Prayers for peace following the killing of Stefan Appleton

Simon Harvey writes,

Once again Islington families and communities are mourning the death of another young man. According to reports, Stefan Appleton, 18, was attacked at 6pm on Wednesday evening, with a machete.

This vicious killing took place in sight of a children's playground.

Local church and community leaders have worked together. I'm especially thankful for the ministry of St Stephens' Church, in whose parish the attack happened, for its clergy and the leaders of the Urban Hope youth project.

Some of the youngest children at St Mary's Primary School witnessed the attack and the compassionate support offered by staff, led by headteacher Genevieve Prayag has been wonderfully caring and wise.

The doors of our church are normally closed in the late afternoon but tonight (Thursday 11 June) they will be open until 10pm. At 9.45pm there will be a short service of night prayer, in which we will pray for safety on Islington's streets. We will pray that young minds will not be scarred by what they witnessed. We will pray that the young men of our borough will grow to live without fear and that no further lives will be lost to violence.

A prayer

God of love,
hear the cries of our grief,
for you know the anguish of our hearts.
Accept our prayer for all who mourn and for those who bear wounds of this world's cruelty.
We pray that justice may be done
and that Islington may treasure the memory of Stefan Appleton
more than the manner of his death.
Teach us the ways of peace and bring us lasting hope.
Lord save us and help us.
Amen.