09 August 2011
UK Riots: Statement from the President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Leo Osborn
Responding to the news of the riots in Britain, the Revd Leo
"The British delegation of the World Methodist Council meeting in Durban, South Africa, has been deeply saddened to hear of the riots in parts of London and, subsequently, elsewhere. We have been assured of the prayers of the worldwide Methodist family for all who have suffered distress and loss, to which, of course, I add my own prayers.
"Whilst it is impossible to know at this distance the details of all that has taken place, we do pray that God will strengthen the hand of those working for reconciliation and peace with justice and, not least, those of the Methodist community."
Statement on the London Riots by Chair of the London District Revd Jenny Impey
The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God's love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission. The churches within the London District have been doing this together with our ecumenical partners and other community groups over many years and will continue to do so long after the riots and looting have ceased to be headline news.
I have today contacted each circuit and heard of meetings which are happening in many places as Methodist ministers and members seek to meet with ecumenical, other faith, community and council leaders in order to respond in a united way to the destructive events on our streets. A number of our people live close to the hot spots and have spoken of their shock at what they have witnessed, but are responding in positive ways by helping with clean up operations, calling together people for prayer and positive action and contacting church members to ensure that they are OK.
Many people across London and elsewhere are counting the cost of the destruction on our streets. Our churches, which are at the heart of the communities affected, want to play their part in partnership with others to bring healing and peace to those areas, and demonstrate that this city is a place of peaceful, diverse and vibrant communities.
The London District is making small grants available to those churches and circuits seeking to respond with local initiatives and is calling on the people in our churches and circuits to pray wherever they are at 8am and 8pm daily for all who are caught up in and affected by what is happening on our streets and to pray for peace and healing.