Update February 2024

Second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Saturday, 24 February, is the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


To mark this, the below prayer has been written by a Ukrainian family who are being hosted by the Black Country Methodist Circuit.

Lord God of power,
You alone work miracles, so be kind to all and hear us.
Help us God, our Saviour, and deliver the people of Ukraine from persecution.
Come to our aid and destroy the intentions and unrighteous boldness of those who go to war against our people.
Calm those who oppose your commandments.
Grant us all peace, salvation and joy in our hearts.
For you are protection and salvation for those who trust in you.
We give you glory, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever.


Steve Hucklesby, from the Joint Public Issues Team, has published a blog regarding the ongoing conflict. Appeal
Since the conflict in Ukraine began, All We Can and the Methodist Church in Britain have supported communities impacted by the conflict through a joint appeal.  Read stories from the appeal's humanitarian partners here.

Update August 2023

Methodists for Ukraine: Apply to host a Ukrainian family - Closed

Methodists for Ukraine is closed to new applications to host.

If you are interested in hosting, we recommend Communities for Ukraine or RESET Homes for Ukraine who offer similar matching and support services.

Update February 2023

Ukrainian invasion 1 year anniversary service resources (Sunday 26 February 2023)

These elements have been prepared to aid those wishing to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. You can pick and choose from the elements below to add to your service and help your congregation to engage prayerfully and thoughtfully with the ongoing war.

Download the resource as a PDF.

Ukraine - All We Can appeal

Read a one-year-on report showing how your generous donations are helping displaced people find safety and dignity.

This toolkit is based on one initially prepared by the Faith in Public Life Department of the Church of England and the Diocese of Canterbury, who have kindly permitted the Methodist Church to share it across the Connexion.

Please note that due to the fast-evolving nature of events in Ukraine elements of this Toolkit will be updated periodically. 



What you need to know about Ukraine and the humanitarian situation

What support do Ukrainians who were already in the UK require?

Immigration routes available to Ukrainian refugees

Ukraine Family Scheme

Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme

Safeguarding considerations

Get Involved: How you can help

Immediate practical help

Refugee sponsorship and longer term help and support 

Supporting refugee and asylum seeking children

Media interest in your story


Prayer and theological resources


Hymn Suggestions in a time of war

Peacemaking resources

Audio reflections and podcasts on Ukraine 

Other prayers and theological resources that may be of use 


Foreword from the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference

Witnessing the violent assault on Ukraine by the Russian military, and the humanitarian tragedy that it has caused, has left us both horrified and heartbroken. This devastating action and the resulting loss of life have rightly been condemned across the world and by the Methodist Church.  

This war has resulted in millions of people moving across Europe to find safety. Methodist churches and members around the UK stand ready to open their homes and lives to all fleeing the situation in Ukraine – who desperately need our friendship and solidarity.

In response to the heart-warming generosity of Methodists, we offer this toolkit of practical advice and support for those who wish to offer the gift of sanctuary to people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Christians are called to “pursue peace with everyone” (Hebrews 12:14, NRSV); this mandate is clear and requires courage, perseverance and understanding. We remember that this is but one war affecting our world at the moment and these refugees just one aspect of a worldwide humanitarian crisis that calls on our compassion. We ask you to pray that there may be an end to aggression and that dialogue, justice and peace may be established and rebuilding begin.

The Revd Sonia Hicks, President of the Methodist Conference 2021/2022
Mrs Barbara Easton, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference 2021/2022

What you need to know about Ukraine and the humanitarian situation

The Methodist Church in Eurasia

Our partner, the United Methodist Church, has mission-founded congregations in both Ukraine and Russia, some from the pre-Soviet period and others dating from post-Soviet years. Both countries are geographically within the Eurasia Episcopal Area and relate to the United Methodist central conferences of Europe. Bishop Eduard Khegay, the resident episcopal leader in Eurasia, is based in Moscow.

Displaced Ukrainians

The United Nations is preparing for up to seven million internally displaced persons and as many as five million refugees, which would be the largest war-related mass migration since the Balkan Wars of the 1990s.

Many of these refugees will wish to remain as close as possible to Ukraine or to join with family and friends in states with which they have a connection (particularly Poland and Hungary where there are pre-existing large Ukrainian diaspora).

Nevertheless, we anticipate that many refugees may choose to come to the UK, either due to family or personal ties, because they can speak English (which is a widely spoken second language in Ukraine), or simply because they believe it represents a safe and secure refuge.

There may be differences in the level of support required compared to other recent refugee movements to the UK. For example, while many of those who were forced to flee Afghanistan or Syria have little prospect of ever being able to return to the land of their birth and so are seeking a permanent home in the UK, it is anticipated that many Ukrainians leaving the current conflict will hope to return home once peace is restored.

On the other hand, the vast majority of the refugees who have left Ukraine are women and children, which may pose additional safeguarding concerns.

What support do Ukrainians who were already in the UK require?

According to the Government:

“Preliminary figures from the 2021 Census in England and Wales identify approximately 37,530 people who were born in Ukraine and were ‘usual residents’ in England and Wales in March 2021.”

Other estimates put the number somewhere between 20 and 50,000 Ukrainian nationals who were in the UK before the war started.

Part of the reason for the variance is that many of these Ukrainians are in the UK on temporary visas, particularly on seasonal worker visas in the agricultural sector, and as students.

This will obviously be an incredibly difficult and worrying time for Ukrainians in this country and we encourage churches and individuals to provide pastoral help wherever it is needed. The Government has announced changes to the visa system to help those who are already here and prevent uncertainties about what might happen to them once their visa expires.

If you know or work with Ukrainians in this situation, particularly those on skilled or seasonal worker visas or student visas you can direct them to the latest government guidance here. Most Ukrainians ought to be eligible for a free visa extension until at least 31 December 2022; however, this is subject to meeting terms and conditions attached to the visa. Do encourage people to apply early for visa extensions as becoming an ‘overstayer’ (staying beyond the terms of the visa without permission) can affect their rights and future ability to visit the UK. Please note that many Ukrainians are on visas that have no recourse to public funds, so are vulnerable to changes in their employment or personal situation.

If you are concerned that a Ukrainian is being exploited, or is in danger of being exploited, you may wish to report this to the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or the GLAA on 0800 432 0804. If someone is in immediate danger, call 999.

Immigration routes available to Ukrainian refugees

The UK Government has been clear that, unlike EU states, they will not be waiving visa requirements for Ukrainians. This means that it is presently difficult for Ukrainian refugees to reach the UK except via two designated visa routes designed for them. It is important to note that strictly speaking neither of these schemes are granting refugee status to Ukrainians but instead are providing three years of leave to remain.

The UK Government’s two routes for Ukrainians:

Ukraine Family Scheme

The Ukraine Family Scheme is open for Ukrainians who had been living in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022, and who have family legally settled in the UK.

The family member in the UK must be a British national, legally settled in the UK, an EU national with pre-settled status in the UK, or a refugee or someone with humanitarian leave. It is not available to, for example, family members of Ukrainians here on a seasonal worker or student visa. The full eligibility details can be found here.

This scheme is open to a broader range of family members than usual family visa routes. The definition of family member for this visa has been expanded to include:

It is not available to, for example, family members of those here on a seasonal worker or student visa. The full eligibility details can be found here.

This scheme is currently open and is not capped (ie there is no upper limit to how many can come if they are eligible). The Government claims it could be open to as many as 200,000 but this is highly unlikely. At the time of writing around 10,000 applications have been made and around 4,000 such visas have been granted.

Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme

The UK Government has opened the Homes for Ukraine scheme. It is has two phases. In the short term, Phase One, this will allow individuals and families to commit to sponsoring a specific Ukrainian individual or family in their home for a period of not less than six months. Ukrainians who arrive on this scheme will be given leave to remain for up to three years and will have full access to the labour market, the NHS and to some benefits (not including housing benefit). Volunteers who sign up will have to commit to sponsoring for at least six months and will not be able to charge for rent, but will be able to receive a government thank you payment of £350 a month – only one payment regardless of the number in the group/family. It is a matching process: sponsors or hosts matched with refugees or guests. (This is different from previous UK refugee resettlement programmes that have assigned families to community sponsorship programmes.) We are working with partners and charities on different possible approaches to matching that will be able to identify Ukrainian refugees in need who can be sponsored here.

Can ministers volunteer for the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme?

We have been asked whether ministers can volunteer for this scheme using manses.  Ultimately, the Circuit is responsible for the manse. Ministers are encouraged to speak to the Circuit Managing Trustees so that you can together review the practicalities of the scheme given the particular circumstances of the manse and minister and decide whether sponsorship is something you can pursue.

For guidance on the legal and property issues to be considered as part of the minister and circuit’s discussions, please refer to the Homes for Ukraine Checklist produced by Property Support and TMCP. Clear guidance from the Government on the legal basis on which refugees will stay in people’s homes, and the support that will be available to hosts and their guests, is awaited and the Church’s guidance will be reviewed as more details are released.

As discussed in the Homes for Ukraine Checklist, legal and property considerations include:

Please note that offering to host guests in shared accommodation is legally very different to offering an empty property. If considering the latter, please contact TMCP Legal for guidance. The current focus is on offering shared accommodation pending clarification from the Government.


Insurers have agreed that for homeowners accommodating Ukrainian Nationals in their home there is no need to contact your insurer on the basis that they are accommodated as non-paying guests. Please refer to the Association of British Insurers’ statement for more details. In other situations, including where the sponsor is a landlord or a tenant, you will need to contact your insurer. Enquiries are being made in relation to the insurance of manses and the guidance will be updated in due course.

Hosts are required to be vetted and be registered with the local authority. Adults in houses where Ukrainians are being sponsored will require DBS checks, and enhanced DBS checks if there are children being sponsored. This will be the responsibility of local authorities. Your local authority will also perform checks on the accommodation to ensure it is safe and suitable. People arriving through the scheme will have been security checked in order to get their visa. If you are interested in these schemes we do encourage you to consider from the outset the best way to engage safely with your sponsored guests. We have summarised some safeguarding considerations and resources below.

In Phase 2, the scheme will be expanded to larger groups and to sponsorship provided by companies, community groups and churches. If you are interested in your church, circuit, district or community group getting involved in this scheme, please keep an eye on our website for updates.

Please be aware that different jurisdictions operate differently.

If your home or a residential church property is insured with Methodist Insurance, you do not have to inform them if you wish to house refugees who have been displaced due to the conflict in Ukraine and your cover will remain the same. Please read the updated guidance on their website in full. 
If you wish to use a non-residential building, such as a Church, please contact Methodist Insurance directly. Details are in the link above.

Methodist Insurance have now added details of cover for temporary accommodation for refugees that has been extended to all refugees (April 2022) not just those from Ukraine.

This section will be updated as more details emerge.

Safeguarding considerations

All refugees arriving from the Ukraine will be suffering a degree of trauma and may be very vulnerable. It is likely there will be a high number of women and children, and some of those children may be unaccompanied. These people will be at a very high risk of exploitation, and it is incumbent on all of us to ensure their safety. Even though there may be a lot happening quite quickly, do not be tempted to skip processes at this time: safeguarding policy must always be complied with. Good safeguarding practice is the foundation on which we can provide the safe environment that is needed and expected.

You can find guidance and advice in our policies and procedures on the safeguarding pages of the Methodist Church website.

Methodist churches should be safe spaces achieved by consistent application of our safeguarding policies and procedures. While we may be motivated by a desire to respond promptly, adherence to safeguarding guidance is vital to maintain the wellbeing of all concerned.

The Government has launched their own FAQ on this scheme which provides some useful details if you have further questions.

Get Involved: How you can help

Immediate practical help

At present, the single most productive thing you can donate is money. There are charities that are already on the ground in Ukraine and the bordering states.

The Methodist Church and All We Can have an appeal running that you can donate to in a safe and secure way. Donations will support the response to the crisis and ensure critical humanitarian assistance to those who need it: Ukraine - All We Can

If you, or someone you know, can speak Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian, Polish, German, Czech, Romanian or Moldovan then those language skills could be very useful in translation work. That includes through Translators Without Borders, who are supporting many refugees in translating and understanding forms and procedures.

Refugee sponsorship and longer term help and support

There are many ways you and your church can work to support Ukrainian refugees once they arrive in the UK.

Potential sponsors should be fully aware of what they are being asked to do, and whether this is something that they are able to commit to. You will need to consider the impact that offering a room in your home could have on your life and what it may take to support an individual or family. We recommend that any potential host researches the support that people fleeing conflict may need and what is available in their area; or build connections locally to offer support prior to sponsoring.

Potential hosts, including every adult in the house, will be required to have a DBS check (or enhanced DBS check where they are sponsoring children). Local Authorities will also perform checks on your property to assess any safeguarding concerns and the suitability of accommodation. People arriving through the scheme will have been security checked in order to get their visa. If you are interested in these schemes we do encourage you to consider from the outset the best way to engage safely with this scheme. We have summarised some safeguarding considerations and resources here.

Accommodation must be safe and heated and beneficiaries will need access to bathrooms and kitchens.

There is lots of support which you can provide that stops short of full sponsorship. For example, you can sign up via the Welcome Churches network to their Ukraine Welcome scheme. This helps to:

Another way for churches to support refugees is a Local Welcome meal. Local Welcome makes it fun, easy and safe for churches to cook and eat with refugees on Sundays, in local schools. Local Welcome provides the cooking equipment, the food and the recipes. It’s a great opportunity for refugees to practice English, and an easy way for congregations to offer practical support and friendship.

Supporting refugee and asylum seeking children

Young Minds have produced a set of resources for foster carers, social workers, school staff and any other professionals who are supporting asylum seeking and refugee children across England.

See www.youngminds.org.uk/professional/resources/supporting-refugee-and-asylum-seeking-children/

Media interest in your story

For good reason the media are interested in covering the stories of families coming from Ukraine to the UK. Social media is a primary source for journalists. Churches or individuals should be aware of this and ensure that they do not inadvertently share personal details of host families or guests without their full consent. The trauma that guests will have gone through in recent weeks is likely to be significant, and so protecting their privacy is one way of supporting them in the early weeks.

It might be helpful to find one or two people from your church community who would be prepared to answer questions from the media and explain in general terms what you are doing to offer hospitality. These people can then help tell the story of the why, what and how you are responding without putting any individuals at risk.  

The media team at Methodist Church House in London is happy to take media enquiries and manage the process with you if you are contacted by a media outlet – please get in touch with us on this email address: mediaoffice@methodistchurch.org.uk

Documenting this historic time may, however, be something that churches and individuals wish to do to share with future generations, use as a learning tool and as inspiration for others. You might like to record short video clips of volunteers, church community action and preparations or ask key people to keep an audio diary. In time, once guests have settled in, they may wish to contribute to this project but we advise only once they are ready and it is completely safe to do so. If you are doing this we advise that you follow our advice above about sharing on social media and consider that this might be best done in a few months’ time once life has settled down for guests and hosts alike.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Media Team using the email above.


There are many things we can do ourselves by getting alongside and supporting refugees or providing donations. We know, however, that the challenges and injustices faced by refugees are bigger than what we can always confront locally. Some issues are innately international or linked to broader political and structural challenges. Seeking justice for refugees can also involve using our voice to convince politicians of the need for policies and actions that reflect a commitment to compassion and human dignity. Advocacy is taking up the call to “Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute.” (Proverbs 31:8, NRSV).

The Methodist Church has a long history of living out our calling to justice and peace, by speaking up in the public square, and engaging in the political process. We would always encourage every Christian concerned about refugee policy to seek ways of becoming involved.

We cannot entirely separate discussions of supporting Ukrainian refugees from the wider context of the UK’s policies on asylum and refugees. The war in Ukraine represents a particular crisis, but there are many other vulnerable refugees in the world that we would hope to see the UK playing its part in assisting. Even as we are faced with the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine we must remember that many of the Afghan refugees evacuated last year are still in hotels awaiting permanent accommodation solutions.

We believe that the purpose of the asylum system must primarily lie in providing a compassionate response that operates in the best interests of the vulnerable. The UK has prided itself as a welcoming refuge from tyranny and oppression, and was historically instrumental in informing and drafting international refugee conventions.

We believe that a just and fair migration system must always be mindful of human dignity, and look in all cases to recognise the essential humanity of people seeking refuge in our country. Christian teaching reminds us of our obligations to one another, and a need to see in every individual not a case or statistic, but a child loved in the eyes of God and owed dignity and respect.

We are, therefore, concerned by the direction of travel in government policy on refugees and asylum. Proposals in the Nationality and Borders Bill currently before Parliament would enshrine in legislation the existing two-tier system that divides the relatively small number of people who arrive in designated refugee resettlement programmes from those who arrive by irregular means, travelling across Europe to reach the UK and claim asylum. The latter, even for legitimate refugees, will be deemed inadmissible and the government will attempt to remove them to safe third countries (which may not even be a country to which they have a connection). If it proves impossible to remove them within six months, access to asylum will be provided, but only as a temporary status, up to 30 months, with reduced rights and benefits, regularly reviewed, and the threat of removal.

This is based on the assumption that legitimate refugees can and should stop in the first safe country they can reach. The Ukraine crisis gives a very clear example of why that approach might not be appropriate or sensible.

The UNHCR has said that these proposals “would damage lives, be hard to implement and undermine international cooperation on refugee issues”. The Methodist Church via the Joint Public Issues Team of churches working for peace and justice has expressed serious misgivings about the government’s proposals, and we would urge Christians with concerns to continue to advocate, write to their MPs and work to counter these proposals.

More immediately, while we of course welcome the government’s opening of new routes for refugees from Ukraine we do need to continue to press for support for those who are arriving. For example, many if not all of those coming here will have experienced serious trauma and will require specialist support, not all of which can necessarily be provided by willing volunteers. There will need to be help developed for seeking employment and support – particularly for single adult households with children.

Prayer and theological resources

The first thing we can do is pray. On the morning of the invasion of Ukraine, the Methodist President and Vice-President issued a call for the Methodist people to pray for the people of Ukraine and Russia and for dialogue, justice and peace.


The Lord's Prayer in Ukrainian

Below are prayers in English. However, especially if you have Ukrainian speakers in your congregation, you may wish to consider using the Lord's Prayer in Ukrainian. It is available here both as text and in a YouTube video.

Loving God, your Son Jesus Christ, wept over Jerusalem.
Today, we weep over Ukraine.
We weep for those uprooted from their homes and lives.
We weep for those cowering in basements.
We weep for those who have witnessed death and destruction on their streets.
We weep for those separated from parents, from children, from spouses and siblings.
We are amazed at the resilience of people seeking to comfort those in need and so we pray for Governments opening up borders so that Ukrainians can have safe passage.
We pray for churches and individuals providing food, clothing and shelter.
We pray for medical workers ensuring that shattered bodies are put back together again.
We pray for ordinary Russians demonstrating and voicing their disapproval of the military actions in Ukraine.
May the Holy Spirit give us the willpower to turn our tears into action also.
May we, through our words, prayers and example pursue the things that make for a just peace in the world today and especially in Ukraine.

In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray.


Listen to an audio version of this prayer


Download this prayer as an mp3 file


Download this prayer as a graphic image to share on social media or elsewhere  

Holy and Gracious God

We pray for the people of Ukraine and the people of Russia; for their countries and their leaders.
We pray for all those who are afraid; that your everlasting arms hold them in this time of great fear.
We pray for all those who have the power over life and death; that they will choose for all people life, and life in all its fullness.
We pray for those who choose war; that they will remember that you direct your people to turn our swords into ploughshares and seek for peace.
We pray for leaders on the world stage; that they are inspired by the wisdom and courage of Christ.
Above all, Lord, today we pray for peace for Ukraine.

And we ask this in the name of your blessed Son.

Lord have mercy.


Listen to an audio version of this prayer


Download this prayer as an mp3 audio file


Download this prayer as a graphic image to share on social media or elsewhere  

A Children's Prayer for Ukraine

Loving God, we pray for peace in Ukraine.
Help keep people safe and protect them from being hurt.
Please care for children separated from their families,
Please help people who have had to leave their homes.
We pray for love and peace, everywhere.
In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace,


Pray for Ukraine with the Methodist Peace Fellowship  and the Fellowship of Reconciliation

You can join in prayers for Ukraine with the Methodist Peace Fellowship  and the Fellowship of Reconciliation on Zoom on Friday evenings at 7.30 pm – Register free at for.org.uk/ukraine

Hymn Suggestions in a time of war

Beauty for brokenness (StF 693)

Community of Christ (StF 681) 

God! As with silent hearts we bring to mind (StF 698) 

God grant us words to speak (StF 647)

God weeps at love withheld (StF 700)

God! When human bonds are broken (StF 649)

Longing for light, we wait in darkness (StF 706)

O God of hope, your prophets spoke (StF 708) 

To the dark place bring a candle website only

We pray for peace (StF 719) 

We shall make peace, obedient to God's Spirit website only

When the bonds of love are breaking (StF 656) 

Also consider Andrew Pratt's hymn We hear the news in anguish, written in response to the Ukraine conflict and already well-received on the Singing the Faith Facebook page. Complete text and full information available here, complete with a lovely video recording of the hymn by Methodist musician Gareth Moore. 

Peacemaking resources


Jesus calls us to be peacemakers, both in terms of preventing bloodshed, and building constructive links with God, ourselves, and other people.

In 2006 the Methodist and United Reformed Churches produced a report titled Peacemaking: A Christian Vocation. The report explores a Christian perspective on peace and conflict in the context of new challenges.

Read Peacemaking: A Christian Vocation here

Listen to our audio reflections and podcasts on Ukraine 

A reflection on Ukraine by Barbara Easton, Vice-President of the Conference


Download this reflection as an mp3 audio file

The Methodist Podcast special episode on Ukraine We talk to two Methodists in Ukraine who are fleeing from the invasion to find safety, we hear how peace can stand up to aggression and learn how to talk to children about worrying news events.

A short podcast in which Steve Hucklesby and David Hardman from the Joint Public Issues Team discuss the issues behind the invasion of Ukraine.  We hope this will particularly help those who will be wanting to address the situation in services on coming Sundays. 

Listen and watch more audio and video here

Other prayers and theological resources that may be of use


Our partner, the United Methodist Church, has mission-founded congregations in both Ukraine and Russia, some from the pre-Soviet period and others dating from post-Soviet years. Both countries are geographically within the Eurasia Episcopal Area and relate to the United Methodist central conferences of Europe. Bishop Eduard Khegay, the resident episcopal leader in Eurasia, is based in Moscow.

Statement from the President and Vice-President of the Conference 25 February

Statement from the Revd Inderjit Bhogal, President of City of Sanctuary and former President of the Methodist Conference 8 March

Statement on behalf of the Methodist Peace Fellowship from the Revd Barbara Glasson, former President of the Methodist Conference  9 March

Statement from the President and Vice-President of the Conference welcoming the Homes for Ukraine scheme and raising concerns about the Government’s response to refugees from other parts of the world  21 March