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Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
UK News

Bishop of Salisbury says violation of city is still unfolding

by Cara Bentley

Almost a month after Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found on a park bench in Salisbury, poisoned by a nerve agent, the Bishop says Salisbury "has had a very strange few weeks"

At the Diocese's Maundy Thursday Chrism Mass, the Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam said: "It was an attack not just on them but a violation of the city in which other people got caught up."

"The consequences are still unfolding."

He added how it had led to a lack of confidence in each other: "Who can we trust and how are we to live together? The implications have gone way beyond Salisbury. Twenty countries are sending home Russians from their embassies and tensions have risen in a way I cannot recall."

In his welcome to the service, the Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam said:

"Coming to Salisbury in present circumstances feels like a very strong affirmation of belief in the Christian story on which this cathedral city was founded nearly 800 years ago. When things go wrong we believe in new life, hope and resurrection. What we do here and in our churches in the next few days attests that truth, love and justice matter in the way in which we live with one another.

"The Christian story is what Salisbury was built on nearly 800 years ago. It is still the organizing principle of the city now. In Holy Week we remember that Christ came into Jerusalem as messiah and king, had supper with his friends, was betrayed, denied, falsely accused, tried by earthly powers and crucified and on the third day rose again. You can't keep a good God down.

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