Shoreham Harbour at Dusk

A few nights ago my husband and I visited the bridge of flowers at Shoreham. We used to live just a few miles from here (and in fact are not that much further away now). We have spent many an afternoon on the beaches at Shoreham and Lancing and of course visiting the airshow, even being stood very near the crash site in previous years. This year it was a last minute decision not to go and for that we are incredibly thankful.

So, we just had to go. Just to be there. In a small way to stand with those who are grieving and with a community in shock. And to pray.

It was late when we arrived, the sun going down and a storm in the air, but there were a lot of people out doing the same as us. We walked onto the bridge, quietly chatting and taking a few photos. But as we walked along, a silence descended over all who were there. As people stopped, read the words written, looked at the flowers, words became surplus to requirements. 


A girl in front of us walked gently from candle to candle, relighting those that had gone out in the rain.

On that bridge we saw and felt an outpouring of pain but also of love. People have come from far and wide to leave flowers, or a tribute, to leave a note, a poem or a prayer.

As we walked the sun went down and the rain began. Bit fat heavy blobs like Godly tears.

As we got into the car, the wipers began and the ipod sprung into life with this song. It was incredibly poignant. Because God’s love is strong here, despite the terrible tragedy. The churches are seeing streams of people come through, lighting a candle or just sitting and pausing, reflecting for a moment. The Chaplains and clergy are facing something I am sure they hoped never to deal with, but are going about their work sharing the love of God, a word, some comfort with those coming to terms with it all.

As we walked and prayed I felt to speak life and love over the town. This will not be a town defined by tragedy but by their response to it. As the media have drifted away so this is a town becoming defined by the outpouring of love and a community pulling together.


A storm looming over Lancing College

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    September 6, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    A very profound reflection on the ongoing experience of the people of the area and wider. Their response is one of quiet, love and caring silence or the kind hand on a shoulder of just the holding of hands and listening.

    Your observations are very acute, almost forensic in their drilling down to the centre of the work of the spirit. And it drew a tear from my eye reading it.

    When a family is affected by the premature death of a loved one, in this case, multiplied by many in the Shoreham case, the burden of expressed grief can be overwhelming for those involved and for those supporting them. I know to my own personal cost the huge emotional cost that this can have, for me, this was my first experience of the direct intervention of God in my life, to enable me to go on. Perhaps among those affected by this event, will be having similar experiences of God, which they will wonder about or even speak out about in witness. I do hope so.

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