Peter Wright, Cynthia, Alder and I were delighted to be invited to attend the celebration of the 35th anniversary of the founding of the Ukrainian church in Wolverhampton.
There was a most moving service – conducted mostly in Ukrainian by the Archpriest Very Rev Mykola Matwijiwskyj with frequent passages in English. Our good friend ‘Greg’ – whose full name is Hryhorij Kowalczuk – had assembled a choir of around 30 voices and their singing was superb. The 3 priests officiating were ably assisted by another good friend of Rotary. We know him as ‘Michael’ but we should acknowledge him again by his Ukrainian name – Mykhailo Fedyk.
At one point in the service, our attention was drawn to 2 icons – metal military protection body armour which had been made by Collins Aerospace of Coventry and worn by 2 soldiers of the Ukrainian army. Bullet holes were clearly visible and we were told that they had saved the servicemen’s lives with the result that the plates have been decorated with religious symbols as an act of thanksgiving. (shown in the attached photgraph.)
After the service everybody went across the road to ‘Razom’ – the Wolverhampton Association of Ukrainians’social club to be treated to an excellent meal of typically Ukrainian food and colorful entertainment. There was an amusing and interesting speech by the Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Doctor Michael Hardcacre, in which he praised the part played in our community by the many Ukrainians in the city.
It was gratifying to hear from Greg in his speech how much the support from all the local Rotary clubs which has been given to the many Ukrainian refugees who have arrived is appreciated.
Photographs by firstname.lastname@example.org