Tuesday, 23 May 2017


We were practising handbells in the village church in Oxton tonight when someone came in to light a candle and say a prayer. It occurred to me that all over Britain, indeed all over the world, people are praying for the people of Manchester and the visitors who were at the Ariana Grande concert last night. In countless homes, churches, mosques, temples, halls, cars, schools, town squares, cathedrals, stadiums people have gathered or stood quietly on their own to remember the people who died. As night falls here in the UK, relatives and hospital staff are keeping their vigil and the police and emergency services are facing another night when they have to carry on with their demanding tasks.

Photo St Magdalene Chapel, Ripon
©Janet Henderson
I know it is small comfort, but I pray that everyone affected by the horrific action of the terrorist last night will be aware that there are people of goodwill everywhere thinking about them tonight, wanting to stand in solidarity, unable to imagine how they feel yet grieving at the awful result of this heartless, callous act.

God, be with all who grieve, 
wait with all who are at their wits' end searching for a loved one, 
watch with all who sit beside a hospital bed not knowing what tomorrow will bring, 
calm all who cannot get the images, questions and 'whys?' out of their minds, 
help the broken hearted feel the warmth of love that holds them despite their pain,
and send us all out to shape a more generous, respectful, caring world 
so that the shadow of this tragedy will not darken into night
but, through our tears and outrage, be turned into a search for the kinds of justice
and understanding that remove the scourge of terrorism from this and every nation.    

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