Remembering the Hungerford ‘tragedy’ 30 years later

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A SPECIAL church service marked the 30th anniversary of the horrific Hungerford shootings. The Revd David Salt, who was the vicar of St Lawrence’s Church in 1987, when the events known locally as the “tragedy” happened, returned to the town to preach.

As he preached, David stated how watching television we are constantly reminded of tragedies. “This week I was reminded of the division of Pakistan and India and how millions of people were displaced and hundreds brutally killed.” David also mentioned last week’s terrorist attacks in Finland and Spain.

But he preached a message of hope. “When the tragedy struck, I was overwhelmed by the help the congregation offered. Believe it or not we suddenly became alive as a church. Our purpose was made quite clear, we didn’t need decisions and resolutions from the PCC.” David said the St Lawrence’s joined forces with the other churches and organisations in the town. “We had a common vision, to help as best we could. We have seen this community spirit replicated in the tragedy at Grenfell Tower.”

At the end of the service, the Revd Mike Saunders, the current vicar, echoed David’s message. “God has brought good out of a great tragedy. It is like Good Friday. What happened was evil but a community spirit has come out of the tragedy.”

After the service civic leaders, police and those whose loved ones were killed or injured in the shootings gathered at the town’s memorial to lay wreathes.