|The Revd Peter Jackson|
This morning the city of Nice and the nation of France is in mourning, once again, this time for the victims of the horrific attack on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice.
The Promenade is just a couple of hundred metres from our Church of the Holy Trinity. I spoke to the Revd Peter Jackson, the Chaplain this morning. Like so many, Fr Peter is in shock at these events. Last night he was enjoying the national festival, and attended a reception with the Mayor and Prefet, a warm family occasion. At the reception, ironically, honour and tribute was being paid to the those who work for the emergency services in the city. On return to the presbytery, he learned of the attacks close by. One Churchwarden narrowly escaped injury.
Fr Peter reflected with me on the disconcerting feelings he has, since as a priest he was working in Washington DC at the time of the 9/11 attacks, and was working in London at the time of two tragic Tube bombings. There are certain to be many in our community who will be personally affected by this tragedy, and we pray for Fr Peter and all who minister and care for the survivors.
In the Churchyard of Holy Trinity Nice is buried Henry F. Lyte, the author of the loved hymn "Abide with me". In his words:
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;God of infinite mercy, we pray for the victims of the Nice attack. Remember them according to the favour you bear for your people. Comfort those who mourn and give strength to the injured. Deliver those whose hearts are hardened by hatred. Grant to us all your understanding, and your persevering love, for your mercy's sake.
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.