The terrible events in Westminster on Wednesday have left many in shock and grief.  Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of all those who died, including PC Keith Palmer, and to all those injured.  It is difficult to understand the irrational hatred and lack of empathy which allows someone to mount such an attack, and our thoughts should be with the security services who have the almost impossible task of guarding us from such wanton assaults.  It is also an attack on our democracy, and we all need to make sure that, through anger or fear, we don’t give in to the terrorists’ ideology of hatred of the other.  Our society is based on the values of democracy, justice, a value of individual life and liberty, an appreciation of differences in opinion, of differing types of people in our society, values which stem from our Christian heritage, but are shared by the great majority of those who live here of all faiths and backgrounds.  As we pray for all those who have died or been injured and their families, we pray also for all those, MPs and others, who work in Parliament, for the security forces, and all those who work to keep us safe.  And we pray for our communities, for those who through ethnicity or faith feel afraid of a backlash, and for the health and well-being of our communities as a whole.

We might like to use the Universal Prayer for Peace:

Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth.

Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust.

Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace.

Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe.  AMEN.

Canon Gary Philbrick

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