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All Saints Family

All Saints Preston: A Ukrainian/UK Church Partnership

6 min

‘In Spring 2022, we, like so many others watched and read the news of the war beginning in Ukraine with a sense of fear of what could be ahead, heartache at the atrocities and helplessness as to what we could do that would make a difference. With Christians around the world, we prayed for the people of Ukraine. The Lord heard those prayers, and answered them in a way we never expected. What launched in early March was the All Saints Preston and Kharkiv City Church Partnership.

- Ella Biden, Treasurer, All Saints Preston


All Saints Preston and Kharkiv City Church Partnership

You may remember us sharing some of the impact stories arising from the incredible generosity that we saw in response to our Ukraine Rapid Response appeal earlier this year. One example was the work of All Saints Church in Preston, who in May 2022 had welcomed 38 brothers and sisters fleeing Kharkiv. Most of these families were from, or connected to, Kharkiv City Church. They had fled the war by car with only their bags and the clothes on their backs, depending wholly on the Lord to provide for their daily needs.

The Lord answered their prayers by connecting them with the church family of All Saints Preston who committed to providing housing and practical care for them. With the funding the church received from our Ukraine Response Fund, they bought beds, fridges, school uniforms, internet routers and many waterproof coats, all the essentials for life in Lancashire in the 21st century.

Anastasia’s Story - leaving 'home' and Kharkiv

“Millions of Ukrainian families were forced to leave their homes on the 24th of February [2022], our family being one of them. We left behind our whole life: our church, our friends, our city, our hobbies, schools, our favourite belongings that turned our apartments and houses into warm and cozy places we could call "home". 

When I first heard explosions in the distance and the windows of our house trembled, I grabbed one change of clothes for each of us, yoghurts and my daughter's school bag. I have no idea why, it was just there on the porch, so I did. It was all we had. We hopped in the car just before 6 am. I received a couple dozen texts from all over the world asking what was happening in Kharkiv and what we were thinking of doing next? I answered briefly. I mostly texted back something like "on the road, trying to drive as far as possible today", "Where are you going to stay overnight?", "I don't know, I guess we'll just stay with some family from church in whatever city we manage to get to". They were confused and didn't understand how that would work out. That's because it's so strange for someone who doesn't know how the church works to imagine that we have family everywhere we go. Even if we have never been there before.

We drove thousands of kilometers West without the slightest idea of a final destination, we had put our kids in the back seats in their pjs and they wore those pajamas for weeks to come, with only 3 or 4 hastily packed plastic bags full of what we thought were essentials. 

New beginnings

God used so many wonderful people to provide for us and safely guided us all the way from Kharkiv to Preston.

Our family has lived in eight different places (three different countries) since February, and we had a new baby a month after the war had started. On the 1st of June we finally came to England where we knew we'd long been waited for. Even though we'd never met brothers and sisters of All Saints Church before, it felt like we were coming somewhere familiar. Now we once again have a place to call ‘home’.

Today, we have everything. We lack nothing. When we first walked into our new house in Preston, we felt strange. It seemed as if we had been there before and just left it to go on holiday. On the first morning, when I woke up in the place I could proudly call ‘my house’ I looked through the cabinets and cupboards and I couldn't help the tears. Every single detail looked as if it was chosen and prepared with love, as if someone had chosen all of these things for themselves and their own kids, not some strangers from a foreign land. It felt incredible. Our pictures were on the walls, my favourite-sized casserole dishes in the kitchen and books already lined the shelves. There were snuggly blankets, fluffy rugs and even vanilla-scented candles! After three months of playing mostly with sticks, rocks and whatever they cut out of paper, our children found themselves in a room full of their favourite toys. Tiny clothes were waiting for our baby boy in the wardrobe picked out just for him. A set of cotton bibs and a highchair, just like the one he would have inherited from his sisters back in Ukraine. It felt like our home.

We are all settled. We have no idea what the future will bring, but we know we live here now and we love it. We know that we are not just crashing on someone's couch anymore, not bringing a toothbrush to the bathroom in a pocket and not keeping stuff in plastic bags, but we really continue to live. We invite friends over, share meals, take care of things, go back to normal. We are also very blessed to know that someone has 'got our back'. We are so thankful to everyone who had something to do with all of it. That is truly "loving your neighbour as yourself". We are so very thankful to God and kind and generous people of England.

Anastasia’s family, as well as the others led to All Saints Preston, are now housed, fed and clothed. Their children are attending school and they are all settling into the All Saints Preston Church family.


About All Saints Preston

All Saints Preston are an evangelical, Anglican church in the centre of Preston. Their vision is to

teach about Jesus from God’s word, the Bible; care for everyone in their church family and help them to live for Jesus; and show the love of Jesus to their city by serving their community and beyond.



The funding from our Ukraine Rapid Response Fund appeal was match-funded by a Philanthropy Fund donor and the church has since decided to commit the amount raised for further match-funding as part of their ongoing fundraising efforts. Please support their continued care of these families if you can.

Support All Saints Preston 



"Don’t let go of God. His grace is enough and he will never leave you." Please thank God for his never-ending grace and mercy; that even through war, he provides for our needs and brings his people together. Please pray for All Saints Preston as they tirelessly pursue their vision within their community and beyond. Pray that these displaced families will continue to feel welcomed and encouraged as they settle into their new ‘home’ in Lancashire. Please pray for Ukraine and those still fighting for their homeland on the frontlines.


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