Sunday Prayers For Murdered Policewomen
Church services will be held across Greater Manchester today for the two police officers killed in a gun and grenade attack.
Sunday prayers will be offered in memory of PCs Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, who died after they responded to a report of a burglary in Hattersley last week.
The chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, revealed that a prayer vigil would be held this week so that people could “express emotion together”.
Following the deaths of the officers, the Greater Manchester force has received more than 30,000 messages on its online book of condolence, more than 20,000 messages on the force’s Facebook page and more than 1.3 million people have viewed the tribute to the officers on Facebook.
In an interview with BBC One’s Songs of Praise, Sir Peter said: “Greater Manchester police is a family and to have lost two colleagues this week in awful violent circumstances has just been devastating for the whole force and a very, very dark day.
“I think a lot of us feel passionately that policing is a vocation.
“It is a calling. I feel that in terms of my own faith but I know a lot of officers that don’t have a faith, but feel exactly the same – that it is a vocation, that it’s not just a job and I think that’s almost what you go back to in difficult times and difficult circumstances that how unfair something may feel, how inadequate you may feel you do actually rely on that you’re doing your best, and that this is your vocation.”
Sir Peter also said he was proud to be part of an unarmed police force that uses “minimum force”.
The Roman catholic bishop of Shrewsbury whose diocese covers the parish will be holding mass in the local church of St James the Great.
The Rt Reverend Mark Davies told Sky News: “In the face of events of such tragedy and evil of the magnitude that was visited on the streets of Mottram and Hattersley last week people turn in these moments to God. They seek to pray and to hold in their prayers, to hold in their hearts, all those who have been involved in these events.”
Dale Cregan, 29, has been charged with the murders of the two policewomen. He is also accused of killing David Short, 46, and his 23-year-old son Mark, who died in separate attacks in Clayton and Droylsden earlier this year.
He is due to appear at Manchester Crown Court tomorrow via videolink from HMP Manchester.
Police arrested a 15-year-old boy at a school in the Hattersley area on Friday afternoon.
The youngster was held on suspicion of assisting an offender – understood to be Cregan – and was released on bail until September 27 pending further inquiries.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said the investigation was a “complex and sensitive operation” as he urged the public to “search their conscience” and pass on any relevant information.