Boldon churches holding peace vigils for people of all faiths as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues
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Thousands of Ukrainians have taken up arms to join the fight for freedom, and thousands more have fled the war into neighbouring nations.
As demonstrations and vigils take place around the world, churches in the Boldon villages have joined together to invite people of all faiths to gather as a mark of respect and solidarity with civilians fleeing the war, and the Ukrainian armed forces battling against Russia.
Reverend Paul Barker, priest in charge of the Church of England churches in the Boldons, said: “The invasion by Russia of Ukraine threatens world peace, and already so many innocent lives have been lost.
"As Christians we feel called to pray for peace and an end to this ongoing violence, but this Vigil is open to everyone to join, of any faith and none.
"It is important we come together, united by our shared desire for peace and an end to fighting.”
The first vigil will be held at St George’s Church, in Front Street, East Boldon, on Tuesday, March 1, with people invited to ‘drop in’ at any time between 10.30am and 11.30am, then again from 7pm to 8pm.
An additional Peace Vigil will take place at St Nicholas Church, in Rectory Bank, West Boldon, on Thursday, March 3, at the same times.
The churches also offered people the chance to say a prayer for Ukraine and light a candle at their services on Sunday, February 26.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said 16 children have been killed and another 45 injured during the Russian invasion.
Despite the continued assault, Ukraine agreed to talks with Moscow and sent a delegation to the border with Belarus for the meeting, at which it asked for an immediate cease fire.
Russian president Vladimir Putin, however, cited “aggressive statements” from the Nato defence alliance and the financial sanctions imposed in response to his invasion in issuing orders to increase the readiness of Russia’s nuclear weapons, prompting fresh condemnation from Western leaders.