"I was a stranger and you gave me shelter"

25.02.20


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Over the years the AUGB has collaborated with the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation on various projects. More recently we began a project aimed at commemorating those Ukrainians who served in the Canadian and Polish Armed Forces during WWII (under the flag of the then British Empire). After the war they went on to form the Ukrainian Relief Bureau and the Association of Ukrainians based at Sussex Gardens, London, and were instrumental in providing help and support to the thousands of displaced Ukrainians scattered across Europe.

 

We initially considered the possibility of erecting a statue opposite St James’s Church in Sussex Gardens. From 1943 until after the war, the church had welcomed members of the Ukrainian Canadian Servicemen’s Association (USCA) with open arms in Christ’s name and it also helped to facilitate the use of its neighbouring property at 218 Sussex Gardens for use as the UCSA Club, which was later joined by Ukrainians serving in other (notably Polish and American) armed forces.

 

In February 2019, following initial discussions with representatives of St James’s Church, we jointly agreed and commissioned the production and installation of a stained-glass window in St. James’s church.

 

Work on the window commenced last autumn and, all being well, an ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving and the official unveiling and blessing ceremony will take place on Friday 8 May 2020 at 3.30 p.m.*  The date is significant because it will be the 75th anniversary of VE Day, which will be a bank holiday.

 

A special commemorative booklet and postcard will be published to mark the occasion followed by a small reception after the blessing.

 

If you would like to support this commemoration, a special fundraising area has been set up for online donations towards covering the costs of the project. Your backing, no matter how small, will be very gratefully appreciated.

 

* NOTE: Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the date of unveiling and blessing of the new window may be postponed to a later date this year.  Details of any changes will be published in due course.

 

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