Service of Hope at Southwark Cathedral & visit to Borough Market

Today, 16th June, The Countess of Wessex attended a Service of Hope at Southwark Cathedral, following the terror attack at London Bridge. The Countess of Wessex has a long association with Southwark Cathedral as patron of the cathedral’s Friends group (my post is here). This service was conducted in memory of those who lost their lives in this vicious attack, and for all those who survived, to bring them strength and hope.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwarkcofe/sets/72157682236412903/
photo by Diocese of Southwark via Flickr – click on pic to be redirected & view full gallery of today’s event

Uppon her arrival, The Countess of Wessex was welcomed by Kenneth Olisa Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London. At the Cathedral HRH was received by the Dean of Southwark – Very Revd Andrew Nunn and was conducted to her seat, with the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London and Deputy Lieutenant for Southwark. The service was attended by survivors of the attack, the families and friends of those who lost their lives, representatives of the emergency services and key political figures.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwarkcofe/sets/72157682236412903/
photo by Diocese of Southwark via Flickr – click on pic to be redirected & view full gallery of today’s event

According to London SE1 community website, eight candles – one to represent each of the people killed in the London Bridge terror attack – were placed on the altar of Southwark Cathedral by pupils from a local school. Flags of the 13 nations whose citizens were affected by the tragedy were displayed close to the altar, and many countries sent their ambassadors and high commissioners to attend the service. Poland was represented by Dep Amb Dariusz Łaska.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwarkcofe/sets/72157682236412903/
photo by Diocese of Southwark via Flickr – click on pic to be redirected & view full gallery of today’s event

Introducing the service, the Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, named the eight people who lost their lives as a result of the attack: Christine Archibald (from Canada), Sebastien Belanger (from France), Kirsty Boden (from Australia), Ignacio Echeverria (from Spain), James McMullan (from UK), Alexandre Pigeard (from France), Xavier Thomas (from France) and Sara Zelenak (from Australia). Article about victims of the attack can be found here.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwarkcofe/sets/72157682236412903/
photo by Diocese of Southwark via Flickr – click on pic to be redirected & view full gallery of today’s event

The proceeds of the service collection will go to the British Red Cross UK Solidarity Fund. This fund has been launched in response to the recent horrific events in London and Manchester. The funds will go to help those victims of terror attacks in need anywhere in the UK, in the first instance, in London. The Order of Service from today’s Service of Hope in the Cathedral can be found here and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s sermon is here.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwarkcofe/sets/72157682236412903/
photo by Diocese of Southwark via Flickr – click on pic to be redirected & view full gallery of today’s event

After the service The Countess spent time meeting survivors of the terrorist attack and families of some of the victims. Afterwards, The Countess was escorted to a nearby Borough Market by its managing director Darren Henaghan, where HRH toured the stalls and met traders. Borough Market was also affected by the recent tragedy, as the three attackers, after driving into pedestrians at the London Bridge, ran to the area of market, where they stabbed people with long knives before they were shot dead by armed police.

https://twitter.com/se1/status/875734266403049473
photo London SE1 via Twitter

I would like to quote part of a Sermon given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd & Rt Hon Justin Welby: “Southwark Cathedral today is the focus of a grief that is truly international, immeasurably deep and whose impact will be felt for years. To you who suffered and who suffer today, we say that we weep with you, our hearts are broken by your pain and agony, we do not have adequate words or the ability to lift from you the great burden which you are bearing, but we will walk alongside you, sharing it as we can and may”.

https://twitter.com/ExquisiteDeli/status/875774940326350849
photo Exquisite Deli via Twitter

“As we see you, as we see this area with its constant memories of what has happened, we seek to share with you in a way that reminds you that you are not alone, that the pain you suffer is not considered passing but profound, and that the grief for the lost is something that will forever be inscribed by our memories in these very stones, stones that over so many centuries have seen so much violence, but have also seen the renewal of hope and the overcoming of evil”.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwarkcofe/sets/72157682236412903/
photo by Diocese of Southwark via Flickr – click on pic to be redirected & view full gallery of today’s event

And a quote from Bishop Christopher, who said after the service, ’Our hearts go out to the families of victims and to survivors who saw terrible things. Since the attack this community has been united in solidarity. It is important that we remain committed to working together with our friends from other faith communities and each other to ensure that we build a resilient society in which all are welcome and none feel excluded, so that we can truly pursue justice, show mercy and seek peace.’ 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwarkcofe/sets/72157682236412903/
photo by Diocese of Southwark via Flickr – click on pic to be redirected & view full gallery of today’s event

For press release on the Service of Hope, click here. London SE1 article can be found here. Southwark News article is here. To London and its people, I am really sorry you were struck by such terrible tragedies, one after another… There are no words that could express the saddness I feel writing this words. I hope, that during my upcoming visit to London, I will have the opportunity to visit those places and honour those who lost their lives.

3 thoughts on “Service of Hope at Southwark Cathedral & visit to Borough Market

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