Standing together

On Thursday 25 May a minutes silence was observed outside the Civic Centre in Morden. Gavin was invited to share a few words with those who gathered there.

Minutes silence outside Civic Centre

Thank you all for being here. My name is Rev Gavin Murray, pastor of Morden Baptist Church, apologies for my informal dress, I didn’t have time to get home to change.

As we stand here in Merton, we are symbolically standing with the people of Manchester in their grief, pain and shock. The despicable, deplorable act that brought abject horror to a peaceful and fun concert filled with young people on Monday is beyond our comprehension. May I quote the wise brother and Muslim leader who spoke in Manchester at Tuesday’s vigil, this act has no place in any religion.

It was Martin Luther King Junior who said, “Hatred cannot drive out hatred, only love can do that”. The response in Manchester and indeed all over the country has been incredible. It has been just that. Love over hate. Freedom over fear. Peace over violence. We are so thankful for our country with its brilliant emergency services, security services, and warm public life.

So, we stand together in our common humanity. This day we, as Londoners, and I as a Liverpudlian, count ourselves as Mancunians. Committing ourselves to keep on living by our values, to keep on building communities based on love.

  • We pray for the bereaved families, for their comfort strength and hope.
  • We pray for the 64 injured people, especially the 20 critical ones, and pray for their recovery. For them to be strong and that their determination to live will go on and inspire people 1000 times more powerfully than any act of violence robs us.
  • And we pray for peace, for protection and for an end to such violence, that perpetrators and potential terrorists will be freed from their prison of hate.

Let us now be silent and remember the 22 people murdered on Monday. Let us honour them today, with thanks and prayers for their families.

May we take this opportunity to celebrate our ethnic and religious diversity here in Merton, reassuring our Muslim brothers and sisters in our community of our ongoing love and support in these challenging times, and as we continue to make Morden a better place together.