Statement from Cumbria church leaders on the shootings that took place in West Cumbria on Wednesday 2 June 2010
3 June 2010
Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been caught up in the terrible events of yesterday, but particularly they are with the family and friends of those who have been killed or injured. The community grieves deeply at the losses we have suffered; the confusion and pain will be long-lasting.
We are all grateful for the dedication of all those members of the emergency services who have worked tirelessly to help the injured and to bring the situation to a conclusion. We also pay tribute to the members of the public who did what they could to help other people, perhaps total strangers, who had been wounded.
All the churches from across a very wide area have been, and will continue to be, involved in supporting those affected by yesterday’s tragedy. In addition to ministering to people in our communities, clergy will be available to support the hospital and emergency services chaplains as required. The church will continue to play a longer term role in providing support and sanctuary to those who need it, and we strongly encourage all churches in the area to make their buildings and people available for people to come and pray, light candles and have someone to talk to.
The communities of West Cumbria are close-knit and hugely supportive, and we know that people throughout the area will be caring deeply for each other both now and in the months to come. Christians in Cumbria and further afield are praying for everyone who has been affected, and are doing everything they can to offer comfort and practical help at a local level.
The Right Revd James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle
The Revd Rachel Poolman, President of the United Reformed Church Cumbria Area and President of Churches Together in Cumbria
The Revd Richard Teal, Chair of the Cumbria Methodist District
The Right Revd Michael Campbell, Roman Catholic Bishop of Lancaster
The Revd John Goddard, Cumbria Baptist Network Minister
Prayer for our communities
O God, Creator of us all,
in your Son, Jesus you have walked the way of darkness and death,
you send your Spirit of healing and truth to all in need
We pray for those injured or bereaved by inexplicable violence
May your gracious compassion surround and uphold them
We pray for all individuals and communities whose lives have been changed by this tragedy
May your sustaining love be present in all expressions of support offered and help received
We give thanks for the commitment and dedication of the emergency services
And pray that they may be given the strength they need to serve others
We give thanks for the resilience and courage of West Cumbrians
And pray that the bonds of community care and concern may hold fast at this time
Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer
And let our cry come unto you