A message from the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Ian Hopkins, following the Manchester Arena Attack:
As the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, and as a father, my heart is broken for the people who lost their lives, those who were injured and everyone affected by the attack at Manchester Arena.
We are doing all we can to support those who need it, and it's really important that we continue to come together and show the world that Manchester, with its diverse, fantastic communities will not be defeated.
People will feel scared, and it is completely normal to feel this way. However, it's vital that we stand together during this difficult time, particularly in relation to hate filled views that have no place in Greater Manchester.
I am calling on all of you to continue to show love, compassion and empathy for your neighbours. Do not let this evil attack stop you from celebrating and enjoying the diversity of our communities, and please continue to stand together against hatred.
We will not tolerate hate crimes against members of our community and will robustly investigate and take action. If you do experience or witness a hate crime or incident please report it to us on 101 (always call 999 in an emergency) via True Vision, online, at www.report-it.org.uk or through local 3rd Party Reporting Centres.
We are living in a a hostile and chaotic world. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we, as the church, stand united, that we witness to the revelation of the one true God, Who is a God of love and peace.
As Christians, we know that the power of God is a power which sets itself apart from, and establishes itself as superior to, all the ‘powers’ that people might come across in the world. Our recent Ascension celebrations remind us that the risen Jesus is enthrone and has power over the whole cosmos. The essence of Christianity is the life of God, the power of God, the nature of God, coming into our livesso that we are renewed.
When tragedy strikes in the way it has this week it is all too easy to forget that this power is there and available. But the God Whose name we profess in the name of Jesus reveals that real power is the absolute love of others shown in the willingness to give up everything. It is our responsibility to claim the power we have as Christians, by giving voice to the God of love we know and to make visible the God Whose glory is revealed most fully on the cross.
This is a time for us to express our love to our neighbours and especially to our Muslim neighbours by protecting them and helping reassure their personal security at this time. We will seek out our Muslim neighbours and let them know that we stand with them together in this international tragedy. And we will do the very thing which makes our faith unique. We will pray for our enemies, for when we pray we draw closer to the heart of God and we are changed. In the act of praying we grow closer to God and we are bound more fully one to another and to Christ Who prays with us.
And we do all of this confident in the knowledge, that ultimately the rulers and authorities of this world, good and evil, are subject to King Jesus. They are all put ‘under his feet’ and will be accountable to him.