Church leaders, politicians speak of ‘deep sorrow’ after murder of Catholic MP Sir David Amess
Tributes continued to pour in for Tory MP Sir David Amess after his tragic murder on Friday.
Counterterrorism officers are investigating the murder of the pro-life Catholic MP, who was stabbed to death at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea while undergoing surgery in a local constituency.
A 25-year-old man was arrested at the scene and a knife recovered.
Metropolitan police said it was a “terrorist incident”.
A prayer published by the Methodist Church following the tragedy speaks of the “cost” paid by “those who give their lives in public service.”
Sir David has been a Conservative MP for Southend West since 1997 and an MP since 1983. He is survived by his wife Julia and their five children.
On Friday evening, dumbfounded locals gathered for a vigil at St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, where Father Jeffrey Woolnough was remembered as someone with “that great East London spirit who is to have no fear and to be able to speak to people at the level where they are “.
“Have you ever known Sir David Amess without that happy smile on his face? Because the greeting he always gave you was always that happy smile,” he said, according to the BBC.
Home Secretary Priti Patel ordered an urgent security review of MPs following her death, which sparked a wave of grief from politicians and Church leaders.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Sir David “one of the nicest, kindest and kindest people in politics” who had “an outstanding record of passing laws to help the most vulnerable”.
“All of our hearts are filled with shock and sadness today,” he said.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was a “dark and shocking day”.
“David had a deep sense of duty which I witnessed firsthand in parliament,” he said.
Catholic leader Cardinal Vincent Nichols said Sir David’s death was “a painful loss in so many lives” and that he would pray for his loved ones and constituents.
“This death highlights the fact that our deputies are servants of the people, available to people in need, especially in their constituencies,” he said.
This horrific attack, as David was undergoing surgery in his constituency, is an attack on our democratic process and traditions. “
Sir David was a committed Catholic who in 2006 established the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Relations with the Holy See Group and participated in Pope Benedict’s 2010 visit to Parliament.
“David exercised his vocation as a Catholic in public life with generosity and integrity,” continued Cardinal Nichols.
“He served in Parliament for four decades and was respected by all political parties in the House. His untimely death is a great loss.”
Lord Alton, a Catholic peer and good friend of the MP, said he had received the news of Sir David’s death with “deep sadness”.
“For all the good in the world, we still have the capacity to do really bad things,” he said.
“This horrific attack not only deprived David of his life, but its repercussions will have devastating consequences for his family and loved ones. My thoughts are with Julia and their children. May he now rest in peace.”
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said “Sir David’s deep faith has fueled his sense of righteousness.”
“The murder of an MP, while he is caring for his constituents, is a blow to this country, its citizens and all those who want a peaceful and flourishing democracy,” he said.
“The only antidote to violence and hatred is love and unity. At this horrible and tragic time, we must come together, across political differences, and be the light that refuses to be intimidated by them. darkness.”
Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell said it was difficult to make sense of the “horror” of Sir David’s death.
“I had the great honor to call David Amess a friend when I was Bishop of Chelmsford,” he said.
“He was the Member of Parliament for the constituency where I grew up, and not only did he always faithfully serve these people and this place, but he had a special concern for the Christian community born out of his own deeply held Christian faith as a member. of the Roman Church. Catholic community.
“It is shocking that someone so devoted to their community and to their public service has been subjected to such violence while carrying out their duty as an elected official.
Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, Archbishop Angaelos, said it was “a sad day when a person of Sir David Amess’ commitment and caliber is fatally attacked as he faithfully fulfills his duty to his constituents “.
Andy Flannagan, Executive Director of Christians in Politics, said: “There are moments that reflect the reality of who we are as a society. This tragic murder of another public servant may well be one of them.
“Are we once again exposed to the extreme version of the lazy antipathy that so many of us have towards those who answer the call for public leadership?”