Southwark Corps takes in people after London Bridge attack

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After the terrorist attack unfolded on the London Bridge June 3, nearby Southwark Corps Officers Captains Ashish and Sandra Pawar knew they needed to do something.

With the corps just a five minute walk from the scene of the attack that killed seven people and injured 48 others, the Pawars immediately opened the hall and laid out emergency beds for those unable to get to their homes or hotels. Seven people stayed the night, joined on occasion by others who needed to charge mobile phones. Police used the restrooms, others who stopped by were offered hot drinks.

“It was a privilege just to be available, saying, ‘We’re open. You’re welcome into this place. No matter who you are or what your story is, just come on in and we’ll serve you,’” Ashish Pawar said.

General André Cox, international leader of The Salvation Army, who was leading meetings in the USA Western Territory at the time, published a message on Facebook: “Words fail…what tragedy in London with the incidents on London Bridge, in Borough Market and at Vauxhall. Oh Lord, our world is broken, senseless and messed up. We desperately need you, Jesus. Please join me in praying for those affected by these incidents, the emergency services as they respond and those in government as they seek to lead us.”

Commissioner Clive Adams, Territorial Commander in the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland, was at a territorial event in Birmingham when the attack happened. He returned to London in time to be present at the vigil on Monday evening, and published a message in which he talked about “another monstrous attack by depraved and cowardly men, this time much closer to home—in the borough where we live…in the area where we walk and commute every day. Yet again, my thoughts go to those who mourn loss, and those who are injured both physically and emotionally.”

Chief of the Staff Commissioner Brian Peddle, who lives close to London Bridge, tweeted on Monday morning that he had paused on the bridge “for a moment…praying…sad…hoping. We must find a better way.” On Tuesday morning he joined staff and officers from International Headquarters (IHQ) in a minute of silence to remember those who were killed, injured and otherwise affected by the London Bridge incident, and to pray for peace. Closing the time of contemplation, IHQ Chaplain Major Peter Mylechreest reminded those gathered to be “alert but not alarmed.”

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