THE Church of England’s Bishop of Portsmouth has called for unity in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Houses of Parliament.
Rt Rev Christopher Foster spent time praying in church as well as visiting a mosque yesterday, as he urged local communities to demonstrate their shared values of respect.
The bishop prayed at Holy Trinity Church, Fareham, for those who were killed and injured in Wednesday’s attack, and for their families and friends. He also prayed that this terrorist attack does not provoke division within our society.
He then went on to visit the Wessex Jamaat Community at the Al Mahdi Centre near Fareham to reassure local Muslim worshippers of his prayers and support for them.
He said: ‘As someone who regularly works in the House of Lords, I was shocked to hear of the attack in Westminster and saddened to hear of those who died and were injured. Our churches are already praying for them and for their families.
‘My thoughts are particularly with the family of PC Keith Palmer, who died defending the people and Parliament that symbolise our democracy, and with the families and friends of the other innocent victims. I am heartened at the resolve shown by the police, and those who work in Parliament and elsewhere in London, that this attack will not prevent us from going about our business.’
‘Although the attacker may have been influenced by jihadist extremism, I want to show my support for Muslim friends and colleagues, who do not recognise this barbarity as any part of their faith. The vast majority of Muslims in the UK live peaceful lives, devoted to their local communities, and the actions of one man are not representative of what they believe.
‘As communities, let us demonstrate our shared values of humanity, respect and building relationships, and not allow the voices of fear and hatred to divide us.’