The Archdeacon of Manchester is urging people to pray for the bereaved families – and the security services – after the final report into the Manchester Arena bombing revealed MI5 failings.
The inquiry said the security service had missed a "significant opportunity" to take action that may have prevented the attack in May 2017.
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Speaking to Premier, Ven Karen Lund said: ”It’s extremely difficult information for the families to be receiving at this time.
"It says something about our failure as human beings, huge mistakes were made. When we look to organisations like MI5 who are protecting our national security, that's their task. And when they fail in that it's extremely difficult not to exaggerate the impact of the loss and the feelings of hurt that families are already experiencing. But I think as a church, our obligation and our task and our role, is to pray.
“The whole process of grieving and loss is not something that comes to a conclusion. It's something that just day by day, families and individuals are able to manage as best as they can. The churches here in Manchester are able to be a foundational support for all of those different experiences that the families are now experiencing in the light of this report.
“The mistrust that arises at times like this attacks trust and creates fear. But as the church, we can use that amazing gift of prayer in which to support the families, and to support those who have failed as well.”
Since the tragedy, Manchester Cathedral has held an annual service for the bereaved families. Archdeacon Karen says there are also many other ways the church and community partners are supporting individual families across Manchester: “Perhaps this particular situation reminds us of the isolation we feel in circumstances of tragedy and the isolation that these families will be feeling.
"That reminds me of the isolation of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and that pouring out of prayer that Jesus did. There aren’t really words that are going to be a great comfort to the families now hearing this information of actions that perhaps didn't happen at the time. But as church communities and as the Christian community, we can offer them our love and our prayer support at this time.”