Prayers said across the Diocese in response to London attacks
Sunday 4th June 2017
The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, has spoken of his shock at yet another evil and appalling act of terrorism on our country, following the attack in London on Saturday night.
"I grieve with those who have been both bereaved and wounded, as they face such pain and struggle with the aftermath of this cowardly attack. My heartfelt prayers and sympathy are for the families, partners, and friends of all those effected.
"We are all grateful for the incredible speed and effectiveness of the emergency services, and for the countless acts of bravery, kindness and generosity of members of the public.
"Please hold all those suffering in your prayers. In churches across Suffolk prayers were said in services today, and most are open for those who want a peaceful place to reflect and pray.
"Such evil acts are committed by terrorists motivated by a distortion of Islam. We must not let their actions divide us from our Muslim neighbours who share in the dismay and horror at these attacks."
The Rt Revd Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, said: "Once again a terrorist attack causes grievous carnage and loss of life in one of our major cities and our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones, those injured in the attack and those traumatised by the events at London Bridge.
"But once again also there are stories of heroism, of courage, generosity and self-giving which testify to the strength of the fabric of our relationships, a fabric terrorists would seek to tear apart.
"Terrorist incidents are meant to challenge the stories we live by. They are meant to replace our story, our story of a peaceful society whose stability and safety we can rely on and replace it with a narrative of fear and dread, an insecure and unpredictable environment subject to threat and violence.
"And if we buy that narrative, then out of that threat and fear is bred suspicion and hostility for different groups within society, leading to the kind of fragmentation, scapegoating and polarisation which breeds further fear and strengthens the terrorists narrative.
"That’s why it’s vital at times like this that we rehearse our story and keep on rehearsing it, and why politicians, faith leaders and others must stand up and re-tell our story, a story whose ingredients include our togetherness and solidarity, our unity in diversity, our common purposes of peaceful coexistence, our mutual respect and dignity, our outright refusal to be ensnared by fear or hatred.
"The stories we tell shape our lives – we must not allow terrorism to dictate those stories."