On the Wednesday 5th April, in my role as Deputy Chair of the London Assembly, I had the privilege of joining distinguished guests at Westminster Abbey, to commemorate those who were affected by the recent atrocity in Westminster. As Mayor Sadiq Khan said this was “an opportunity for all Londoners to say thank you to the emergency services and the police who went above and beyond the the call of duty to keep us all safe”.
It was also an opportunity for the City to pay respect and remember PC Keith Palmer, Kurt Cochran, Aysha Frade, and Leslie Rhodes. The grief of their families, friends, and colleagues were foremost in our thoughts and prayers.
To begin the Very Reverend Dr. John Hall, Dean of Westminster, gave his bidding. It was extremely moving. He said:
“Today we remember those in particular those who lost their lives… their families and friends, and all those who were injured.
…We give thanks for the vigilance and dedication of the Police and Security Services and we pray for them in their vital work of keeping our communities and nations safe from terror and random violence.
We pray today for the communities of our United Kingdom, so rich in their diversity, that we may all celebrate what each contributes and that we may live in harmony.
At a time of sorrow, a time when we are tempted to despair, may we find hope.”
The Prayers that followed brought together public figures of different faiths such as Commander Mak Chishty of the Metropolitan Police Service, Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE, Ayatollah Sayyid Fadhel Hosseini Milani, Police Constable Jaskaran Garcha, The Reverend Anthony Ball and the Right Honourable Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London.