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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

7 June 2017: Tom Cooper, St Mary’s Church, Buriton

A time for prayer

At the time of writing, at Buriton, in common with churches throughout the diocese of Portsmouth and the wider Anglican community, we are taking part in a period of prayer on the theme of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. Then, as we were preparing for this following a joyous and enriching day of prayer at the Cathedral on 20 May, we have all been shocked and stunned by the horrific attack on Manchester. The cold-blooded decision to target a pop concert in order to cause as many casualties as possible is vicious. And the deliberate targeting of children by the attacker is sickening. It’s the very opposite of God’s Kingdom. Our prayers have turned towards the dead and injured, towards the bereaved and grieving, towards their families and friends.

But the response of the people of Manchester has been inspiring and uplifting. So many have not only shown themselves to be Good Samaritans, but have also given us all lessons in spirituality. You may have seen these people interviewed in St Ann’s Square as part of the news coverage – the young girl who, in laying flowers, spoke of her impulse to light a candle, to say a few words. Jo O’Brien, a Manchester nurse who was on duty when the casualties began to arrive at her hospital, was interviewed on Radio 4 on 25 May. She spoke of the need to stay calm, to be with people, to show love and support, and to carry on.

As one reporter said soon after news of the atrocity broke, this is not a time for preaching. But what the girl in Albert Square was doing, and what Jo O’Brien was talking about, truly was prayer. Of all times, this is a time for prayer.

Join us in The Square, Petersfield at 7:30 this evening for Prayer for the Election and in Ram's Walk on Saturday 10 June from 9:00 am to noon for the IMC Fun Day

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