London’s churches praying for peace in Israel and Gaza
Churches across the Diocese of London have been offering their support and prayers as the grave situation in Israel and Gaza continues to escalate, in the wake of the Hamas attacks. In London itself this week, there have been reports of increased hostility and antisemitic abuse. Church leaders in London have attended meetings and gatherings with their Jewish neighbours, united in their condemnation of hate.
- The Bishop of London has written to the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, and to Marie van der Zyl OBE, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, pledging the support of London’s churches to their Jewish friends and neighbours.
- The Area Dean of Barnet, the Rev’d Dr Julie Gittoes, and the Archdeacon of Hampstead, the Ven John Hawkins, were at the New North London Synagogue, for a vigil for all of Masorti Judaism, together with local community representatives, and Rev’d Dr Nathan Eddy from the Council of Christians and Jews.
- Churches across the capital, such as St Mary’s and Christ Church Hendon, are holding hours of prayer for peace.
The Bishop of London, Dame Sarah Mullally, said:
“The rise in recent days in reports of antisemitism has been reprehensible. We condemn such acts in the strongest possible terms. The whole Jewish community in London has been grieving, following the horrific Hamas attacks. We share their grief, their sorrow, and their pain, in the wake of such terrible loss.
“In the eyes of God, every human life is sacred. Together, we pray for every one of the diverse communities we serve in London, for our Jewish and Muslim neighbours, and we pray for lasting peace in Gaza and Israel.”
Georgina Bye and Rev’d Dr Nathan Eddy, the Jewish and Christian Co-Directors, respectively, of the Council of Christians and Jews, said:
“Within the Jewish community, these barbaric acts of terror have shaken communities to their core, and fear and anxiety is at an all-time high. Many of our Jewish friends and colleagues are personally impacted, with family members or friends held hostage, missing, or even sadly murdered.
“At times like this, words matter, as does compassionate leadership. We encourage clergy to check in and reach out to nearby synagogues and to Jewish faith leaders, friends and colleagues who are mourning and scared during this time. Bonds of friendship and understanding are needed now more than ever – especially as we enter into what are sure to become even more fraught times.”
Archbishop Hosam Naoum of Jerusalem has offered the following prayer which is commended for use through the Diocese:
O God of all justice and peace,
we cry out to you in the midst of the pain and trauma of violence and fear which prevails in the Holy Land.
Be with those who need you in these days of suffering; we pray for people of all faiths – Jews, Muslims and Christians and for all people of the land.
While we pray to you, O Lord, for an end to violence and the establishment of peace, we also call for you to bring justice and equity to the peoples. Guide us into your kingdom where all people are treated with dignity and honour as your children – for to all of us you are our Heavenly Father.
In Jesus’ name we pray,
Should you witness or become aware of any antisemitic or racist abuse, please report this to the Police; antisemitic abuse can also be reported to the Community Security Trust (https://cst.org.uk/)