Violence on the streets of London is not new. But the murder of a soldier, video of the attackers dripping with blood, and attempts by extremists on both sides to stir up further violence, make this a dangerous time. If we let it.
Our thoughts are with Drummer Lee Rigby’s family, friends and colleagues, who must suffer not only violent loss but wall to wall coverage of their loss.
One abiding memory of the 7 July bombings was the open air memorial held near the hospital where I worked. Two staff died in the bombing but it was a meeting for unity and peace. The hospital Chaplaincy brought together Christians, Muslims and Jews to condemn violence and attempts to divide, to proclaim our common humanity and decency. The Anglican and Muslim chaplains held hands in an impromptu gesture of solidarity and were applauded.
Individual onlookers showed great courage and grace and each of us must understand our responsibilities in the weeks, months and years ahead. The alleged attackers must receive a fair trial. Britain and London have transcended worse crimes.