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Language: English / Gàidhlig


Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Meeting of the Parliament 23 May 2017

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Attack on Manchester, Topical Question Time, Seat Belts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Oath, Business Motion, Decision Time, World Hypertension Month


Time for Reflection

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

Good afternoon, colleagues. This morning, we awoke to the tragic news that a terrorist incident in Manchester has taken the lives of many people and injured dozens more. The Parliament will shortly have the opportunity to express its sadness and to show solidarity with the people of Manchester.

Just before that, I am grateful to the Rev Graeme Clark, the minister of Central Baptist church in Paisley, for reflecting on these tragic events in his time for reflection.

The Rev Graeme Clark (Minister, Central Baptist Church, Paisley and Scottish Baptist College)

Presiding Officer and members of the Scottish Parliament, it is with heavy hearts that we gather here today following the multiple deaths in Manchester. Luke’s gospel chapter 19, verse 41 reads:

“And when Jesus drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace!’”

Tears might be more appropriate than words today.

In a moment, we will together observe a brief time of silence—the proper time of silence will come later—in remembrance of all those who have been killed and injured. Just before we do so, I want to read these words from Jonathan Sacks:

“Too often in the history of religion, people have killed in the name of the God of life, waged war in the name of the God of peace, hated in the name of the God of love and practised cruelty in the name of the God of compassion. When this happens, God speaks, sometimes in a still, small voice almost inaudible beneath the clamour of those claiming to speak on his behalf. What he says at such times is: Not in My Name.”

Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace. Together we remember in silence.

Lord God,
encircle in your comfort today all who are torn apart by grief;
encircle in your healing today all who are hurting and injured;
encircle in your peace today all who are overcome by fear;
encircle in your courage and strength today all those in the emergency services and health services.

On a day like this, we remember that the challenges that we face together are greater perhaps than we have yet seen or articulated. May God give all of you wisdom and strength.


The Presiding Officer

Thank you, Rev Clark.