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Latest issue: 10 August 2013
Last updated: 13 August 2013

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Woolwich Mass for Drummer Rigby

24 May 2013

Residents of Woolwich gathered for a Mass yesterday following the barbaric murder of Drummer Lee Rigby who was killed by two alleged Islamic extremists in broad daylight on Wednesday afternoon.

Bishop Patrick Lynch, an auxiliary in the diocese of Southwark, presided at Mass at St Peter the Apostle Church, Woolwich, and the parish clergy Frs Michael Branch and Lloyd Shanthikumar concelebrated in the presence of the Anglican Bishop of Woolwich, Dr Michael Ipgrave, Independent Catholic news reported.

Reading the bidding prayers, Dr Ipgrave prayed for Rigby, 25, of the 2nd Battalion of Fusiliers, and for his family and friends, for his colleagues at Woolwich Barracks and for peace and unity among the local community. He also paid tribute to the emergency services for their response to the event.

Today a group of 100 imams, organisations and individuals issued a joint statement condemning the murder, describing it as "a senseless act of pure depravity".

"Imams and Muslim organisations have done a great deal to speak out over the evils of terrorism over many years," they wrote. "But seeing what we have seen unfold over the last few days, we cannot afford to be complacent. Community-led discussions will be essential in the days and weeks ahead, to work out what more can be done to combat this problem."

The Muslim leaders expressed concern at attacks that have been reported against mosques and Muslim citizens. "The hate-fuelled individuals behind such attacks wish to polarise and tear apart our great country for their own sick ends. They should be isolated and subject to the full force of the law," they said.

They urged communities to remain calm, adding: "The overwhelming majority of the Muslim community stands united with the rest of society in condemning this awful tragedy."

"Once again, our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of Lee Rigby at this difficult time," they wrote.

Meanwhile the woman who confronted the suspects immediately after the attack and spoke to them for ten minutes until the police arrived has made light of her intervention. Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, a practising Catholic, told The Telegraph: I don't think I've done anything extraordinary."

Above: Dr Ipgrave with Frs Branch and Shanthikumar. Photo: Archdiocese of Southwark


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