At an evening vigil of reflection and prayer held at Plymouth Cathedral on 17 August, special candles were lit for the innocent victims of the recent tragic shooting in Plymouth. People from different age groups, from across the city, lit six candles representing the five innocent victims and one for the injured and bereaved. The most poignant was that lit by a young three-year-old girl and her mother, for little Sophie Martyn who had been shot alongside her father.
In his homily, Bishop Mark O’Toole, the Bishop of Plymouth, emphasised that “darkness does not have the last word”. He said it was important for the city to gather “in silence and in solidarity, to pray for the dead, for the injured, for the loved ones of those who lost their lives, and for all those who have been deeply affected by this tragic event”. The bishop said that “our prayer for the innocent is an echo of the cry of Jesus on the Cross, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”
Bishop Mark emphasised that Jesus Christ “knew from the inside the experience of darkness, of innocent suffering. In his own death on the Cross, Jesus confronted the mystery of evil and has overcome it.” The bishop asked that “something of His life and light may fall upon us” so that “our city rise from this hour of darkness”.