London SE1 website team

RIOTS: Bishop of Southwark appeals for calm

"The images of violence and destruction on our screens do not represent the strong, hopeful and vibrant communities I know so well," said Bishop of Southwark Christopher Chessun.

Bishop of Southwark
Bishop of Southwark Christopher Chessun

Speaking on Tuesday afternoon Bishop Christopher said: "I want to appeal to those responsible for the disturbances to stop."

He went on to say: "Today, as many in our Diocese count the cost of the disturbances, I am deeply saddened to see the images of destruction in familiar places.

"I will in the days ahead visit those communities that have been at the centre of trouble and I continue to promise my support for, and solidarity with, all who seek to build positive and constructive engagement.

"The Christian message is one of hope, love and peace and I know that the churches of Southwark Diocese stand ready to play their part in bringing healing and hope to the places they serve. I am asking them to offer special prayers for the healing and peace of our cities when they gather for worship this Sunday and week by week, remembering especially those who have been personally affected and have lost homes and livelihoods."

The Bishop, who speaks for the Church on Urban Life and Faith, added: "Southwark Cathedral, along with many other churches in the Diocese, remains open as a place of prayer and reflection.

Meanwhile a number of shops and pubs in Waterloo and Southwark were closing early. Some have removed window displays and even boarded up frontages.

Also speaking on Tuesday afternoon, Southwark Council leader Peter John said: "We are working with the police and other community groups to keep Southwark as safe as possible, and I would like to praise the extraordinary efforts of the police, volunteers and local people who have demonstrated the strength in our community.

"The spirit of the people of this borough will triumph over the disgraceful actions displayed by a mindless minority."

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