The events of the past week in Beirut and Paris were calculated cowardly attacks against innocent civilians, which have traumatised the people of France, Lebanon and have shocked the international community. Paris is very dear to my heart having lived and worked in the city for over five years. Watching the news was heart breaking.
The people of Beirut and Paris have shown great courage and resilience in the face of such violent actions against their culture, values and community. I ask that the people of Paris and Beirut are kept in your prayers alongside all victims of terrorist atrocities with the certain hope that we will overcome the devastating effects of these dreadful crimes.
On Sunday vigil services were held across the UK to mark this attack. In Birmingham, which neighbours my constituency of Meriden, the Bishop of Birmingham, David Urquhart, held a service outside St Phillip’s Cathedral, with leaders of all faiths and local residents. Together, they stood in solemn unity in support of the people of France and in condemnation of these acts of terrorism.
The 14th November is also the anniversary of the destruction of the old Coventry Cathedral during the Second World War, the mission of the modern Cathedral is one of reconciliation and peacebuilding. These actions have shown just how important its mission is for the world today as it was in 1945. With the power of God's love we can choose life and hope to overcome hate.
As the Archbishop of Canterbury has said “Wherever there is such wickedness Christ suffers afresh in the suffering of every human being. In solidarity let us be the source of consolation.”
Faith communities, Governments and wider society must work in solidarity to defeat the violence of terrorism.
Caroline Spelman MP | Second Church Estates Commissioner