Johnson and Starmer praise church crisis efforts
Boris Johnson and Kier Starmer have paid tribute to churches across the country for their efforts in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking during the annual National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast, which was broadcast live from the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday (June 29), the Prime Minister thanked Christians who prayed for him while he was hospitalised with coronavirus earlier this year.
In a video, Mr Johnson said: "Right now, with services suspended, congregations scattered, even the simple act of coming together to pray can be another hurdle to overcome.
"And while work goes on to reopen places of worship safely, it's been absolutely inspiring to see churches respond to the lockdown, as they have, with true Christian values. They have reminded us all of their role as pillars of their communities, reaching out to bring hope, peace and practical care to those in need.
"Thank you so much for that and thank you also to everyone who prayed for me during my recent illness, it really was appreciated. It certainly seems to have worked! This has been a difficult time for many. But as ever, our churches are helping to show us the way, so keep up the good work," he said.
In a video message Sir Keir Starmer, Leader of the Opposition, personally thanked churches for their community efforts, including King's Cross Church in his own constituency, for providing food to people in need and supporting health workers.
"This is just the efforts of one church. I know this has been replicated by churches and faith groups across the whole country,” he said.
“We come together today to celebrate the difference that faith makes and to thank you for what you are doing to bring hope and good news. Together we can build a brighter future.”
Politicians from all parties, including the former Prime Minister Theresa May and the SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford. joined together to say the Lord’s Prayer.
The event was chaired by Marsha de Cordova MP and the main speaker was the Bishop of Kensington, Rt Rev Dr Graham Tomlin, who addressed the theme of ‘Hope and peace in a time of fear and suffering’.
The event ended with a version of Amazing Grace, performed outside the devolved parliaments by singers and musicians, ended the broadcast.
Click here to watch different clips on YouTube.