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Our long search for answers

Bishop James responds to the shootings in West Cumbria

Everyone has been deeply shocked by the terrible shootings.

It follows a tragic school bus accident in the area last week in which two teenagers and a motorist died - and unprecedented flooding a few months ago.

People are already asking how the communities affected will cope.

If past experience is anything to go by, the answer is "magnificently". The people of West Cumbria are wonderfully resilient and supportive when tragedy strikes.

And I know once again they will offer comfort and help of the most inspiring and heart-warming kind to the relatives and friends of victims. People are also asking what the Church is doing.

Again, the answer is encouraging. I know it is there for everyone, giving support long after the funeral flowers have wilted.

Emotional wounds of this kind are not quickly healed and we will all continue to pray and listen in the months ahead.

I will also be visiting the area in the coming days. Faith can give me, and others in Cumbria, hope that we are not alone.

Only with faith can we begin to grapple with something as awful and difficult to understand as this.

Reproduced from The Sun, 3 June 2010.

To read prayers from the Church of England for those in grief at this time, click here.

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