Bishop of Burnley decries 'attack on childhood'

Leading an event at Blackburn Cathedral, the Bishop of Burnley has condemned the recent Manchester terrorist attack, branding it not only an attack on a city, but an "attack on childhood itself."

Bishop Philip speaks before the minutes silence.
Bishop Philip speaks before the minutes silence.

Speaking at the service, at which hundreds of people from parishes across Lancashire stood together in silence to remember the victims and those injured in the Manchester Arena attack, the Rt Rev. Philip North lead the gathering as they paid their respects.

Introducing the minute's silence, which was followed by further prayers, the bishop said: “As we meet tonight, we are acutely aware of what is going on our nation. This was an attack, not just on a city, but on childhood itself.

“While praying for everyone involved in the attack and the families who have lost loved ones, it is vital to keep our young people and children at the heart of our prayers," he added. “In the sight of such hatred and violence the only response and the only healing comes through the balm of prayer.”

Many people attending the service also took the opportunity to sign a book of condolence which has been opened at the cathedral, with the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, writing: “We commit to pray for all caught up in this horror and ask for the peace of God, that passes all understanding, to protect and keep all who most need it at this time.”

Services and vigils of reflection and prayer for the Manchester attacks also continue to take place in parish churches across the County of Lancashire, including regular services this coming Sunday as well. You can find details of your local church, including website links, on

Many churches are also currently opening their doors to visit and for prayer during the 10 days of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, and to find out about churches holding services and open events on under the ‘Events’ tab.