The Archbishop of Canterbury has made the following statement with the Primates of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia following the recent deaths of British and New Zealand aid workers Christopher Parry and Andrew Bagshaw in Ukraine.
Recently two aid workers, Christopher Parry from the United Kingdom and Andrew Bagshaw from New Zealand, lost their lives seeking to bring to safety a victim of the war in Ukraine.
There is no moral justification for Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine.
Christopher and Andrew believed that in the face of such immoral aggression, with such high cost to innocent lives, they could not stand by, they had to act. They gave their lives trying to save the lives of others. They took aid to the most vulnerable in the most dangerous situations. We make the following statement in their memory and out of deep respect for their sacrifice.
We are united in our shared beliefs in:
(i) The love of Almighty God, and of all our fellow humans,
(ii) our rejection of hatred as manifest in immoral and unjust aggression and warfare.
On the basis of our united beliefs, we deplore the war in Ukraine and call on all nations of the world to:
(i) demand Russia's immediate withdrawal and ceasefire;
(ii) contribute to the subsequent healing and rebuilding of the sovereign nation of Ukraine.
We stand in prayerful solidarity with the people and churches of Ukraine, and with all those caught up in this terrible war. We pray for those who mourn, those who suffer, and those who fear for their future. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ for His justice and peace.
The Most Revd Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
The Most Revd Philip Richardson, Bishop of Waikato and Taranaki; Senior Bishop of New Zealand Dioceses; and Primate and Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
The Most Revd Don Tamihere, Pihopa o Tairawhiti and Pihopa o Aotearora and Primate and Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
The Revd Sione Ulu’ilakepa, Bishop-elect of Polynesia and Primate-elect of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia