Help decide the future of iconic church

Ukrainian Church, Lemon Street, off Queens Road, Halifax. Lesia Anderton, Maria McPeake, Bohdan Kurylak, Roman Suchyj, Olga Capone and Basil Lopuszniak.
Ukrainian Church, Lemon Street, off Queens Road, Halifax. Lesia Anderton, Maria McPeake, Bohdan Kurylak, Roman Suchyj, Olga Capone and Basil Lopuszniak.

The future of an iconic Halifax church could be under threat and members are being urged to have their say before it’s too late.

Thw town’s Ukrainian Eastern Rite Catholics have been asked to attend an Extraordinary general meeting to discuss the future of their church, The Holy Protection.

Mr Kurylak, chair of the parish committee, said “We are approaching the 40th anniversary of our church and it is with a degree of sadness that I feel it necessary to call upon the Ukrainian community of Halifax to attend an extraordinary general meeting.”

A letter sent out to parishioners and members of the community said: “Please be reminded that the church belongs to you and it has been a part of your life and your families lives for 40 years and any decisions made on its future must be made by you.

“Please do not miss this opportunity to have your say and decide on the future before it’s too late.”

The church, located on Lemon Street, off Queen’s Road, was bought by the Ukrainian Community 39 years ago through donations. Originally a Methodist church, a great deal of the work inside the church was carried out by folk artists and crafts people. It is the only Ukrainian Church in Halifax.

“Sadly, we have come to a point where we have to consider the Church’s future,” said Mr Kurylak. “There are a number of proposals that we will be asking people to consider and then vote for. It’s really important that members of our community attend. For those who cannot attend but, would like to express a view they can contact us by email or Facebook on our Ukrainian Club sites.”

The Ukrainian Eastern Rite Catholic Church is the largest Eastern Rite denomination with more than five million followers. The Church was established 420 years ago in 1596. During the Second World War it was persecuted by the Nazis and after the war, the Eastern Rite Catholics were persecuted under Communism. In 1946, the church was abolished and many of its clergy and faithful were killed or sent to Siberian concentration camps.

The late Patriarch Slipyj, who was incarcerated for 18 years, become a symbol of spiritual resistance and the church became known as the “Church of the Catacombs” as the faithful had to hold services in secret.

Only in 1991, after Ukrainian Independence, was the Ukrainian Catholic Church allowed to function again. The meeting will take place on Sunday, June 19, at 3pm after the church service.

The meeting will be held in the community hall at the Ukrainian Club on Queen’s Road.

For more information, visit www.ukrainianclubhalifax.org.uk or enquiries@ukrainianclubhalifax.org.uk

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