SOCIETY: Unite against all hatred

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To the people of our communities,

As church leaders we are united in praying for the future of our nation, and particularly for our local area and the people we serve.

As followers of Christ we are dedicated to caring for all those in need, speaking out for those who have no voice, and bringing about radical transformation within our communities for the benefit of all people.

Our experience is that the north east has always been an open and tolerant area.

And we celebrate the diversity we find within our churches and communities, and the benefit that brings to us all.

We are thankful for the work done by people born and bred in this area.

We are also thankful for those who have joined us from across the globe to live and work here.

We are shocked and saddened by the sudden rise in accounts of hatred that we have heard from across the country in recent days.

Racism and discrimination of any kind should not be part of our culture.

And as church leaders we stand united against hatred of all kinds.

We passionately believe in a God who calls us to love our neighbours, to welcome the stranger amongst us and to go to all people and share the good news with them.

We, and our communities, are committed to serve those around us and build a better society.

Our prayer is that you would join us in this task and that you would help us to make the north east a beacon of hope.

In Christ.

Rev Dr Michael Armstrong, Coast Congregational Church, Cullercoats; Rev Paul Bagshaw, St Hilda, Marden with Preston Grange; Fr Tony Curtis SCP, Vicar of St Mark’s, Shiremoor; Rev Alan Dickinson, The Bay Church, Whitley Bay; Rev Liz Edwards, North Shields Baptist Church; Monsignor Andrew Faley, Roman Catholic Parish of Our Lady Star of the Sea, Backworth, West Monkseaton and Whitley Bay; Rev Phil Glover, Acorn Community Church, Whitley Bay; The Rev Canon Adrian Hughes, Vicar of St George’s Church, Cullercoats; Father Chris Hughes, St Cuthbert’s and St Joseph, North Shields; Rev John McDermott, St Mary the Virgin, Monkseaton; Rev Dr Pat Moran, Assistant Curate, St Mary the Virgin, Monkseaton; Rev Paul Newman, Senior Pastor, Whitley Bay Baptist Church; Major Eric Pearce, Salvation Army Commanding Officer, North Shields Corps; Rev Canon David Peel, Formerly Project Leader, the Cedarwood Trust, Meadow Well; Rev Matthew Prevett, St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Monkseaton; Rev Carla Quenet, St John’s Methodist Church, Whitley Bay, Monkseaton Methodist Church and Seaton Sluice Methodist Church; Rev Jona Sewell, North Shields Methodist Church and Earsdon Methodist Church; Rev David Twomey, Curate, St George’s Cullercoats; Rob Wylie, Beachcomber FX, North Tyneside; Rev David Wynd, Cullercoats Methodist Church and Cullercoats Fisherman’s Mission