The bright sunshine of a Sunday afternoon in London was a stark contrast to the Saturday evening in June a year ago, when terror, panic, fear and evil reared its ugly head.
The inspiring, respectful and sensitive service held at Southwark Cathedral remembered the eight whose lives that were taken, whose lives that were broken and those who were still in need of support and healing.
Reflective readings, powerful words of unity and love, lit candles, thoughtful prayers and rousing hymns whilst also recognising the bravery of the selfless that came to the plight of those in mortal need. Some of which carried physical scarring as well as mental scars.
Stone Corbels that will be placed on the outside of the cathedral were blessed.
An olive tree, called The Healing Tree was planted, using compost made from the flowers left at London Bridge last year. The flowers that were left on pop up memorials, in the aftermath of shock, disbelief and the wanting to show love to others. They will still feed the love poured into this London borough that still jitters and “remembers” at the sound of a police siren.
Representatives of the bereaved, survivors, witnesses, dignitaries, royalty, senior politicians, and well wishers left the Cathedral and walked through the gardens, empty market round to the bridge, where we stood in contemplative silence for a minute. Floral tributes were invited to be laid. The brave police officer Wayne Marques, being one of the first.
Response pastors had the opportunity to integrate with attendees of the commemorative service, including the relatives of victims, borough market workers, local residents, the Bishop of Southwark, the police, the Lord lieutenant and his wife.
People were kind to us too and thanked and appreciated us being there…. again