A community united by grief

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The Independent Online

The silence was perforated only by the drumming of the rain against umbrellas. As the list of 12 names was read out, the crowd in Seascale stood still and quiet to remember the victims of the massacre.

It was here where Derrick Bird killed his final three victims. And yesterday it was here where about 500 people braved the rain to attend an emotional open air service to remember them and the nine others murdered last Wednesday.

The size of the tiny west Cumbrian communities and the scale of the tragedy was conveyed by the Reverend Richard Teal, the chair of the Cumbria Methodist District, who said: "I suspect that nearly every one of you here knew at least one person who was killed.

The Reverend John Woolcock, vicar of Seascale, said: "We pray for those injured or bereaved by the violence. We pray for individuals and communities whose lives have been changed by this tragedy. And we give thanks to the courage of west Cumbrians."