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Commemoration of the London Bridge Attack

9 months, 4 weeks ago

Southwark Cathedral will be marking the first anniversary of the attack on London Bridge and the Borough Market throughout the day on Sunday 3 June. Visitors are welcome to come to the 11am Eucharist or simply to come in to light a candle. The principal event will be a Service of Commemoration at 3pm.   This will provide an opportunity for the families and friends of those who died, the survivors and first responders to come together and to remember. The service will also recognise all that has happened in the community since the attack. During the service four new corbels will be blessed one of which depicts PC Wayne Marques, one of the first responders who was injured in the attack. At the end of the service the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun will bless an olive tree: ‘The Tree of Healing’ as a permanent memorial to those who died. This will be planted using compost made from flowers left on London Bridge after the attack.  A limited number of tickets for the service are available at: https://junecommemorationservice.eventbrite.co.uk 

Later in the day Southwark Cathedral will host its second Grand Iftar which, this year, will also mark the anniversary of the London Bridge attacks and will bring all communities together to celebrate Ramadan, to promote resilience and to share the common values of Hope, Peace and Unity and celebrate the diversity of those who live and work in the Bankside area. It is organised in conjunction with the Bankside Residents Forum. As part of the Iftar the first performance of Suddenly a Community Play for voices written by local writer, Michelle Lovric. All tickets for the Iftar are now fully allocated.

Alison Clark is Artist in Residence at the Cathedral 21 May – 14 June. During this period there will be an exhibition of three pieces of her work entitled Broken Beauty which has been especially commissioned to mark the first anniversary of the London Bridge attack. There will be two opportunities during this time to join a Mending Circle where people are invited to bring a piece of clothing to repair to sit together, mend and talk. These events will take place in the Retrochoir where the installation will be situated. 

More detailed information follows: 

The Corbels

A corbel is a decorative block of stone projecting from a wall and supporting some heavy feature.  The Chapter of Southwark Cathedral commissioned four new corbels for the lower levels of the Cathedral working with the City & Guilds of London Art School historic carving department based in Kennington. They have been led by Master Carver, Tim Crawley, the students who carved the decorative corbels for the high level work during the summer of 2017 and with children from Class 6 of Cathedral School.

The corbels tell something of the Southwark story and will be around for generations to come as the building continues to witness to our faith in God and our pride in this area of London and its people.

The first corbel commemorates 3 June 2017 when a terrorist attack happened on London Bridge and in and around the Borough Market. PC Wayne Marques of the British Transport Police defended those under attack and was one of the first officers on the scene. He showed incredible bravery and fought all three attackers armed only with his baton.  He was left temporarily blinded from a stab wound to the head. The corbel will incorporate the British Transport Police badge and his head will show the scar he bears.

The second looks back exactly 100 years to the Suffragette Movement and the granting of the vote to the first women in this country. Evelyn Sharp (1869-1955) was a local suffragette who, in 1914, founded the United Suffragists at 92 Borough Road, just a few minutes from the Cathedral.  She described the place as one in which ‘women of all classes and kinds meet’. She was a pacifist, was twice imprisoned and kept in solitary confinement and so is depicted wearing her prison bonnet and suffragette badge. It is good that she can be remembered in this community in this way.

The third corbel depicts one of the most popular members of the Southwark Cathedral community, Doorkins Magnificat, our cat. Doorkins, who had a book published about her last year, is a real celebrity.  She was homeless and very gradually and carefully found her way into the Cathedral some 12 years ago.  Many visitors come to see her and they will be able to see her on the building which has become her home.  It will be a lasting tribute to the animals who care for us as we care for them.

The final corbel represents the Borough Market with a cornucopia of fruit and vegetables. The children at Cathedral School decided that they would like to the market shown as they love coming to it and buying healthy food. They also wanted to celebrate the way in which the Market works with local charities through giving to homeless charities, supporting those in need and encouraging healthy eating. Their designs were incorporated into the final design.

The corbels will be blessed by the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, during the service before they are placed on the Cathedral where it is hoped they will last for many years.

The Grand Iftar

Iftar is one of the religious observances of Ramadan performed as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together. The breaking of the fast takes place at sunset every day during the month of Ramadan.

The Iftar will begin at 8pm and during the evening there will be speeches, performances and a testimony from those who were physically and mentally affected by the London Bridge attacks 

(which includes residents, traders and tourists) followed by the opening of the fast which will take place approximately at 9:10 pm. There will be art exhibitions from local artists celebrating the diversity of London, and providing a reminder of how London remained united during times of adversity.

The performances will include a song from the Borough Market Choir and a song from the Bankside Community Choir which has been established as a positive legacy to the London Bridge attacks. The Bankside Community Choir is supported by Southwark Council, United Saint Saviours Charity, Southwark Cathedral and Blackfriars Settlement. The Choir is made up of local residents, traders, clergy and several other choirs such as the Nightingales and Borough Market Choir.

A diverse selection of refreshments will also be available, courtesy of Zakia’s Kitchen (local residents) and donations from attendees such as the British Transport Police Service, Borough Market Traders and attendees from different religious backgrounds.

The Exhibition: Broken Beauty

The exhibition is comprised of three pieces. The central piece Broken Beauty has been specially commissioned to mark the first anniversary of the London Bridge attack. It was apparent on the first Sunday after the reopening of the Cathedral that the very fabric of the building had been scarred and was in part an outward sign of the consequences of the terror of that night. This installation incorporates prints taken from the Sacristy door that bears scars from that night together with prints made directly from other parts of the Cathedral that have been worn and damaged over the centuries, during which time the Cathedral has been witness to periods of violence. Goldwork has been added to the piece as an echo of the Japanese craft of Kintsugi where broken ceramics are ‘mended’ with gold, thus acknowledging rather than hiding the past.

Quilt is a reflection on mourning and was first exhibited in a group show in Roundhay, Leeds: ‘World turned upside down’ on the theme of the Beatitudes in 2017. This piece was created in response to Jesus’s saying: ‘Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.’ The quilt is made of men’s cotton handkerchiefs. Each square contains a fragile monoprint on tissue paper. Running through each print are gold stitches. 

Heirloom continues the theme of broken beauty. Instead of discarding these broken shells, each has been painted in sumi ink and the edges gilded. 

The artist

Alison Clark is a British artist who has exhibited across the UK including a recent artist residency in St Peter’s de Beauvoir Church, Hackney and a solo exhibition in Orkney where she is a member of Soulisquoy Printmakers. Her work revolves around a sense of place, whether documenting a shoreline or printmaking from the interior of a church building. Recent work includes large scale printmaking on bible paper and fine-grained monoprints on tissue paper. 

People are invited to join Alison Clark, during her residency at Southwark Cathedral, for a Mending Circle. This is part of events to mark the first anniversary of the London Bridge Attack that affected the lives of many people in Southwark and beyond and included damage to the Cathedral itself.  Bring a piece of clothing to repair, sit together, mend and talk. Open to people of all faiths and none. This quiet gathering will take place in the Retrochoir in the Cathedral where Alison's installations on the theme of Broken Beauty will also be on display. The installations and the Mending Circle both demonstrate and reflect on the process of repair that acknowledges rather than hides damage and may in time lead to a new beauty.


This new piece, a Community Play for voices by local writer and resident in the Cathedral parish, Michelle Lovric, is the result of a piece of work over the past year which has involved Ms Lovric interviewing many people caught up in the events of the 3 June and afterwards.  People will give voice to their own memories and experience in a moving community testimony to pain, resilience and hope.  

The Author

Michelle Lovric lives in London and Venice and is a novelist, editor and teacher.  She is probably most known for her collaboration with Gemma Dowler on the acclaimed memoir My Sister Milly, published in June 2017, which became an Amazon number 1 and a Sunday Times best-seller. 

Lovric combines writing novels for adults and young adults with editing, designing and producing literary anthologies including her own translations of Latin and Italian poetry. Her book Love Letters was a New York Times best-seller.

She has reviewed for publications including The Times and writes travel articles about Venice. She has also featured in several BBC radio documentaries about Venice, and appeared in BBC TV’s Great Continental Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo. She is one of twenty-eight writers of historical fiction who contribute to The History Girls blog every month.

Lovric’s poetry has received commendations in the Bridport and other prizes. She teaches 

Guardian Masterclasses in How to Write for Children and is a consultant editor for The Writers 

Workshop and The Faber Academy. She served as a Royal Literary Fund fellow at the Courtauld 

Institute of Art from 2010 to 2013, and from 2014–16 she served as one of two RLF Fellows at Kings 

College Postgraduate Programme in London.  In 2014, she was appointed a Companion of the Guild of St George a charitable Education Trust, founded by John Ruskin.