Churches and Christian leaders have issues prayers and reflections following the terror attack in Manchester on 22 May 2017:
Baptist Union of Great Britain.
Let us join in prayer for all those affected by the terror attack in Manchester. pic.twitter.com/kcD1ar9HN8
— Baptists Together (@baptistuniongb) May 23, 2017
Catholic Church in England and Wales
My shock and dismay at the horrendous killing of young and innocent people in the Manchester Arena, last night, is I know, shared by all people of good will.
I know too that Catholics and many others will be praying earnestly for those who have been killed, for the bereaved and for grieving loved ones.
We pray in support of all those working so hard in response to this tragedy; the police and security forces, hospital staff, neighbours and friends and for all the people of Manchester.
May God, in His mercy, strengthen and sustain us and keep us firmly united in the face of all evil.
Bishop of Salford.
The citizens of Manchester and the members of the Catholic community are united in condemning the attack on the crowds at the Manchester Arena. Such an attack that can have no justification.
I thank the emergency services for their prompt and speedy response which saved lives.
We join in prayer for all those who have died and for the injured and their families and all affected by this tragedy.
We must all commit ourselves to working together, in every way, to help the victims and their families and to build and strengthen our community solidarity.
— Catholic Church (@catholicEW) May 23, 2017
Church of England
Bishop of Manchester
Today is a day to mourn the dead, to pray with their families and with the injured, and to reaffirm our determination that those who murder and maim will never defeat us.
Like other great cities, Manchester is an obvious target for terrorists to choose. What makes this latest atrocity particularly dreadful is the deliberate choice of a concert known to attract very young fans. Many lives will be lived out, impacted by this tragedy for long years to come. Others have had decades of life ripped away from them.
There is a proper anger and rage in the face of events like this. Our challenge will be to direct that rage and anger to be a force for good. We will rally around the victims and their families. We will unite across our diversity, drawing close especially to any that the terrorists would seek to separate us from. And we will rebuild and repair the damage to our city, as we have done before.
Today is a day to mourn, and I would ask churches throughout Greater Manchester and beyond to make space and time for people who wish to come into their buildings and pray. But today is also a day to begin our response. A response that will crush terrorism not by violence but by the power of love. A love which Christians celebrate especially now in Eastertide.
— DioceseofManchester (@DioManchester) May 23, 2017
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Heroic Manchester, dark evil cannot overcome it. We pray for those in sorrow on the hard journey of loss & pain, & for those who protect us
— Justin Welby ن (@JustinWelby) May 23, 2017
Church of Ireland
Archbishop Richard Clarke has sent a message to Bishop David Walker, the Bishop of Manchester, expressing his sympathy to the people of the city, conveying his deep sadness at the harrowing news of the bombing and assurances of his prayers.
See the Diocese of Down and Dromore website.
Candles are burning in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, for those killed and injured in the Manchester Arena. People wishing to take time out to pray and light a candle are welcome to call into the Cathedral today and over the next few days.
‘Our hearts go out to all the families involved and our prayers are with them today, and will be in the coming days as this devastating attack brings such sorrow to so many’, said the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev John Mann.
See the Church in Ireland website.
Church of Scotland
— Church of Scotland (@churchscotland) May 23, 2017
Churches Together in England (CTE)
CTE’s Presidents have issued the following statement following the Manchester attack:
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with all those bereaved and injured by the cruel, senseless terrorist attack in Manchester. May God grant them strength and courage. Our faith teaches us that even the worst of evils can never defeat love, so we pray that the people of Manchester, of all faiths and none, will discover a renewed unity as they respond to this atrocity with compassion, dignity and hope.’
Church in Wales
We pray for all those affected by the terrorist attack in Manchester last night. May God be with them.
— The Church in Wales (@ChurchinWales) May 23, 2017
Waking up to terrible news of tragedy in Manchester. Thoughts & prayers for all affected. #prayersforManchester
— Congregational Fed (@CongFed) May 23, 2017
Coptic Orthodox Church
Heartbreaking that innocent lives again become a means to making a statement. Praying for the brokenness of our world. #ManchesterExplosion
— Bishop Angaelos ن (@BishopAngaelos) May 23, 2017
Cytûn (Churches Together in Wales)
With friends from other Welsh faith communities we extend our deepest sympathy to those who suffered in Manchester. You are in our prayers.
— Cytûn (@CytunNew) May 23, 2017
A Vigil for Manchester will be held at around 5:30 p.m. tonight at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. Everyone welcome. Please retweet. pic.twitter.com/d4f7kjKHe5
— Cytûn (@CytunNew) May 23, 2017
Merseyside Council of Faiths
Statement issued by Dr Shiv Pande MBE DL and the Revd Dr Sheryl Anderson (Co-Chairs):
On behalf of Merseyside Council of Faiths, we wish to express our shock and concern following the atrocities last night at the Manchester Arena.
We remember and offer our condolences to the family and friends of those killed and maimed notably many children and young people. We also rejoice at the generosity and solidarity shown by so many Manchunians and the speedy and effective response of the Emergency Services.
Merseyside and Greater Manchester have a long history of faith communities working together to promote equality, social justice and community harmony. We send our good wishes to all those involved in working for community solidarity in the wake of this atrocity notably to all the faith communities in Manchester notably our sister body the Faith Network for Manchester (FN4M).
We send a strong message to all who want to use religion to divide our communities that all the faiths stand together today. There is no place in our society for hatred and violence.
We again encourage all people (including gatherings of faith communities, in schools and of community groups) to use the Universal Prayer of Peace as a sign of our solidarity with all those affected:
Lead us from death to Life, from falsehood to Truth.
Lead us from despair to Hope, from fear to Trust.
Lead us from hate to Love, from war to Peace.
Let Peace fill our heart, our world, our universe.
Peace, Salaam, Shalom
Methodist Church in Britain
Revd Dr Roger Walton, President of the Methodist Conference, and Rachel Lampard, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference:
‘We are appalled by the horrific bombing at the Manchester Arena. We pray for the families of those who have been killed or who are injured, and for those, many of whom will be young, who have been scarred and scared by what they have witnessed.
‘We give thanks for the emergency services and for the many ordinary people who demonstrated compassion in responding to those caught up in the tragedy. We ask the Methodist people to hold the people of Manchester and beyond in their prayers as we remember the words of Psalm 34, “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.’
— The Methodist Church (@MethodistGB) May 23, 2017
This morning we pray for anyone who has been affected by the terrible incident in Manchester last night.
— The Salvation Army (@salvationarmyuk) May 23, 2017
Scottish Episcopal Church
The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church said:
‘Our prayers today are with the young people and their families – the bereaved and injured of last night’s atrocity in Manchester. Every attack of this kind is an appalling outrage. But to attack a venue crowded with young teenagers and their families is cruel and cynical beyond imagining. Many of those who have happily been reunited with their families will be traumatised by what they experienced and what they saw. Our politicians and our whole society must do everything possible to build a community in which such outrages are no more.’
South Yorkshire faith leaders
Faith leaders and representatives of South Yorkshire have sent their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the Manchester Arena Attack. A statement signed by the leaders said:
Our thoughts go out to those who have been injured, we hold you in our thoughts and prayers. Our heartfelt appreciation to the bravery of the emergency services for their efforts in saving people’s lives and assisting those injured. At this time the need to come together, to let each other know you are safe or to be close to those you love is the most important thing of all. Now is the time for communities to come together and show that such attacks cannot overcome our care and compassion for each other.
See the FaithStar website.
United Reformed Church (URC)
The Revd Andrew Mills, Moderator of North Western Synod, reflects on the Manchester bombing, and offers a prayer for us all:
Hear the cries of all people
in the brokenness of a new day,
where music is silenced in grief
for the loss of loved ones.
Jesus, suffering Lord,
hold in your loving arms
those caught in the distress of this tragedy
and sustain all who are working
to aid those affected.
Spirit of life,
when words fail us
speak through us
your word of Peace
into broken lives.
See the URC website
WCC and CEC
The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) have issued a joint statement strongly condemning the bombing:
‘It is particularly shocking that this so-called suicide killing was directed against young people, and even children’, commented the general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.
‘We honour a God who is life-giving, who sustains and redeems. Such horrors as happened last night encourage us to affirm this truth even more strongly’, said CEC General Secretary, Fr Heikki Huttunen.
The WCC and CEC said they both ‘decry this cruel act that irreparably touched the lives of so many. Whatever the reasons for these actions, there is no justification for such violence, the world should be united in condemning this criminal act of horror’.