Archbishop of Canterbury's statement on Woolwich attack in full

The full statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, following a meeting with faith leaders in Leicester in response to the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby

Published 24 May 2013
The Archbishop of Canterbury and faith leaders after a meeting in response to the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby

We have all been horrified by the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich. All of our prayers and mine are with Lee's family, with his colleagues and comrades, and all those who witnessed this crime and all those in the community who have been so affected by it.

It's very good to be here today with the Bishop of Leicester in whose diocese we are, with the Bishop of Woolwich, with the other Bishops of Pontefract and Bradford, and with Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, who is Co-Chair of the Christian Muslim Forum. I want to recognise the response of churches, mosques and other faith and civil society groups as well as those of brave individuals who have done so much to bring our communities together at this time. The strong response from the Muslim Council of Britain and many other organisations has rightly emphasised that these acts have no place in Islam.

The Bishops of Southwark and Woolwich have visited the area in which this dreadful crime took place and have prayed with the local community there. Bishop Michael Ipgrave has met with other faith leaders in the Woolwich community and encouraged clergy and other Christian leaders to make contact with other faith leaders to ensure that this awful incident does not cause division. I want to commend very strongly what they are doing locally and to encourage Christian leaders more widely to do the same. This is very much a time for communities to come together.

As Patron of the national Christian Muslim Forum I know that the Forum is offering support and encouragement for these meetings to happen and I continue to hold all those working in these efforts in my prayers."

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