Thursday, December 22, 2005

July 13th 2005

I travelled with my family down to my sisters wedding in Abingdon, Oxford last Wednesday (06 July 2005). We were held up on that day by the protests at Gleneagles, and the massed ranks of riot place gathered along the A9 (many police officers from the Met, something that would prove significant). We arrived in Abingdon on Wednesday evening and prepared excitedly for our visit to London the next morning, a first time for all the children.
We woke up late on the Thursday and never set out for London as early as we had hoped. On our way to park at a convenient tube station we got a call that London was closed, we headed back. I then received a call from the Railway Mission to put me on standby, though being in Dingwall I would most likely not be needed. Once I explained I was in Oxford I was called to report to London on the next day.
I went to Kings Cross initially and spoke with members of staff and the public, from there I was despatched to Tavistock Place, scene of the bus bombing.
I was allowed access through the cordons and behind the giant screens to the couple of policeman providing security for the crime scene at the rear of the bus.
The scene was at best sad, at worst desperate, nothing had moved, the devastation lay just as it had happened. Outside the cordons the worlds media jostled and jockeyed for the latest story, intense activity, inside the scene was peace. Birds flew past the bus, the buildings, the scattered wreckage, and I looked in admiration at the triage the doctors from a BMA conference had set up. The ingenuity and improvisation of these men, more accustomed to sanitised conditions with trained staff, but here in the street they had worked creatively with passers by to save life.
So I was left with many thoughts, not least the thought that life goes on, yes the counsellors will counsel, the investigators investigate, and the reporters report, but really it is only love that will win, hate can never create peace. I recoiled at my own prejudices as I boarded the number 30 bus that evening to head back from Kings Cross to Paddington, the prejudice that surfaced as I gazed nervously at the Asian youth with the bag boarding my bus.
As someone who grew up in Manchester, terrorist attacks are nothing new, yet living here in Dingwall that world can seem very distant, yet in so many ways that reality is very clear and present as we each need to search our own hearts as to how we view our neighbours.

As a mark of deepest sympathy, Tapestry will be holding a time of candlelit prayer and reflection at St James Episcopal Church, Castle St, Dingwall this Friday at 8pm

1 comment:

Gillian said...

Just to clarify, we're not meeting this friday at 8pm at St James' are we?


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