MANCHESTER PATHFINDERS TAKE PART IN CIVIC CEREMONIES

6th June 2017

Terrorism in the UK has historically always been present as a result of varying causes, struggles and insurgencies.

However in the last three months we have seen three attacks in the major cities in this country. It seems despite individuals being listed on the 'terrorism radar list', the same individuals and others are carrying out these atrocities undetected. Agitation and insecurity has become the focal concern of many people today as the next attack somewhere in the UK almost seems ominous. These are uncertain times and certainly a reminder of the volatile times in which we live.

No sooner had the request for a statement been made from Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders in response to the previous attack that yet another would be requested. This time however instead of a written statement, I spoke to BUC President, Ian Sweeney on his thoughts on these latest attacks. 

Meanwhile the Manchester Pathfinders have been actively involved in the civic ceremonies of the city. They led the procession in the town centre and were involved in the laying of wreaths. Their presence was appreciated by many at such a time as this.  

 

Pastor Peter Jeynes shares his report below providing further details on the Manchester Pathfinders' involvement.

The North England Conference (NEC) Advanced Drill Team along with the Midlands Drum Corps joined with members of the Manchester North church and several local pastors as Pastor Ikwisa Mwasumbi (NEC Pathfinder director) led the ceremonial procession. Rumbidzai Muchenagumbo, a young Pathfinder also carried a wreath to lay among the thousands of balloon and floral tributes in St Anns Square in the centre of Manchester.

Rumbidzai highlights the grief that has emanated from the bombing. Her response to the bombing at prayer meeting was, "I feel shocked", for at that time the sister and boyfriend of her best friend were missing but hopefully alive. Later news revealed that the loving couple had tragically died in the bombing.

The NEC Pathfinder director chose an appropriately grieving Pathfinder to lay a wreath at his side. The Drum Corps and Drill Team marched to the site of the tributes to a very slow drum beat. Watching crowds drew to one side as the party advanced. It was obvious that this was a sight to draw the emotions. Several bystanders were in tears, two said, "how moving." The wreaths were laid, heads were bowed for a short time and then the party returned to their origin. Applause from the crowd accompanied the departure for all had been moved.

One couple expressed their admiration for what they had seen, one man said "You've all done a good thing here." The Adventists had responded appropriately to grief.

The Manchester Evening News reporter interviewed Rumbidzai after the event. The 15-year-old showed great common sense in her replies to the questions she answered. She can now go home and let her best friend know that, "my Church cared for you and your loved ones."

As Adventist Christians we are reassured by the words of the psalmist: "The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident." [Psalm 27:1-3]

 

[Richard Daly and Peter Jeynes]


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