The town of Reading are still coming to terms with the tragic scenes on the evening of 20 June where three people were killed and another three were injured in a frenzied knife attack in Forbury Gardens.
In a full statement shared by Pastor Trevor Thomas in a special video is a message that reflects on a pastoral response to the tragedy.
One of those killed was James Furlong, a teacher of history and politics at the Holt school in Wokingham, just a short drive from Newbold College of Higher Education. A number of young people from the Newbold community attend the school and were found among those laying flowers at the school gates.
In the same video, Newbold senior pastor, Marcel Ghioalda visits the school and reflects on pastoral care to students and community. Daryl Gungadoo, a parent to one of the students, shares his own feelings and the way forward.
Read the full statement below:
The Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Reading would like to express our deepest condolences to the heartbroken families and friends of Joe-Richie Bennett, James Furlong, and David Wails fatally stabbed on Saturday, 20 June at Reading Park.
Our hearts grieve with you, and we lift you in our prayers at this time. We recognise that the loss of a loved one is heart-breaking at any time; however, these tragic circumstances only intensify the pain of loss. We pray that God will walk with you through the grieving process and in time, wipe away the tears from your eyes.
As members of the Seventh-day Adventist church, we stand together with the community of Reading against such violence and condemn such acts. We pray that the love of God within the heart will overcome the motivations that lead to such attacks.
We join with all well-meaning groups in Reading, including spiritual leaders, community leaders, and citizens of Reading as we work together for a better future in which each person is treated with the equity, dignity and respect they deserve.