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England's churches to observe first anniversary of London bombings

7/6/2006
[Church of England]  On the first anniversary of the July 7, 2005, London bombings, prayers will be said in churches across England and at the Church of England's General Synod, meeting at York University July 7-11.
 
The anniversary will be referred to in the opening prayers of the General Synod, led by the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, and also will be reflected in the intercessions at evening prayer. Staff at the London-based Church House will join in the two-minute silence at midday.
 
Sentamu said of the anniversary: "Hundreds of people are bereaved today, scores still suffer from injuries, and as a nation we feel scarred by the atrocities of July 7, 2005. They are a harsh reminder of what happens when brutality combines with a false ideology. I have visited the community from which three of the London bombers came and they are as bruised as the rest of us.
 
"We need to show young people that there are far more worthy ideals to stake their lives on -- we must out-imagine terrorism, and that means believing and living a faith which will attract all idealists. I challenge all those who claim to be Christian to come off the sidelines, become active Christian disciples and share their faith by word and deed."
 
Bishop Richard Chartres of London said he wanted to remind people of the common pledge made by the major faith leaders in St Paul's Cathedral last year.
 
"We stand united in our determination to resist and overcome the evil of terrorism," he said. "We belong to different faith traditions but we share a common grief at the suffering inflicted on so many of our fellow Londoners. We acknowledge also with confidence the common values which enable us to co-operate in building a city at peace with itself and where people of faith can work together in cherishing, not disfiguring, our common humanity.
 
"We recommit ourselves to fostering the mutual trust between communities so that they may flourish side by side on the basis of respect and understanding."
 
St Paul's Cathedral, on Friday July 7, will open only for prayer from 8.30-10.30 a.m.
 
At 8.50 a.m., there will be an act of remembrance, which will include a reflection by Chartres. A bell will be tolled for those who lost their lives, during which candles representing Aldgate, Edgware Road and Russell Square, three of the terrorist targets, will be lit.
 
At 9.47 a.m., there will be an act of remembrance, which will include a reflection by Dean John Moses. A bell will be tolled, and candles representing Tavistock Square will be lit.
 
At 12 noon, the national two-minute silence will be observed, during which a solitary bell will be rung.
 
Special prayers will be said every hour and a special area will be dedicated for quiet prayer and reflection throughout the day.
 
Evensong at 5 p.m. will be dedicated to those killed and injured by the bombings, the bereaved, the emergency services and all who responded.
 
All are welcome to attend.
 
Churches local to the explosions which were particularly involved in caring for survivors and the emergency services in the aftermath of the bombings are also marking the anniversary:
 
St. Pancras Church on Euston Road, next to the site of the bus bomb, will be holding a multi-faith service at 12.30 p.m. The church will also be open for prayer from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
 
St. George the Martyr, Queen Square, a church close to Tavistock Square, will be open from 8.30 a.m.-5.30 p.m. for private prayer with two, short services at 8.30 a.m. and at 5 p.m.
 
St. Botolph, Aldgate, will be holding a two-minute silence at 12 noon and a service of remembrance at 1 p.m.
 
In addition to these "public" services, clergy involved in the aftermath of the bombings will also be taking part in 'private' events for the bereaved and survivors.