Response from the Bishop of Hereford the Rt Revd Richard Frith following the shooting in New Zealand

    Talking Points
    21 March 2019

    "I am deeply shocked and appalled at the lives lost in the senseless and grotesque violence perpetrated against innocent people worshipping in a mosque.

    The Golden Rule of 'Love your neighbour' is a principle that unites not just those of every faith but also all people of goodwill who want to live in a world of peace, justice and opportunity for all.

    At the same time there are those who cannot accept anyone whose belief and life-style differs in any way from their own. They may be motivated by a sense of grievance, powerlessness or deprivation and live in the shadows until their anger erupts in acts of mass destruction. Their aim is often to make a statement and give themselves a twisted sense of importance often recorded on social media.

    No community is immune from the presence within it of such people who feel excluded and whose attitudes and behaviour in consequence may be slowly becoming more radical. When the time comes their target may well be those of any faith group or anyone who appears to them to have advantages that they do not share.

    One thing that can help is the sight of ordinary people of all faiths, cultures, and traditions celebrating their difference by working together for the common good. That may well inspire them to think of difference more positively.

    Those who feel victimised and excluded need to know that they are surrounded by a caring society which is reaching out to them and helping them to discover a sense of self-worth and purpose in life."