Manchester bombing

Quakers in Britain, as part of the The Interfaith Network in the UK, endorsed this statement produced by them on 23 May.

The NFPB Coordinator, Philip Austin, is actively involved with interfaith groups in Greater Manchester and in Bolton (which is part of Greater Manchester). Statements from these groups appear amongst many listed on the Interfaith Network’s website here . He made the following contribution to a town-centre vigil in Bolton, on behalf of Bolton Interfaith that took place on 23 May. This is not a NFPB statement, but shared here as an example of the activities and reflections that are shaping responses in the region.

Text of contribution to the Bolton vigil on 23rd May 2017

Bolton Interfaith seeks to draw people together from faith and other community group from across Bolton.

We aim to build connections, to build friendships and to build bridges. We are united by a commitment to taking action that expresses our common values of caring for one another, of being active and positive citizens and, of finding unity in our diversity. To being good neighbours.

We have sometimes gathered to stand in solidarity, grief and prayerful reflection, at times of crisis in other parts of the world. Our sadness feels more acute than ever today because it is our neighbouring and inter-linked community of Manchester, as well as the wider North West, that has been so terribly and dramatically affected.

We hold in our hearts and in our prayers those whose – mostly young – lives have been so abruptly taken or shattered, by an act that embodied despair rather than faith. Our commitment is to building hope and we will continue to let that sentiment shape our actions.

This town, as with neighbouring parts of greater Manchester, is rich in its history, in its stories and in the aspirations and visions of its people. These threads, woven together, help us to help one another, just as we have seen the emergency services and the people of Manchester helping both neighbours and strangers in the city last night and today, with open hearts and open doors.

Let us support one another as we support our neighbours, our friends, our families, our town. We draw strength from prayer and from from hope. And we draw from the simple goodness in human hearts and from one another as we again affirm our bonds of common humanity.

There are so many stories of friendship and generosity in action – we know it is both what we are capable of and what unites us. But we are drawn together today, above all, by a deep sadness, a sadness that we must help one another through. We must look after each other today, tomorrow and however long it takes. But let us be together, both in our pain and in our deep sense of common humanity.

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