Hosts Needed!

Dear Church,

Housing Justice Cymru is appealing to anyone with a spare room to come forward and volunteer to host refugees from all over the world seeking sanctuary in Wales during these troubling times.

As a Nation of Sanctuary, refugees are being invited to come to Wales for safety but there is a shortage of accommodation for them. Welsh Government has already committed to providing housing for all those experiencing homelessness in Wales, consequently there is now very little capacity to accommodate refugees.

We are writing to ask for your help in promoting our appeal among your Church and local community. If you would like posters to put up within your community or flyers to distribute – please do let us know on this email address and we can post some to you. To find out more about Housing Justice Cymru’s hosting programme and how you can help, please click here or email

Thank you.

Bonnie Williams, Director of Housing Justice Cymru


Stella Maris

On the one-year anniversary of the Ever Given ship getting stuck in the Suez Canal, Catholic charity Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea) is hosting a webinar about modernisation in the shipping industry. It will look at the history of the container ship, the rise of the ultra-large container vessels, and explore what impact modernisation of the shipping industry has had on seafarers around the world. Please register now at to join online on 23 March at 7.30pm to hear how shipping has changed in the last century, the impact this is having on seafarers today, and the important role Stella Maris has in supporting them.



 Mary, Our Lady of Kiev, Mother of God,

 We ask you to intercede for the people of Ukraine,

For their government, and all who suffer as a result of war.

 Be with them as you stood beside your Son,

Suffering on the Cross at Calvary.

 Give them strength and courage

 Through faith, hope and justice.

May we, in our turn,

Support them through prayer and generosity

That human lives may be saved,

 That the injured may be healed,

That the dead may rest in peace,

That there will be peace after war. Amen.


THE MOST FAMOUS ICON in the world is probably the Virgin of Kyiv, which was made by a Byzantine artist about the year 1132 for Prince Mstislav(1125-1132) of Kyiv. Mstislav, the son of King Volodymyr Monomakh (1113-1125), of Kyiv Rus, decided to build a church in Vyshorod, near Kyiv, for which the foundation stone was laid in 1132. He commissioned an icon of the Virgin and Child from Byzantium. The icon’s beauty and importance were fully realized by the Kyivans as two historical chronicles, the Laurentian and Hypatian, noted.

Our Lady of Kyiv, which arrived in Ukraine about 1134, is a masterpiece comparable for its beauty and psychological depths to the Mona Lisa. This religious painting, by a Greek, probably reflected the taste of the Kyiv royal family and is the first great work in the Kyivan or Ukrainian school of icons.

Ukrainians usually call the icon the Virgin of Vyshorod, while the Russians call it the Virgin of Vladimir. The reason is that Prince Andrew Bogolubsky removed the treasured icon in 1155 or 1164 to his northern city of Vladimir before he destroyed Kyiv. Some Ukrainian historians consider this the first attack of the nascent Russian nation (Suzdalia) on Ukraine.

This icon displays an animated face, and the great tenderness of the Virgin for her child, which was very unusual for the strict code of icon painting in its day. The Virgin’s head, touching the baby, is a gesture of such deep affection that, iconographically, it is described by the word “tenderness”. It has a profoundly Slavic spirit and set the standard for Ukrainian icon painters, which has never been surpassed. The Virgin is an individual as well as a symbol of motherhood.

Fate has preserved the icon through centuries of war, although the faces and some background are all that survived 800 years. In 1395 it was taken from Vladimir to Moscow and is now in the Tretyakov Gallery there. The original icon measures 78.1 x 54.6 cm.

The Virgin of Kyiv is an important work of world art and a treasure of the Ukrainian cultural heritage.