BRADFORD Cathedral will hold a vigil to “show solidarity” with the people of Ukraine tomorrow.

The vigil, which will be held in person and also streamed online, will see people from all faiths come together to “reflect and pray” in the wake of the Russian invasion.

Bradford Bishop Toby Howarth described the situation in Ukraine as “heart-breaking”, and following on from tomorrow’s vigil, wants to “work proactively” with local organisations to support any Ukrainian refugees who may seek sanctuary in the district.

“What is happening in Ukraine is appalling. People are being killed and soldiers are firing on residential areas – it’s horrifying”, he said.

“We want to work with Bradford Council and local faith organisations so that, if Ukrainian refugees do arrive in our district, we are ready to support them.

“Tomorrow, people from across Bradford – from all faith communities – will come to Bradford Cathedral to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and with people from all conflict zones across the world.

“We won’t forget anywhere where there is conflict, it’s just that we are all focusing on Ukraine right now.

“There are a lot of people of Ukrainian heritage in Bradford, a lot of them came here as refugees, fleeing the Nazis and the appalling things they did.

“Bradford and Ukraine have strong links, so this would be an obvious place for refugees to now come to, and we want to be ready for that, as we are a City of Sanctuary.”

The vigil will also welcome speakers who came to Bradford as refugees from other parts of the world, who will share their own stories.

“Bradford has an amazing history of welcoming refugees and celebrating diversity”, Bishop Toby added.

“A young woman from the Rohingya community, Rabea Sultana, will be coming to speak, along with her father Hadayet.

“Rabea is very articulate and knows what it is like to be a refugee – she is one of many in Bradford who is standing with Ukraine.

“We also have two choirs coming, as well as Ukrainian priests who will say prayers and speak on the situation.

“Everybody is welcome, whether in person or online. This is an opportunity to stand together and show solidarity with all people who are experiencing conflict across the world.”

Councillor Abdul Jabar, Executive Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods for Bradford Council, added: “Bradford has a proud record of being a City of Sanctuary for those fleeing conflict.

"We will do everything we can to help Ukraine and those Ukrainians fleeing the fighting that is taking place.

"The scenes we’ve all seen on our TV screens have been very distressing. As with other local authorities in our region, we’ll work with the Home Office to see how we can support refugees arriving in the UK as part of a national approach.”

The vigil is taking place at Bradford Cathedral from 6pm to 7pm tomorrow and will be streamed live here.