Dear Parent, Carer or Friend of St. Ambrose Barlow

24.05.17

Dear Parent, Carer or Friend of St. Ambrose Barlow,

I am sure that, like our staff, you have been deeply affected by the terrible events in Manchester city centre. As a school community we are fortunate that although some pupils and staff were present at the concert, all are alive and well. Our staff have provided as much support as possible to young people who are upset by recent events and we will continue to do so over the coming days. On Tuesday we said prayers as a staff and in each form group in memory of those killed and injured and as a gesture of solidarity with all affected by the attack.

At a time such as this we have a strong belief in the power of our school to be a force for love and hope; to be a symbol of people united against hate and despair. Our Catholic faith tells us that the only acceptable response to such events is to be more kind, more accepting of others and to work together for peace and understanding between people of different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs. This is the message of love and reconciliation that we are reinforcing to our pupils and students. In particular, staff have emphasised that there is no place for revenge in our society or our school and that it is even more important than ever that we display respect and understanding towards all in our community.

The Bishop of Salford, John Arnold, offered the following thoughts which I share with you here.

“The citizens of Manchester and the members of the Catholic community are united in condemning the attack on the crowds at the Manchester Arena. Such an attack can have no justification.

I thank the emergency services for their prompt and speedy response which saved lives. We join in prayer for all those who have died and for the injured and their families and all affected by this tragedy. We must all commit ourselves to working together, in every way, to help the victims and their families and to build and strengthen our community solidarity.”

In our mission statement we talk about being “One Ambrose: head, heart and hand.’ The phrases ‘Everybody Matters’, “Unique Together’ and ‘Hope in Better’ are more than simple words. They express deeply felt values that bind us as a family and a school. Events such as those on Monday test these values, but we are determined to live them fully and for the good of all.

On Wednesday we will be opening a Book of Condolence in school and on Friday we will be holding a series of special prayer services for all pupils. If you feel that we can offer support to you or your family in coping with this situation then please get in touch. In school we continue to watch closely for young people who are feeling vulnerable, afraid or upset and will offer support.

Please join us in keeping all who have been affected by the attack in your prayers. Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is any support we can offer.

Yours faithfully,

Ben Davis

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