First Hate Crime Awareness Week launches at St Paul’s Cathedral

Candles were lit under the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral to remember the people who have been killed in acts of hate against their identity – their race, disability, religion, sex, age or sexual orientation.

A sorrowful C15th carol, set to music by Benjamin Britten, was sung at the start of a service at St Paul’s Cathedral to mark the start of Hate Crime Awareness Week.  The voice soared into the dome of the Cathedral.

Lully, lullay, lully, lullay,

The falcon hath born my make away.

(Jeff Buckley’s recording here)

Canon Mark Oakley, Revd Alan Green, Beverley Smith (Hate Crime Disability Network) and Mark Healey (17-24-30, which organises the Trafalgar Square vigils) spoke simply and directly about the impact of hate crime – the fear, the violence, the grief, the repercussions.  They also spoke of hope and of working together so effectively that hate crime becomes unthinkable.

The London Peace Network/LBFN was honoured to be invited to light a candle in memory of people who have been killed because of their religion or their belief – or lack of it.  We also remembered the many who have been bullied or assaulted in Islamophobic, homophobic or other hate attacks.  The candles lit by members of different communities symbolised our commitment to work together against all forms of hate crime.

Letters of support were received from the Prime Minister, other party leaders and religious leaders.

A single candle is burning all week in a side chapel at St Paul’s, under the painting The Light of the World.  Canon Mark Oakley will take it to the Trafalgar Square vigil this Saturday.

The Facebook event page for the vigil is here.

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