Churches in Cumbria pledge long term support following shootings

By staff writers
June 3, 2010

Church leaders in Cumbria have come together to pledge their long term support for all affected by the shootings that took place in West Cumbria on Wednesday 2 June.

In a joint statement they acknowledged that the grief and pain would be long lasting. They said that churches would continue to be involved in supporting those affected by the tragedy.

Clergy will be available from churches in the area to support hospital and emergency services chaplains. The churches are also being encouraged to make their buildings places of 'sanctuary' for people to pray, light candles and find people to talk to.

The full statement reads as follows:

"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 Rt Rev James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle
The Rev Rachel Poolman, President of the United Reformed Church Cumbria Area and President of Churches Together in Cumbria
The Rev Richard Teal, Chair of the Cumbria Methodist District
Bishop Michael Campbell, Roman Catholic Bishop of Lancaster
The Rev John Goddard, Cumbria Baptist Network Minister


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