Suffolk shows solidarity with Ukraine at services

Felixstowe Town Mayor Mark Jepson with Rev Andrew Dotchin at the Felixstowe service  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Felixstowe Town Mayor Mark Jepson with Rev Andrew Dotchin at the Felixstowe service Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Further events have taken place across Suffolk as residents continue to show solidarity with Ukrainians who have lost everything following the Russian invasion. 

Communities have come together for acts of remembrance as vans prepared to head off to the continent to deliver tonnes of supplies donated by well-wishers across the county. 

In Felixstowe, 100 people gathered at the town’s war memorial for a service led by Rev Canon Andrew Dotchin, vicar of Felixstowe St John. 

The service at Felixstowe War Memorial Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The service at Felixstowe War Memorial Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Visitors lit candles which were laid in front of the seafront memorial and then taken home by the attendees following the service at 10am on Friday. 

Rev Dotchin read a message from the Vicar of Moscow, in which he spoke about how there was always light on the other side of the darkness. 

He also read prayers, including the Prayer of St Francis, at the ceremony, which was attended by councillors and people from a variety of backgrounds, including Ukrainians, Poles and Russians. 

“It was a very poignant occasion and some of those attending had been involved in previous conflicts themselves. It was good to see many town councillors there supporting it. 

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“It was very inclusive, there were a few tears, but a lot of determination as well,” Rev Dotchin said. 

Rev Canon Andrew Dotchin leads the service with Felixstowe Town Mayor Mark Jepson Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Rev Canon Andrew Dotchin leads the service with Felixstowe Town Mayor Mark Jepson Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

St Edmundsbury Cathedral will also be holding ‘An Evening of Solidarity’ on March 9, offering music, prayers and poetry for peace in Ukraine. 

Two Suffolk men - Oliver Horsman and his friend Darius Linkus - were due to drive 1,700 miles from Felixstowe to Ukraine on Friday with many of the donated items. 

Collection points across the county had been "overwhelmed" with donors providing clothes, children’s toys and medicines at centres, including Manning's Amusement Park in Felixstowe and Lewis Hairdressers and Hope Church in Ipswich. 

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Ipswich MP Tom Hunt met Ukrainian constituents - Credit: House of Commons

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has also met with four Ukrainian constituents to express his support for the eastern European country. 

He said: “I wanted to meet them personally to express my solidarity with the Ukrainian people. During our meeting, they told me how grateful they are for the warmth they have received from across the town and how heart-warming they have found the response from Ipswich people.”