8th Dec, 2019

Book of Condolences at Stratford's Holy Trinity gives locals opportunity to remember terror attack victim Saskia Jones.

A BOOK of condolences has been placed in Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church to remember terror attack victim Saskia Jones.

A minute’s silence was also held yesterday (Monday) in memory of the 23-year-old Cambridge graduate who was stabbed to death on London Bridge as she volunteered at a prisoner rehabilitation conference.

Rev Patrick Taylor said he wanted to give local people the opportunity to remember her.

The church first received word of the naming of the Stratford resident as the second victim of Friday’s (November 29) attack during a Advent Carol Service.

The tragic news led to a candlelit vigil to symbolise hope.

Rev Taylor said: “The service began with the church in darkness, and as I said to the congregation, it’s a reminder to us that we live in a world which can be very dark, and the attack in London last week showed us the reality of what that darkness can be like.

“But we also began with just a single candle burning in the darkness, to remind us that there is hope, a light that the darkness cannot extinguish. The bravery of those who risked their own lives to save others on Friday gave us a glimpse of this light. As the service progressed we all lit candles and eventually the whole church was bathed in light, a symbol of the message of Advent, that the light is stronger than the dark. We prayed for those who have died and prayed that we might all turn away from darkness and embrace the light and hope that comes from the birth of Jesus Christ.

“I didn’t know Saskia personally but it is clear she was a wonderful person. She died whilst giving her time for the benefit of others. She was a light in the lives of many people and that light still shines in the darkness.”

Fellow graduate, 25-year-old Jack Merritt – also involved in the conference as a coordinator – was also stabbed to death outside the venue.

Three other people were injured in the attack which saw 28-year-old suspect Usman Khan – who had been at the rehabilitation conference – shot dead by police. He had been released from jail on licence in 2018, half way through a 16-year sentence for terrorism offences.

One of the three further people injured has now been able to return home. Two people remain in a stable condition and continue to receive expert care in hospital.

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