THE Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron, has written a pastoral letter addressing the invasion of Ukraine, asking: "How far do we sit back and watch the destruction of a sovereign-free and democratic country?"

The letter, which is distributed widely across the Diocese of St Asaph to both clergy and congregations, is available to read in both Welsh and English.

It begins with a Bible reference to the second coming of Jesus and reminds readers that people down through the centuries have interpreted events, wars and disease as signs of the end of the world.

Bishop Gregory wrote: "Jesus warns us that there will be wars, and the rumour of wars, and much to cause distress and worry.

“Of course, ever since, members of the Church have seen themselves throughout history as living in the last times.

“The first millennium, the crusades, the invasion of the Mongols, the Black Death, the First World War and the Second have all been hailed by one prophet or another as a sign that the Second Coming is just around the corner."

Bishop Gregory, who wrote a prayer for use in churches on the day of the Russian invasion, asked: “How far do we sit back and watch the destruction of a sovereign free and democratic country, or respond to an ever deepening crisis with ever stronger sanctions until the line between expressing disapproval and actually entering upon military action is so confused that (Vladimir) Putin decides that he is at war with NATO?”

He encourages everyone to ensure that they "are well-briefed and knowledgeable, so that when we can or have to add to public comment and debate, we do so sensibly and in an informed way”.

He added: “We can offer practical support to Ukraine, by financial or charitable donations and activity.

“We can urge resolve upon our politicians and leaders that our nations support action to defend our values and to enable the defence of Ukraine.

“We can find ways to shelter the needy and those dispossessed by war, especially if refugees make their way as far as North Wales."

He goes on to remind people of the importance of prayer at this time, adding: "The Bible teaches us to join in with the work of the Spirit by expressing our needs in prayer."

Bishop Gregory has been the Bishop of St Asaph since 2009 and looks after churches, congregations, schools and communities across North-east and Mid-Wales.

The diocese stretches from Llandudno in the North-west of Wales, across to the English border and down to Newtown in Mid-Wales.

You can read Bishop Gregory's letter in full in English and in Welsh.


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