Victims of violent crime and terrorism were remembered at a service at Southwark Cathedral.
The Bishop of Southwark, The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, assisted by the Bishop of Croydon, The Rt Revd Dr Rosemarie Mallett, dedicated the Chapel of St Francis and St Elizabeth as the Chapel of Reconciliation. Southwark Cathedral, following the London Bridge Terror Attack just over five years ago, has joined the Community of the Cross of Nails, in remembrance of all those who have been victims of violent crime and terrorism “and” Bishop Christopher said, “as a pledge of our common commitment to work and pray for peace, justice and reconciliation,”. He continued, “This we do through seeking to heal the wounds of violent crime, through learning to live with difference and to celebrate diversity, seeking to build a culture of peace.” On the altar stands a large Cross of Nails commissioned for the new Chapel of Reconciliation.
The dedication of the Chapel followed Choral Evensong at which Bishop Rosemarie Mallett and her successor, The Venerable Greg Prior, were installed respectively as Bishop and Archdeacon of Croydon. The Revd Anne Stevens was also licensed as Assistant Director of Clergy Formation and will focus on the training of Curates. In his Homily Bishop Christopher paid tribute to the victims of the London Bridge Terror Attack, “We do so with great sadness and heavy hearts because not only do we bear the scars of the London Bridge Terror Attack more than five years ago, remembering those who perished, those who endured life changing injuries, those who were traumatised along with their families, colleagues and friends. But we do so with renewed sorrow because only last week two more young people from South London, Kearne Solanke and Charlie Bartolo, became themselves tragic victims of knife crime – and we pray for them and their families in their devastating loss and grief”.
Hundreds attended a vigil for Charlie Bartolo at William Temple Church in Abbey Wood on Saturday which included music, silence, reflection and prayer. Archdeacon Alastair Cutting, who attended the vigil, said, “Shock and fear comes across an area when young members of the community get caught up in violence leading to loss of life. The work of TYM (Transform Youth Mission), other agencies and schools, working among the youth of the area, is vital. TYM’s regular venue, William Temple Church in Thamesmead, is just such a safe space. At the vigil remembering Charlie and families currently facing grief, we were able to gather together with TYM’s leader Karen Saunders and others, to seek peace as a community.”
📸 Eve Milner