27 May 2017

COMMISSIONERS Clive and Marianne Adams, The Salvation Army’s territorial leaders for the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, spent the day in Manchester on Thursday 25 May to offer a listening ear to those in need of support following the suicide bomb attack in which 22 people lost their lives. Commissioner Clive said: ‘Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who have died, and our best wishes to those who are injured.’ They joined thousands of people at a one-minute silence in memory of those who lost their lives in the attack, accompanied at the sombre occasion at the city's usually-bustling Piccadilly railway station by Central North divisional leaders Majors Alan and Linda Watters. 

A further Salvation Army presence – intended to provide reassurance and comfort – was evident at St Ann’s Square in the city, which has become a focal point for people mourning and paying tribute to those who were killed.

Recognising that many of those who lost their lives were children and young people, The Salvation Army’s Divisional Youth Specialist, Jonathan Hampton, has also been a visible presence in St Ann’s Square, along with a number of young Salvationists. They have been offering compassionate support to the city’s young people who have been deeply affected by the week’s horrific events.

The Salvation Army’s international leader, General André Cox, will use his weekly devotional message on Sunday 28 May to reflect on the spiritual aftermath to the Manchester bombing and other less-reported tragedies.

‘Those intimately affected, those whose future will hereafter be defined by their proximity to that incident, will carry scars for the remainder of their lives,’ he writes. ‘Lord, help us to be continually sensitive to those impacted by tragedy.’

Noting the indiscriminate nature in which some people had ‘lives snatched away’ while others would have been in danger 'had some circumstance not intervened’, the General cautions against giving glib answers. ‘Tragic as this atrocity has been, it has prompted an avalanche of generosity, goodwill and solidarity,’ he observes, reminding Salvationists and friends that ‘within the Christian church … acts of extravagant love should be the norm’.

The Salvation Army remains available to offer further practical, emotional and spiritual support as needed.

Report by IHQ Communications
International Headquarters

Tags: Europe, The General