Book of condolence for Lee Rigby opens at Leicester Cathedral

(Photo: Diocese of Leicester)
The Archbishop of Canterbury signing the book of condolence

Leicester Cathedral has opened a book of condolence following the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich on Wednesday.

The cathedral is encouraging members of the public to leave a message as an act of solidarity with those affected by the "barbaric act".

The book of condolence was opened after a distressed member of the Muslim community contacted the St Philip's Centre, which promotes dialogue in the city.

The Very Reverend David Monteith, Dean of Leicester said, "This is a time to stand together and a time to draw from our rich traditions of sympathy and peace. We will build the common good here by shunning violence and by growing compassion and understanding with one another.

"Leicester Cathedral stands in the heart of our city and county for all our people, in the best of times and in the worst of times. The Cathedral invites our people, from every community to unite in sympathy for the young soldier so brutally killed in Woolwich on 22 May 2013. Therefore, we are providing a condolence book for people to sign".

The condolence book plate includes biblical words from the Old Testament which are used in many funeral services: 'The eternal God is our refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms' (Deuteronomy 22:27).

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, was in Leicester on Friday where he met faith leaders and praised their unity. He also signed the book of condolence at Leicester Cathedral.

"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," he said.

"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."

He added: "This is very much a time for communities to come together."

He was accompanied on his visit by the Bishop of Leicester, the Right Reverend Tim Stevens who has appealed to communities to remain calm.

"Individuals who commit such crimes in the name of religion or politics stand at odds with the compassionate shared values which we stand for as a society. Such acts aim to divide our communities and I call upon everyone to remain calm and united," the bishop said.

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