In the wake of a series of terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday evening (13 November 2015) our two Anglican congregations in the French capital are planning special acts of worship on Sunday.
There are two churches serving Central Paris, St George’s in Rue Auguste-Vacquerie and st Michael’s in Rue D’Aguesseau.
Rev Andrew Bigg, Assistant Priest at St Georges says they will be keeping tomorrow’s service as a requiem and our main prayer is for the family and friends of those who were killed, as well as for good communication and cooperation between the governments of those European countries deemed to be under any threat at this time. Andrew adds; “We are uncertain yet how many people will wish to venture out tomorrow morning but the choir will be singing a requiem setting at short notice and I will modify other parts of the service to reflect this traumatic time.”
St Michael’s church website states; We mourn that our city is again afflicted by violence, fear and grief. We pray for the thousands who are directly affected – the hundreds of bereaved and those who are gravely injured and traumatized and for the medical teams caring for them today.
We give thanks that Saint Michael’s itself is unharmed. Although vehicle access to the area is restricted, nearby metro stations are currently open and there is free pedestrian access to the church- especially from east and north sides of the Faubourg St Honoré. We plan to continue with Sunday worship as scheduled on 15 November (09:15 and 11:00 followed by our fellowship lunch). However please be safe and wise – and check our crime essay page for further updates.
Our Bishops have sent messages to those churches and other congregations in the Greater Paris area, assuring them of the support and prayers of the Diocese.
Bishop Robert, who is in France on a pastoral visit to Nice, says; “I am deeply shocked by the terrible tragedy which has befallen the city of Paris. I offer my fervent prayers for the families who have so brutally and suddenly lost loved ones, and for all who are struggling with serious injury. As a diocese we want to express our solidarity with the people of France at this dark time. Acts of terror against innocent people are totally abhorrent. We pray for deliverance from evil and that all the perpetrators and their accomplices are swiftly brought to justice.”
In a similar message Bishop David has written to the churches saying; “Dear sisters and brothers
Once again violence and terrorism have struck France and the world is in shock. The numbers of dead and injured in the attacks across Paris must make this one of the deadliest of such crimes.
Across the diocese this weekend we will be praying for the people of Paris at this time of national mourning, distress and fear.
We pray for all who have died that our Loving God will welcome them into his arms. We pray that God will comfort all who grieve, as well as the injured and the fearful.
And we pray that terrorism may be overcome and violent hearts turned to paths of peace.
In the face of hatred we pray that we may show forth love, and in this time of despair we remember our calling to be lights in a darkened world.
“May the peace of the Lord be with you.”