Ukrainian guest finds unique way to thank church community

2nd December 2022

Katia Lebid and her six-year-old daughter fled the war in Ukraine earlier this year and sought refuge and safety in the UK. Since leaving their home they have been hosted in Somerset by Graham and Jean Taylor who are members of St Michael's Church, Somerton and have regularly attended church with them.

There are a number of Ukrainian families who have settled in the Somerton area and the community has gathered together to support them; English lessons have been established and coffee and cake sessions have been organised so that Ukrainian families and their hosts can get together on a regular basis. It's meant people have been able to make friends and feel more settled in their new homes.

Graham and Jean say Katia has told them she has valued the support, friendship and care she has received from people within both the worshipping and wider community and wanted to do something to thank them for their kindness.  She is a gifted artist and has always enjoyed producing icons so she set about creating one of St Michael as a way to say thank you to all those who have helped her and her young daughter. It is a particularly poignant image as St Michael is also the patron saint of Kyiv.

Retired Assisting Priest, Rev Canon Brian Pearson said, “Spiritually it is a gift she wanted to share. There is something so very precious aqbout this gift. The Ukrainian guests have materially so little to offer, many of them have fled for their lives, carrying whatever they could, so this is their way of saying, 'we have something to offer and we want to offer it as a thanksgiving'. Its and also a way of building very valuable relationships, as Katia has done in Worle."

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