Prayers to be said for fallen police

Christians are being asked to join in prayer on Sunday for PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, who were killed while on duty this week.

Pastor Jonathan Oloyede, organiser of the National Day of Prayer, said the murders of the two officers in Hattersley, Manchester, had “brought into sharp focus the work that our police do on the frontline”.

“We stand with all those who serve on the front line, remembering especially Greater Manchester Police at this difficult time. We also pray for the young people in the area at this time,” he said.

He called upon Christians across the UK to pray for their communities and everyone affected by the deaths.

“The power of prayer works and we need to call upon our merciful God to hear our prayers for our communities. It is at difficult times that God puts his people in the right position to respond.

“I urge you to make space in your worship on Sunday to observe the one minute’s silence at 11.00am for those who died and call to mind with thanksgiving those who serve in your own village, town or city.”

The Bishop of Manchester has issued a prayer asking God to protect those in danger from violence and giving thanks for the “constant courage” of the police.

The bishop said: "I want to convey to you our shock at the horrific killing of the two young policewomen, together with our continuing thoughts and prayers for their families, and for you and the Greater Manchester Police Force at this time of heart-rending bereavement.

"I want to express to you not only our sorrow about what has happened, but our constant appreciation for the bravery and commitment of your police officers.”

Other Christian leaders have also expressed their sadness at the deaths.

Steve Clifford, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance, said: "As the story broke, the circumstances surrounding the murder of two police women, going about their everyday, normal work has shocked the nation.

“As a church this is a great opportunity for us to pray for the men and women who make up our police force and to say thank you for their service.”

Roy Crowne, Executive Director of HOPE, said: “The Police play a strategic role at the heart of all communities. Let's use this sad opportunity to demonstrate care and gratitude to our police officers.”

The Bishop of Manchester's prayer:

Almighty God,
we pray for all who at this time mourn Fiona and Nicola,
who have been tragically killed whilst serving the public;
and we ask for your comfort
and strength to be especially
with their loved ones and colleagues.

As we pray also for those
who continue to be in danger from this violence,
we give thanks for the constant courage
and devotion to duty of the police,
and all who take risks
to protect our communities.

May they be strengthened for the tasks they face
and supported in the commitment they give,
that they may further the well-being of all people
and enable our society to be loving, just and at peace.

We ask this in the name of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.