On Friday, the Countess of Wessex attended the London Bridge Service of Hope. The service was held to both honour and remember those who died in the London Bridge terror attack, and to thank those who helped to save lives and keep people safe.
Sophie serves as patron of Southwark Cathedral’s Friends group and has had a long association with the cathedral. Those who attended the service included family members of the eight people who lost their lives along with representatives from the Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance service.
Also at the service were medical staff from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Ambassadors and high commissioners from some of the thirteen countries where the victims originated from were also present with their nations’ flags placed near the altar.
The Home Secretary Amber Rudd and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick were also present, leading the UK delegation alongside the Countess of Wessex.
Sophie was welcomed to the Cathedral by the Dean, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, who began the service by reading the names of the victims who died during the attack.
London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, read the first reading which was the first lesson from the book of Ecclesiastes.
Inspector Jim Cole of Southwark Police read the next reading, which was from the Gospel of St. Luke. Inspector Cole was one of those involved in the first response effort during the attack by helping people find shelter in Katzenjammers bar.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, gave the sermon. Students from local schools placed eight candles on the altar of Southwark Cathedral, representing the lives lost during the attack.
After the service, the Countess met survivors of the attack as well as those who participated in the rescue effort. She was then escorted to Borough Market by its director, Darren Henaghan, who toured her around the market which was the scene of devastation just a couple of weeks ago.