Vigil held in Bury St Edmunds to show solidarity with Ukraine

Bury vigil for the people of Ukraine PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

People gathered on Bury's Angel Hill on Saturday night - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Around 200 people gathered on Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday night to show solidarity for the people of Ukraine. 

Many wore blue and yellow Ukrainian flags while others lit candles to show their support for the country following the Russian invasion on February 24. 

Pastor Matthew Jolley, from Bury St Edmunds Presbyterian Church, and The Very Reverend Joe Hawes, Dean of St Edmundsbury, gave speeches to the crowd during the vigil. 

Ukrainian Valerie Bedya (far left), who lives in Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds, with family 

Ukrainian Valerie Bedya (far left), who lives in Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds, with family - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Ukrainian-born Valerie Bedya, who attended the vigil, was in the country visiting relatives just before the conflict began. 

Mrs Bedya, who lives in Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds, said she flew back to the UK on the morning of February 24. 

"I was lucky because we are on the border with Hungary, around 20 miles from my town," she said. 

"I just think because people didn't understand what was happening there were no queues on the border. So within three hours we could cross the border."

Bury vigil for the people of Ukraine PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

A couple at the vigil - Credit: Charlotte Bond

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Mrs Bedya said her father currently remains in Ukraine. 

"It's horrible and very worrying," she said. "They are just trying to help people from the eastern part of Ukraine to accommodate them and help them. 

"I would never, ever, imagine that this would happen. That guy [Putin] is unpredictable and I don't know what's in his head. 

"30 million people or more have had their lives turned upside down, and the kids are not going to school, they are hiding.

"It's so wrong what's going on in Ukraine, it should just never happen in the 21st century." 

Bury vigil for the people of Ukraine PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

A crowd of around 200 attended the vigil - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Bury vigil for the people of Ukraine PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Bury vigil for the people of Ukraine PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte Bond

During his address, the Very Revd Joe Hawes said: "Those who flee, and those who cower in bomb shelters, really are our brothers and sisters. 

"Different from us in nationality, couldn't understand each other in our languages, but they are our brothers and sisters, and that is why we are here tonight."

Following a two-minute silence, the vigil ended with the playing of the Ukrainian national anthem. 

Bury vigil for the people of Ukraine PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Many people waved Ukrainian flags to show their support for the country - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Organiser James Sheen, from the We Love Bury St Edmunds group, said: "I'm very pleased, I didn't have any expectations. It was just an idea I had a couple of weeks ago and thought, 'we've really got to do something'. 

"I chatted to some friends and they rallied around and we got it together." 

Bury vigil for the people of Ukraine PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

- Credit: Charlotte Bond

Bury vigil for the people of Ukraine PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Bury vigil for the people of Ukraine PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte Bond

To donate money towards the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal run by the Disasters Emergency Committee visit the website.

The colours of the Ukrainian flag at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds

The colours of the Ukrainian flag at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: West Suffolk Council

Meanwhile, the front of the building and the box office of the town's Apex theatre will continue to be lit up in support of Ukrainian residents. 

West Suffolk Council said it stands ready with all authorities across Suffolk to support any refugees that come to the UK and our county.

bury vigil for the people of Ukraine PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Organiser James Sheen, from We Love Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Charlotte Bond


Bury vigil for the people of Ukraine PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

People lit candles at the vigil on Angel Hill on Saturday night - Credit: Charlotte Bond


Bury vigil for the people of Ukraine PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Around 200 people gathered on the Angel Hill - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A vigil was held earlier this week in Ipswich which saw hundreds gather on the Cornhill.

Information on how people can provide support to Afghan and Ukrainian refugees can be found here