Parishioners join Ipswich vigil for people of Ukraine

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Parishioners join Ipswich vigil for people of Ukraine

More than 600 people gathered in the centre of Ipswich on Wednesday March 9 for a vigil to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

Ukrainian families living in Ipswich joined the event in front of the town hall organised by the borough council. Many taking part waved Ukrainian flags and wore its blue and yellow colours. The town hall has been lit up at night in the colours since Russia invaded.

Tom Mumford, vicar of St Mary-Le-Tower, the town’s civic church, told the crowd that they were gathered to support Ukrainians: “following the great acts of evil and war happening in their country. We are also here to demonstrate that love, light and hope can and will always win.”

Fr Paul Spellman of St Mary Magdalen and parishioners from St Mary’s, St Pancras and St Mark’s were among the Catholics who took part.

Jean Johnson said: “The message we sent to Ukraine was, ‘Ipswich is with you.’ As we all lit candles or torches or phones we had a minute’s silence and a prayer led by the mayor followed by the Ukrainian national anthem. This was the most moving part: two young Ukrainians behind us sang the words, obviously heartbroken.

“As I waited with a fellow St Mary’s parishioner for a bus home we talked with a widow whose husband was Ukrainian. She had come well over a mile in an electric wheelchair to be at the vigil. It was a privilege and an honour to be at the event.

“We were encouraged to give to the Disasters Emergency Committee but to be prepared to work for Ukraine for years to come.”

The mayor of Ipswich, Cllr Elizabeth Hughes, Anglican archdeacon Rhiannon King and Simon Barrington, former chief executive of international relief charity, Samaritan’s Purse UK, also spoke at the event.

Pictured above  are Fr Spellman of St Mary Magdalen with Jean and other parishioners from St Mary’s, St Pancras and St Mark’s at the Ipswich Ukraine vigil.