Ukrainian Cultural Evening to take place at Rochester Cathedral


A special evening commemorating Ukrainian culture is taking place at Rochester Cathedral on the 24th February.

The event has been jointly organised by Rochester  Cathedral and Medway Help for Ukrainians Both were keen to mark this date with unity and solidarity, and felt the Cathedral provided a space for people to come               together to do this. Over the past year Medway has welcomed many Ukrainians.

Medway Help For Ukrainians was formed in March 2022 to support Ukrainians arriving here, both under the Homes For Ukraine scheme and under family visa sponsorship. They provide support in all aspects of their lives to ensure dignity and a warm welcome. This includes helping the children into schools, medical needs, translation services, English lessons, access to the UK’s systems and, of course, friendship.

The Ukrainian Cultural Evening will include music, prayers and poetry. Ewa Belmas, a Ukrainian organist living in Kent, will be performing. She will be joined by a Ukrainian Children’s Choir formed by Medway Help For Ukrainians, and other musicians.

Outside, the Rochester Cathedral spire will be lit in the colours of the Ukrainian flag.


Joanne Watson, Trustee of Medway Help for Ukrainians says ‘Our main desire was to ensure that those fleeing war were greeted warmly and with respect. Over the last 11 months we have supported our Ukrainian friends with all aspects of their lives, to ensure they can settle as well as possible, to be independent and integrate. We continue to provide these services on a daily basis, and our office is open twice a week for more detailed help’

The event will take place underneath Peace Doves, Rochester Cathedral’s latest large-scale artwork. The artwork, by Peter Walker Sculptor, is made up of thousands of handmade paper doves. It brings a message of peace and hope as the doves collectively form a beautiful artwork which as a whole reflects joining together in unity, peace and hope moving forward. A particularly poignant symbol for the event taking place.

Canon Dr Gordon Giles, Canon Chancellor of Rochester Cathedral says “We have all watched in horror and dismay as the Ukrainian people have suffered the turmoil and torment of invasion. With them we long for an end to the war which is nearing its first anniversary.  As an act of commitment to and solidarity with those here and in Ukraine who pray for peace and security for their land, we are hosting this evening which will not only showcase Ukrainian culture but celebrate our friendship as we stand alongside Ukrainians under the emblematic doves of peace, sharing acts of faith, hope and love in these troubled times.”

Peace Doves is at Rochester Cathedral from the 11th February until the 18th April. Admission is free during the day. Peace Doves is supported by the Rochester Riverside Community Fund for their support of this event.

Tickets are fully booked for the Ukrainian Cultural event.
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