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Bringing Light to the Darkness in Ukraine

It rained all day in Weymouth, and by the evening, there was such a terrible wind that even an umbrella could not save us from a soaking. Yet, in the autumn darkness, the brightly lit windows of the Old Saints church shone like a lighthouse in the middle of a storm-tossed sea. Mainly built of Portland stone, the 15th-century English church opened its doors to Ukrainians who held their first workshop on making trench candles for the Ukrainian Army.

These are not just candles but mini-stoves. We prepared them for all those who do not have the opportunity to heat food and keep warm, as they hide in the basements during shelling or rocket fire.

Trench candles are easy to make. First, you empty tin cans and roll corrugated cardboard into them. The can is then filled with hot paraffin or wax, which can burn for 3-4 hours.

To help the Ukrainian army, millions of volunteers are currently making trench candles. The Weymouth Area Ukrainian Community responded to the initiative and collected materials wherever possible. We also purchased some new candles in a supermarket. Still, the most significant contribution we received was from Father Alasdair Kay. He brought us beautiful candles we didn't want to send for remelting. We owe it to him that the doors of the Old Saints Church opened its doors to us.

Father prepared hot tea for us, which was appropriate in bad weather. He also gave everyone souvenirs of the evening and brought some eggs for us. He shared everything he had with us, which was very touching.

We were all impressed with Pat's box. She is an outstanding English woman, a parishioner of the Catholic Church. She gave us not only wax but also tools for making candles. We also found chocolates in her box, which came in handy with the tea.

The atmosphere was warm that evening. The children who came with us ran around the church with toys they found in the play corner. Adults worked and chatted livelily and exchanged gifts. We made candles for the first time, so we thank Tatiana, who studied this technology thoroughly and taught us. Her husband Alexey built an incredible structure for melting wax.

The evening ended with a prayer for Ukraine and all Ukrainian refugees, read by Alasdair for us. He blessed us, the children, and our cause, which will bring light to our Ukrainian soldiers in the darkness of war.

We made 19 candles this first evening, but we're not going to stop there. Soon, we plan a new meeting to make trench candles and await anyone else who wishes to join us. We have to do as much as possible because the shipment to Ukraine will soon occur.

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