Manchester Attack


Statement from Cross Street Chapel

Cross Street Unitarian Chapel is deeply saddened over the recent bombing at the Manchester Arena. We send prayers to all who have lost loved ones, all who have suffered injuries, and all affected by this horrific attack. We are grateful for the support and prayers sent from across the world, and the response of our emergency services at this time of crisis.

Manchester is a community that responds to adversity with fortitude and pain with compassion. As we grieve, we grieve together. This spirit builds stronger bonds that even the most horrific act cannot untie.

Ways the chapel is helping:

Help our Minister get a bee tattoo!

Our Minister, the Rev’d Cody Coyne, will get a bee tattoo if he can raise £250 towards the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund! Help him reach his goal before he chickens out! Details are here

Yoga for Manchester

MagnaPass Experiences will be hosting a Yoga class at the chapel on Friday the 9th from 18:30-19:30. Tickets are £5 and donations go to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund. Tickets are available here.

Raising funds to “We Stand Together”

Money raised from our Wednesday and Sunday services on the 24th and 28th (available below) will go to the “We Stand Together, Manchester” fund. Additionally, donations from our Friday recital featuring Ugnius Pauliukonis on piano (available below) will be donated.

 

A space has been provided for people needing a pause from their day, for prayer and reflection. This will be available during the day; please buzz for entry.

Our minister is available for anyone needing emotional support: please e-mail him at minister @ cross-street-chapel . org . uk

Ways individuals can help:

Donating: www.justgiving.com/westandtogethermanchester

If you are eligible, please consider donating blood: https://www.blood.co.uk/

You can sign the official Book of Condolence here: http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/TKKJ2/

Other Reflections

Rev’d Coyne’s reflection in the Inquirer:

It was silent. Just the image of blue flashing lights piercing our front room. Had there not been more than usual, my wife and I may have failed to suspect anything or inquire. But social media prompted us to the tragedy that befell Manchester five minutes away. And as the evening wore on, our condition wore down. Confusion. Pain. Smoke. Lights. Sirens. Copters. Heartbeat. Questions. Misinformation. Breathing. Crying. Manchester felt a pain that night, and like the cotton cloths it spun for so long, this sorrow enveloped the world.

In the morning, it was decided the chapel needed to be open – to pray, to think, for sorrow, for pause. I made my way to Cross Street, along the edge of the cordon. Cameras and Reporters, Mancunians and foreigners, stood as close to the line of police officers and traffic cones as possible. I spoke briefly with the Dean of the Cathedral; he could not get in, so worship was on the street. I feared a similar story for my chapel: there were rumours of a ‘lockdown.’ For the unfamiliar, if your area is in lockdown, buildings must be closed, with no one entering or leaving. It signals real threat, it is the clearest symbol of uncertainty.

‘Lockdown’ echoes more than just a bodily danger; it disrupts liminality, the transition space, the edges that allow us to enter into another area. Physically it may be a wall; spiritually it is the border of ourselves and our world. How far is our compassion? If that ability to move from one point to another is halted, how dangerous is it for our soul, that bridges our ideals with reality, our spiritual essence with universal matter, the Divine with the earthly sphere? Breaking this passage risks stagnation.

This brutal act is its own interruption of space and time: revellers, joyful and enthusiastic, forced into a space of pain and suffering. Terror where there should be laughter. Shouts of happiness become screams of fear. 22 music fans who have lost their voices forever. And many more who were rejoicing are now made silent.

But we can respond, for we have our own liminal space, our own time that builds community in the face of tragedy. Call it what you will: decision, choice, a fork; it is that space of the possible, the dreams that guide our actions, the idea of a better world that can only be built with our hands. A weight that shifts us one way or another. Which way will it swing?

Manchester refuses to give in to terror; this I’ve learned from its history and its streets. Peterloo, IRA, Riots centuries ago and nearer. The Guardian’s response to this act of terrorism was to encourage everyone to ‘be Manchester.’ In the evening’s vigil, poet Tony Walsh proclaimed, “We keep fighting back with Greater Manchester spirit, northern grit, northern wit and Greater Manchester lyrics.” If there ever was a city that could transform its anger and sadness, it is Manchester. Its dynamism is built on diversity, and is in the brick and steel, the blood and bones. For Manchester, this is non-negotiable.

Returning to that night: after several sleepless hours, I returned to the front room, and saw daylight beginning to break. At this time of year dawn is in the direction of Manchester Arena. I saw brightness from between the buildings, and for a moment I thought, ‘It will be OK’ – not, ‘it is OK’, but, ‘it will be OK’. Because we are in that liminal space, where pain exists but potential too. Where anger and sorrow exist, but they are not alone. Where we grieve together, but we also stand together.

 

Last updated 04/06/2017