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Weaving Hope for Ukraine at Coventry Cathedral
Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia on 24th February 2022, the women and children of Ukraine have been weaving camouflage nets to help protect those defending their country. Often as they weave, the women sing songs of lament and of hope; prayers for their country; prayers for peace.
Weaving the nets brings women and children together in communal activity: as they weave they listen to one another and support one another. In a country fractured by war, weaving gives a gathering point and, in its repetition, stills troubled spirits.
'Weaving Hope' is a project co-hosted by Coventry Cathedral and Coventry's Ukrainian Community. It is designed to bring people together in their longing for peace in Ukraine. As we weave, we’ll share our stories with one another, and our hope for the future. As we weave we look to the lives, scattered by this war, and others wars, being woven back together; to families reunited.
Creative hubb were delighted to be able to offer some support to the Ukranian Womens Organisation when they approached us looking for fabric donations to use in their community project. After speaking to Maria Leszczyszyn of OUZ Coventry to determine the types of fabrics required and how it was to be used we were able to donate a substantial amount of material with the help of Ossie Osman of Osman Cutting Services Ltd and local businessman Mr Asif Khan who both made generous contributions.
Anyone who visited the Cathedral was encouraged to help weave the net. Prayers were written onto the strips of cloth before being woven into the net.
This, then, was a spiritual activity too: that as we remember that God hides his people 'under the shadow of his wings' (Psalm 57.1), so we pray that God would protect the people of Ukraine, and all others who live in conflict zones, and all those who long for peace.
As this is 'Weaving Hope', the net was initially woven in traditional camouflage colours, before finally being transformed with the bright colours of new beginnings. The transformation reflects the story of Coventry Cathedral, ruined and rebuilt, which stands as a sign of hope for Ukraine and for all the war-torn regions of the world.
The Ukranian community and many visitors joined services in September that marked the beginning and end of the project.
This project has been developed with Lviv Academy of Arts, where weaving has been taking place for 8 years, and with Medical Aid Ukraine.