Prayers to be said on anniversary of Lawrence death
Prayers to celebrate and mark the impact of Stephen Lawrenceís life will be said this afternoon on the 10th anniversary of his death.
The 18-year-old A-level student was stabbed to death by a gang of white youths in a brutal and unprovoked attack as he waited at a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London.
Friends, family, and representatives of the legal institutions who have been forced to learn lessons from the mistakes of the Lawrence investigation gathered at a memorial service in central London.
Barbara Roche, the Minister for Social Exclusion and Equality, will deliver a message from the Government at the service organised by the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.
Other speakers include the Rev David Cruise, who knew Stephen, and John Sentamu, the Bishop of Birmingham, who was on the panel of the government-appointed public inquiry which investigated the lessons to be learned from his death.
Representatives of the National Black Police Association will also attend as well as Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality.
The impact of Stephenís death was felt across the nation, according to Mr Phillips.
He said: ìFor the first time in my life, it seems that middle England had seen the danger and despair that can arise from being black in Britain ñ that has been a concept and an outlook that has affected a whole generation of white people."
ìThe death of Stephen Lawrence and its aftermath has been important for the consciousness and outlook of the majority of people.î
Yesterday, Home Office Minister Lord Falconer said the legal system could not hide from its failure to help bring Stephenís killers to justice.
The minister said; ìThe tragedy of the Lawrence story is not only the horror of Stephen Lawrenceís brutal and senseless murder but also the failure of the criminal justice system ñ the police, the CPS, the courts ñ to deliver justice to Stephen and his family.î
Mrs Lawrence herself said last week that she believed it would now take a ìmiracleî to bring her sonís killers to justice.