Chalice Lighting Words - 19th June 2016

by JULIE FINNERAN
A member of our community, shared her thoughts at our service, on 19 June, about the murder of Jo Cox MP.

I'm lighting the peace candle today in memory of Jo Cox, the West Yorkshire MP who was murdered on 16 June, whilst doing constituency work. A woman who went to work, and didn't come home.

One article I read, mentioned a report published in the 'Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology' in January 2016, which looked into the 'harassment and stalking of MPs’. It gave some startling facts.

  • 80% of the MPs surveyed had been victims of intrusive or aggressive behaviour
  • 50% had been targeted in their own homes
  • 41% had received threats to harm them
  • 120 MPs had been victims of a prolonged campaign of stalking, particularly young women.

After she died, Jo's husband said of her ‘She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now. One, that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her'.

A fundraising page was set up in Jo's memory, to support three charities that were close to her heart, and by this morning, (19 June) £600,000 has already been raised.

The charities are

  • The Royal Voluntary Service, to help combat loneliness in Jo's constituency
  • Hope not Hate, who seek to challenge and defeat hate and extremism in local communities across Britain
  • The White Helmets, volunteer search and rescue workers in Syria, who have saved 51,000 people from under the rubble.

By 9 July the Jo Cox fundraising page had reached over 1.4 million pounds.