych, who is originally from Lviv, Ukraine, said: “Gestures of solidarity are very important as they raise public awareness and this is very important, especially in the situation in which we have to deal with Russian propaganda, which is trying to either justify this mad war or presents lies or half-lies.”

Kate Bowers (Kovalenko), 25, an Early Years Nursey practitioner living in Liverpool, from Kyiv, Ukraine said: “People who are saying ‘it won’t help’ have no heart.

“They can’t imagine what it’s like to be in fear, sleep in bunkers, subways or catacombs.

“My uncle and my cousins got taken away to fight. I might never see them again in my life. Every little gesture will help. I will be there on Tuesday 100%.”

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