People quietly reflected on the enormity of the past year at a special service for Ukraine in Bridport. 

The service for the one year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine was held at the Chapel in the Garden.

It was a deeply moving occasion, and when the opportunity came to light a candle of remembrance, many could say nothing, overcome by tears.

The chapel was filled with daffodils and irises, yellow and blue to reflect the Ukrainian flag.

Reverend John Harley led the service, which welcomed the Ukrainian community to the capel for silence and prayers, music and poetry.

Many Ukrainians came bringing their children and sat together, hushed by the solemnity of the day.

Chris Savory, a member of the congregation, said: "The mood in the chapel was very sombre, it was so moving to be amongst people whose lives had been thrown into loss and uncertainty by the war, and who despite finding a welcome in Bridport were longing to return to their former lives, to go home.”

The Lord’s Prayer was read in English and in Ukrainian by Inna Vlasiuk, and poems by Ukrainian children, as well as the poem “Resistance” by the Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: The Chapel in the Garden service for UkraineThe Chapel in the Garden service for Ukraine (Image: Margie Barbour)

Music including a A Moonlight Night by the Gimnazija Orchestra, and a violin concerto by Myroslav Skoryk filled the chapel with the familiar sound of Ukrainian music.

Many of the 70 people present stayed for coffee and cake in the library at the end of the service, sharing their hopes and prayers as well as deep fears for the future.

Two young Ukrainians, who attend local schools, were shown the shrapnel damage from the Second World War, in the chapel itself, which has not been fully repaired as a way to help the congregation connect to the destructive power of war.

A collection was made at the service, and £285 was collected which will be given to the Brid Valley Rotarians to pass to the Rotarians in Ukraine for humanitarian causes.

On Saturday a popular concert was held at the chapel, with Mitch Hiller, John Malcolm, John Hinsley and Simon Richmond delighting the audience with their medley of popular music, from Beatles to Motown and the classics from the movies.

Mitch told stories from his long life in the music business, getting trapped in a lift on his way to an audition with Earth Wind and Fire, and he sang Build me up, Buttercup a hit song he had recorded with The Foundations.

The concert raised funds for the chapel's fundraising campaign and collected £55 from a raffle for the earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey, which has been sent to the Disasters Emergency committee.