Fourth Anniversary of the Terrorist Attack on London Bridge and Borough Market

A Service to mark the Fourth Anniversary of the Terrorist Attack on London Bridge and Borough Market

Below you can view members of the community gathering at the memorial olive tree in the grounds of Southwark Cathedral to mark the fourth anniversary of the terrorist attack on London Bridge and Borough Market. The service is led by the Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn.

A copy of the Order of Service can be downloaded here

On Thursday 3 June the Cathedral Churchyard will be open for anyone who wishes to come and lay flowers or tributes at the olive tree memorial, and that a priest will be available to say prayers with groups or individuals during the day.


Reflection by David Quirke-Thornton, Southwark Council

Hatred does not cease by hatred

But by love alone

This is an ancient and eternal law

Those where the words spoken four years ago, the morning after the night before, as with sunrise we gathered to take in the enormity of it all, to pay our respects and to then stand in silence, heads bowed – in sadness and in grief.

It’s hard to imagine that four years have passed. To be honest it still feels like yesterday. Sometimes it feels like time and space get confused in our minds but perhaps we remain unsettled in our hearts. In our minds we try to make sense of what happened when terrorists came to London Bridge and Borough Market, killing 8 innocent people, injuring scores and scarring our community. We hoped that the inquest would help us to make sense of it all, but in truth the more we know, the more we realise just how utterly senseless it was – and that is deeply painful, still.

Within minutes, hearts were broken and lives were changed forever. Words fail to describe the sadness of it all.

In the aftermath many came to this place, bowed their heads in deep respect and stood in silence. In a gesture of love and solidarity, Muslims lined London Bridge and handed out 3,000 roses to people walking over the bridge. Hundreds of Imams joined faith leaders here to say, loud and clear – “Not in our name” and to bow their heads in deep respect. Royalty, politicians and many Londoners came here bringing flowers and notes with words of condolence. Today, the fragrance of light from those flowers lingers, and the compost that was made from them feeds this olive tree of remembrance.

The words #London United were later projected on to London Bridge, and it is true, London did unite in love and solidarity. And still, today there are families and loved ones grieving, and victims living with the impact of that night.

For me, the most profound reflections are the courageous acts of those who ran into danger; those who did all they could to try to save others. It’s hard to comprehend how they did that and we ask ourselves what would we do in that situation? The scene was confusing and very fast changing. The noises breaking through would have had a sense of danger and the natural human reaction would be to run and to take shelter. But, they did the opposite. They ran to the aid of others in need. In acts of incredible loving kindness, they helped others, strangers. They came to their aid, and they stayed with them.

Some took on the terrorists, who were heavily armed and wearing what looked like bomb vests - using their bare hands, their bodies as shields, and a skate board - they defended precious life against terrorism. Some paid with their lives, and others have had their lives changed profoundly.

The pandemic has meant that we have been unable to gather in person; that family, loved ones and victims are unable to visit here in remembrance. Please know that today we gather here for you.

We look forward to a time when we can gather together, in person, for the installation of a permanent memorial, to mark that what happened that night really matters to us all, and that, though it hurts still, we will always remember and take time to pay our respects and to connect in love and solidarity.

Please know that you are always welcome here, in the heart of London. Please know that today we are thinking of you and sending you our love and deep respect. Please know that on your behalf too, today, we will stop what we were doing, will stand in silence, heads bowed in deep respect as we remember your loved ones, remember you, and all who were injured that night.

Hatred does not cease by hatred

But by love alone

This is an ancient and eternal law