Dear RBC and friends,
As we reflect on the tragic killings in Nottingham this week, we wanted to share with you Sam’s thought for the day for BBC Radio Nottingham. You can read or listen to it below.
‘Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.’ These words from Romans chapter 12 have been in my mind over the past few days.
Father’s day is normally a day when many of us celebrate and give thanks for those we love. But this isn’t the case for everyone, for some this can be a day when they’re reminded of the loss of a loved one through death or by other means. As a church leader, on occasions like these, I aim to strike the balance between rejoicing and allowing space for people to express any sadness, anger and grief they may be feeling.
This Father’s day, for the people of Nottingham, is different to others as it comes at the end of a tragic week for this city. And it’s only right that space is given to express our collective sorrow. And so on this day when you may well be meeting up with family to rejoice together. You might also want to take time to mourn with those who mourn.
Today, I think particularly of the families of the two 19 year olds Grace O’Malley Kumar and Barnaby Webber, students in this city who were so brutally killed on our streets. I also think of the family of Ian Coates, a man who served as a caretaker in one of our local schools also killed in the same attack. We stand with these families in their grief today.
I also think of those injured in this attack as they receive treatment at hospital or recover at home. For others who witnessed these horrendous incidents and for our emergency services who dealt with the aftermath. I pray for a swift recovery and for a peace that passes all understanding.
Finally, I think of all of us living in Nottingham. Our streets should be safe places to live, to study, to work, to shop and to do whatever else we enjoy doing. This sense of safety has been trampled on and we share together in our collective anger and loss.
And so I invite you to take a brief moment of quiet to express your own thoughts and emotions and if you so wish to offer a prayer for this city and for all those affected by the events of this week.
And I want to end with some words of hope. There’s another bible verse that says ‘weeping may last the night, but joy comes in the morning.’ Nottingham is a great city and a place that is so often full of love and fun and laughter. And so whilst we express our shared lament and mourn together today we also look forward to the joy that is to come.
May God bless you and comfort you and give you his peace.