Kent Messenger Column - 30-03-17
The appalling attack in Westminster last Wednesday was a sick homage to nihilism by a deranged and lost soul. I don't see religion being involved here, just plain evil and mal-intent. I feel so much for the families and friends of the dead and injured, desperately trying to assimilate any meaning behind this atrocity; I am thinking of Brendan Cox losing Jo last June and I am mindful of the hundreds killed and maimed in the lorry attacks in Nice and Berlin last year.
All of them will have left home on those days without fear or contemplation of what was to come. Their fate helps me to be thankful for each new day, to try and use it to the full, and to try and ensure when I leave for work that it is on a good note with my loved ones. You never know what's around the corner.
In the aftermath I've received many messages of support and prayer from friends, colleagues and well-wishers. It seems the intention to destroy has only served to create and strengthen bonds between good people all around the world.
In stark contrast with Wednesday, just two days later I witnessed a warm coming together of twenty Maidstone churches and organisations as part of the Waypoint Project. The dinner event was in the company of a wonderfully diverse group of guests, all of kindred spirit in doing something for our community. It was a calming close to a tempestuous time and provided some balance in the sad scheme of things.
Toward the end of the evening the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, shared his lucid view on the week and then gave a blessing for the people of Maidstone, which I share with you now;
"Creator God, giver of all good things, you long for all people to live freely together. Pour out your blessing on Maidstone. Bless all who live and work, love and serve, struggle and celebrate, relax and thrive here. Open our eyes to see each other as gifts from you. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen."