We have just held an act of remembrance for Jo Cox MP in Southwark Cathedral. She was local in that she and her family lived in a houseboat not far from the Cathedral. But more than that her death affects us all in the nation – and at a time like this it is right to stand together. So this is what I said.
My friends, the news, first of the attack on and then the death of Jo Cox MP yesterday afternoon, was devastating and shocking. She was doing her duty, serving her constituents, being the representative of the people she was elected to be. Her death leaves her husband Brendan without a wife, her two young children without their mother. Her death leaves the community in Birstall shocked to its core, it leaves the House of Commons without one of its bright, rising stars, it leaves our nation without a woman of compassion, without a person who understood the needs of the refugee and the excluded and who was giving her life and talent to create a better world.
This week began with the horror of the events in the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and a candle continues to burn in this cathedral as it has done all week to represent our on-going prayers for those who were killed, injured, traumatised or bereaved as a result of that atrocity. And now violence in our own nation takes a young mother, a young politician and attacks the very fabric of our democracy.
So we meet here to hold all of this before God.
This morning the psalm (Psalm 55) we read in all our churches said this
I have seen violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they go about on her walls;
mischief and trouble are in her midst.
Wickedness walks in her streets;
oppression and guile never leave her squares.
And then it says
Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you,
and will not let the righteous fall for ever.
Therefore we cast the burden of our grief, pain and shock on the Lord as we stand and keep a minute of silence as we remember and pray for Jo Cox, pray for her husband Brendan and their children and pray that love may be stronger than hate in our world.
you speak peace into the chaos of the world.
Hold in your love Jo Cox and her family,
the communities who loved her,
her colleagues who respected her,
and our nation in its grief.
Bring us through darkness into your light,
banish that hatred which leads to violence
and restore the love that leads to you.
In Jesus’ name.