Prayer following church attack in France

Bishop Trevor’s advice and prayer following the church attack in France.

Dear colleagues,

Following the tragic murder of Father Jacques Hamel and the attack on his congregation in France yesterday, may our thoughts and prayers be with their loved ones, his congregation, community, the people of France and all affected by terrorism. I offer the following prayer for personal and corporate use:

Lord of peace,
Breathe order and wisdom into our chaotic world.
Frustrate the plans of the wicked,

Offer safety to the vulnerable,
And bring healing and peace to the broken-hearted.
May we be your partners in the task and
may our churches be safe spaces for all who enter.
Amen.

Such attacks are understandably concerning and unsettling for all of us. I want to assure you all that the police have been working with church leaders here in the UK to establish a communication network through which reassurance and guidance to the Christian community can be passed.

Please be assured that there is no current intelligence to suggest any attack planning of this nature in this country. Nevertheless, church leaders and their congregations here in the UK should remain alert, not alarmed. It makes sense for all church leaders to review their security plans and to encourage their flock to be vigilant. Any suspicious behaviour should be reported immediately through 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline 0800 789 321. I know many of you will already have a strong relationship with local police in your area, but I’d like to encourage you to continue to foster these relationships.

Advice and guidance on personal security and security for places of worship, as with many other locations, can be found on the National Counter Terrorism website. Additionally, the Home Office is running a scheme for 8 weeks offering funding for protective security measures subject to application. Detailed information on how to apply can be found here.

Please also be assured of the support of diocesan staff and the senior leadership team, who are happy to discuss any matters of concern with you.

With prayers and best wishes,

Bishop Trevor