Live updates from the Big Mission Weekend: Couple who met through conflict blessed by Archbishop

Published: Sunday May 26, 2024

Karyna and Guy smiling On Sunday 26 May, The Archbishop of Canterbury blessed betrothed couple Guy Wilson and Karyna Kulyk and their ikon, 2 days before their wedding.

He blessed the pair at the Dean Close St John’s School sports hall in Tutshill, Tidenham as part of his Big Mission Weekend visit to the diocese.

Guy, 49, met Karyna, 34, in January 2023 whilst volunteering at a Ukrainian Support Hub in the Forest of Dean. Karyna is a Ukrainian refugee who fled her war-torn country with her 7-year-old son Serafim.

She said: “When I came to the UK, I had my son and my suitcase. I had to leave everything else behind.”

Guy is a member of The Chepstow Rotary Club, which aided the charity by providing warm clothing, financial support, and transportation for newly arrived families in the area. One day, a fellow volunteer requested Guy to drive Karyna for a daytrip, and they immediately connected.

Guy commented: “When I watched the news, I was horrified. I never dreamt I would meet a Ukrainian and all of a sudden you fall in love with a person from this place.”

The ikon is blessedAfter dating for several months, Guy proposed on New Years Eve in 2023. They will be married on 28 May in a small ceremony. Although most of Karyna’s family were not able to attend, Karyna’s mother was there to witness the special day.

Before being blessed by the Archbishop, Guy and Karyna told their story to an audience of 300 people.

 

“Their story declares that love is indeed as strong as death” –The Revd David Treharne

 

The Revd David Treharne, Vicar of Tidenham, said: “It was clear that getting married in church is important to them both – Karyna is an Orthodox Christian and Guy is C of E – and it has been humbling to journey with them to this point in their lives.

“It was so wonderful to hear their story, where love emerged from conflict, displacement, uncertainty and heartache. Both Guy and Karyna didn’t see each other coming into their lives yet they became unexpected answers to one another’s needs and prayers.  Their story declares that love is indeed as strong as death.”

 

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