Westminster attack: Church of England leaders respond
The Archbishop of Canterbury and leaders of the Church of England have offered prayers for those affected by the attack in Westminster as they praised the bravery of police and emergency services.
With areas around the Houses of Parliament in lockdown as events unfolded, Westminster Abbey offered hospitality to MPs, their staff and others.
Meanwhile the Church of England issued a Collect for Peace, led by the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu in a video.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, tweeted: “Deeply shocked and saddened by events in Westminster.
“We are praying for all affected and those responding so bravely.”
He later added: “Praying tonight for those grieving loved ones – and those injured and traumatised – after the brutal and senseless attack in #Westminster.”
The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Christine Hardman, said: “We weep with those affected at Westminster and offer heartfelt prayers for the injured, emergency services and all who work there.”
Meanwhile the Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway, who was in Parliament earlier in the day, posted: “Prayers for all affected by #Westminster attack, praise for dedicated emergency services and police and resolve to work for unity and peace.”
Among those inside the Abbey was the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, who had been in the House of Lords.
He described the atmosphere in a tweet speaking of the: “Serious but good mood inside despite the horrors outside.”
The Dean of Westminster, the Very Rev John Hall, tweeted: “I was glad to offer a prayer @wabbey when everyone had come across from the Palace of Westminster for all involved & those injured & killed.”
“We weep with those affected at Westminster and offer heartfelt prayers for the injured, emergency services and all who work there,” the Bishop of Newcastle.
Meanwhile the Ven Luke Miller, Archdeacon of London, who chairs the Faith Sector Panel of the London Resilience Forum, said: “Our prayers are with those affected by the shocking events in Westminster this afternoon.
“The London Resilience Partnership has shared information and I have been in contact with our clergy in Westminster Palace and the surrounding area, who are safe and helping to comfort those around them.
“While the facts of the situation are still emerging, it is clear that Londoners are already pulling together in support of each other. Together, we are all enormously grateful for the ongoing work of the police and emergency services.”
And the Rt Rev Graham Tomlin, the Bishop of Kensington, posted: “Wondering what you can do about the Westminster attacks? You can pray.
“As Jesus said ‘This kind of spirit can only come out through prayer’.”