Inter-faith Dialogue to be Held in Bombed Church After London Attacks

Members of the Christian community will meet on Tuesday night with members of other faiths in an historic Anglican church in Bishopsgate for a discussion to find a suitable response to the recent bomb attacks in London.

St Ethelburga Church has historically lent itself as a place in the city as a symbol of hope. The church survived both the Great Fire and the Blitz before being partly destroyed by a terrorist bomb in 1993, in which one person was killed and 51 others injured.

The Centre for Reconciliation and Peace is behind Tuesday night’s event. The Centre works to understand the nature of conflicts and foster creative dialogue between the opposing groups in any given conflict, whether in Britain or around the world.

The discussion, entitled "How should we respond to terror in London?", is "a roundtable discussion with a range of Christian, Muslim and other speakers. It will also include an ecumenical ritual for peace," explains Centre director, the Rev Simon Keyes.

Mr Keyes added: "We at St Ethelburga’s join with all people who condemn these violent acts. Indiscriminate violence is contrary to the true spirit of every religion. It is more important than ever that faith communities here and abroad work together work to build friendship across their boundaries, and collaborate in promoting non-violent ways of resolving conflict."

The UK branch of Pax Christi has also added to the chorus of condemnation over last Thursday’s bomb attacks:

"We believe that the most authentic way to be faithful to those who suffer the violence of terrorism and war is to work for peace and models of security that create justice and trust between peoples," a spokesperson told Ekklesia.

Pax Christi says: "Vengeance is not a constructive or appropriate response. We must not add further to the cycle of violence which is crippling our world. We should challenge actions and policies that seek to scapegoat ethnic or minority groups in our communities; or to use this tragic event to justify pre-emptive military actions or a clamp-down on democratic freedom in the UK or elsewhere."

The meeting will take place from 18.00–19.30 on Tuesday 12 July.