What happened last week in the small city of Christchurch in NZ's South Island, is a reminder of how terrorism stalks all parts of the world. It strikes people of all faiths: it has no respect and no decency: and its violence bears no reason, helps no cause; and has no excuse.
We in Gloucester, the ancient City of Light, know all faiths and many nationalities. Our four mosques and many fellow citizens of Muslim faith have grieved alongside us in moments of great national sadness - like the killings on Westminster Bridge and in Manchester.
Now is our chance to come together again - to remember what happened at the mosque in Christchurch, to be shocked and sad and yet even more determined that all those who seek to divide and destroy cannot succeed. That we are one people, one city: whatever our faith. And that when someone dies, as the poet wrote, 'do not ask for whom the bell tolls: it tolls for thee'. The death of one, however far away, hits us all.
Thanks you Hash for organising this event: & we (City Council Leader Paul James and I) and all those in public life will continue to work for peace together in Gloucester.