Bishop's unity plea after Norwich shop arson 

The Bishop of Norwich has called on people to unite after an arson attack on a Romanian shop in Norwich's Magdalen Street and as thousands of pounds are raised in online support.

The Village Shop, an Eastern European food store in Norwich, was set on fire in a suspected arson attack on Thursday night (July 7) while people were asleep in an upstairs flat.

The Rt Rev Graham James said: "While we do not yet know what motivated this arson attack, it is part of a disturbing pattern of similar events across the country where various ethnic minorities seem to have been targeted. 

"It is shocking and deeply depressing that such violent and hostile attitudes are being given such expression in the wake of the EU referendum.

"The reputation of Norwich as a place where 'strangers' have been welcomed over centuries is one to be treasured. I hope everyone in this fine city will unite both in condemning this attack and also building bridges with their neighbours wherever they come from."
And the response has been immediate after well-wishers raised more than £25,000 in online donations.

A support rally has been organised this morning (Saturday) by the Norfolk People’s Assembly at 11.30am when a Love Bombing will take place.

People will meet under the Magdalen Street flyover near Anglia Square, to write messages of support on love hearts.

A spokeswoman from the Assembly said: “We want to send a message to whoever has done it, they are in a small minority and this attack won’t be tolerated.”
Read more at EDP24
Pictured above is the arson-hit Village Shop in Norwich, picture courtesy of Helen Linehan.

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