Keir Starmer visits Ukrainian church in Acton

Image above: Labour Leader Keir Starmer visits Ukrainian church in Acton with Rupa Huq MP; Ealing Council Leader Cllr Peter Mason (L); Angela Rayner MP (R); photograph Labour Party

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner joined Rupa Huq MP and Leader of Ealing Council Peter Mason at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Acton to express their solidarity with Ukrainians, as Russia continued to bomb their country.

The senior Labour politicians attended a service at the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church on Newton Avenue in Acton and met parishioners and clergy to listen to the concerns of the Ukrainian community.

A high-ranking delegation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the UK was present, including Protopresbyter Bohdan Matwijczuk and The Right Reverend Kenneth Nowakowski. The Catholic Ukrainian Church was also represented.

Proceedings began with a service conducted in Ukrainian after which Ealing resident Yuri Bender, a journalist and member of the parish committee made remarks in English. The church on Newton Avenue in Acton was established as a Baptist Church but was reconsecrated as an Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 1978. Yuri Bender has been a member of the congregation and its predecessor ever since.

Yuri said of the ceremony:

“This was the perfect opportunity for members of the Ukrainian community to speak to Westminster politicians and to share their views and concerns after the brutal Russian invasion of our country.

“All of us have family members who are directly affected by the onslaught and want to work with UK leaders to help the Ukrainian people in their desire to be part of the European family of nations.”

Rupa Huq, Member of Parliament for Ealing Central and Acton, added:

“It was a thoroughly moving experience to be at the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and stress how at every level Labour stands shoulder to shoulder with the valiant Ukrainian people.

“I know the Church here is doing vitally important work to raise funds for the humanitarian effort in Ukraine, and I urge people to chip in if they’re able to do so.

“I am appalled by Putin’s outrageous and illegal war and I will be doing all I can alongside the Council and the local Ukrainian community in the coming days and weeks to ensure refugees arriving in the Borough are properly supported. Slava Ukraini!”

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See also: Huge response from Chiswick for donations for Ukrainian refugees

See also: Steve Curran stands down as Leader of Hounslow Council

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