11 May 2023

How the Liverpool District is helping out at Eurovision

Liverpool has welcoming guests from around Europe and around the world to the Eurovision Song Contest being hosted by the city on behalf of last year’s winners, Ukraine. 

Among the glitter of Eurovision, the Liverpool Methodist District has been busy adding its own sparkle by providing a warm welcome for Christians, those of other faiths and those of none with events across the city including prayer walks, activities at the famous Strawberry Field and a special ecumenical service at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.

eurovision-1Held on Wednesday evening, United in Worship was a service coordinated by the Liverpool Methodist District. The service provided a space for prayer and song, reflecting on the circumstances that had brought Eurovision to Liverpool this year and the need for peace in a troubled world. Music was provided by the Walton Salvation Army Brass Band, New Song Wirral and the joint choir of Liverpool Cathedral and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Around 300 people attended the service, with more than 200 watching online.  

The Revd Jackie Bellfield, one of the organisers behind the week’s events and one of those who led the United in Worship service, commented, “This has been a marvellous opportunity to share peace in a world where there's so much turmoil and war, be it in Ukraine, Sudan, Serbia or wherever it might be.  We are united together with all those suffering in places of conflict, united in music and united in prayer.”


Father Taras Khomych, the priest of Liverpool's Ukrainian Catholic Parish, spoke at the service on behalf of the people of Ukraine saying, “This shows solidarity and the desire for Christians of all denominations to work for peace in Ukraine and around the world. We are grateful for all the support we are shown and the expressions of love for us and our people.”

Strawberry Field, once a children’s home and made famous by John Lennon, is operated by the Salvation Army, and it was in the grounds here that the Methodist Church Evangelism and Growth team set up the Hope and Anchor tepee, inviting people to imagine a peaceful world through crafts and activities. “With its links to John Lennon and the song Imagine, it is the perfect place to be part of Eurovision and offer a reflective perspective on the week’s events”, commented volunteer Cate Warbrick, who worships at St Luke Methodist Church, Hoylake.

“Liverpool is buzzing”, said the Revd Jackie Bellfield, “There is a great festival atmosphere with the locals and visitors all looking out for each other.  I’ve spoken to people from around the globe and had some great conversations about peace, faith and, of course, about music.

“Liverpool does big celebrations really well, and Liverpool has just embraced people into their hearts as they come here.”