Nick Clegg praises the churches af­ter Lee Rigby death

The Church of England - - NEWS -

NICK CLEGG, an athe­ist who goes to church with his Catholic wife and sends his sons to Catholic schools, has praised the role played by faith com­mu­ni­ties af­ter the mur­der of Bri­tish army solder, Lee Rigby, in Wool­wich, SE Lon­don, last year.

Speak­ing to an in­ter­faith gath­er­ing in the Cab­i­net Of­fice last week, Mr Clegg told those present that he would ‘never for­get’ the im­por­tant role faith groups played.

“It was a re­ally pow­er­ful sig­nal of calm, of tol­er­ance and of rea­son, at ex­actly the time those qual­i­ties were un­der strain,” he said. “You don’t ap­pre­ci­ate what a ser­vice you pro­vided in Lon­don in con­vey­ing calm, tol­er­ance and mu­tual re­spect at that time. I’m con­vinced it played an im­por­tant role in mak­ing sure the sit­u­a­tion did not get worse.”

In the days af­ter the at­tack, the Rev Jesse van der Valk, the rec­tor of Wool­wich, launched a pe­ti­tion to hon­our the three women who con­fronted Michael Ade­bo­lajo and Michael Ade­bowale and knelt to com­fort Lee Rigby as he lay dy­ing.

“They changed the story into one of love and courage, which is more pow­er­ful than the story the killers wanted to put across,” said Mr van der Valk.

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