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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Eskdale's community spirit, by The Rev Anne Baker

JUNE 2 was a glorious day in Boot, filled with families who had come to enjoy the tranquillity and wonderful scenery when its peace was rudely shattered. Since then, a sombreness has hung over the area.

The children have just returned to school after half-term. At 9am on Monday in St Bega’s School an assembly was held to allow them to express their feelings and fears following last week’s events.

All the children know someone who was shot: the father of two of the children is still receiving hospital treatment. Many know some of those fatally injured.

Nevertheless, their concern was not for themselves and their own fears but for those affected. Indeed, the first concern expressed was for Derrick Bird’s own family. Their hearts went out to them because they had lost a loved father and they have to live with the knowledge that he was responsible.

Those children are an example to us all and my hope for the future. Not one word of bitterness or desire for revenge was expressed; only concern for the well-being of others.

They belong to a community where many families have had to face personal tragedies. They don’t dwell on them but, with the constant quiet, practical support of their neighbours, they get on with their lives.

The Rev ANNE BAKER

Vicar of Eskdale

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