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UK News

Archbishop of Canterbury pays tribute to aid workers killed rescuing elderly woman in Ukraine

by Sophie Drew

The Archbishop of Canterbury has paid tribute to aid workers killed in Ukraine.

British and New Zealand aid workers Christopher Parry and Andrew Bagshaw were killed as they tried to rescue an elderly woman from an area of intense military action.

Their car was hit by an artillery shell. 

Truro-raised Chris Parry had been raising money via a GoFundMe page in order to support his aid work. He had amassed more than £23,000 at the time of his death. 

The 28-year old had been detailing his experiences online in order to raise funds. He used the vehicle to buy a 7-seater Toyota that allowed him to rescue trapped families and transport them to safety.  

In collaboration with the the Primates of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Archbishop Justin said he had “deep respect for their sacrifice.” 

The 24th February 2022 saw Russian tanks roll across the border after weeks of threats. Within days, aid workers landed on Ukrainian soil to help provide relief to those that had already sustained serious injuries from missile attacks, or helping refugees now fleeing their homes. 

The tribute from the Church of England clergy said there was “no moral justification for Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine” and applauded Christopher and Andrew for not “standing by” in the “face of such immoral aggression”. 

The group “demand Russia's immediate withdrawal and ceasefire,” and called on all nations to contribute to “the subsequent healing and rebuilding of the sovereign nation of Ukraine.” 

The statement is signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Philip Richardson; Bishop of Waikato and Taranaki, Most Revd Don Tamihere and Revd Sione Ulu’ilakepa, Bishop-elect of Polynesia.

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