Concern, Conversation Over Proposed Invitation of Bombers' Families to Commemoration Service

September 4, 2005

Source: The Sunday Times,,2087-1763915,00.html

On September 4, 2005 The Sunday Times reported, "Church leaders want to invite the families of the July 7 suicide bombers to a national memorial service in honour of the victims. The service of commemoration is to be held at St Paul’s Cathedral on November 1 and will be attended by the Queen and Tony Blair. Two senior Church of England bishops believe that extending the invitation to the bombers’ families would acknowledge their own loss and send a powerful message of reconciliation to the Muslim community. 'It will acknowledge the wickedness of the act and the grief and devastation it has caused,' said Martin Wharton, the Bishop of Newcastle. 'I believe this has to be an inclusive invitation'... The uncle of Shehzad Tanweer, one of the bombers, said his family would be prepared to attend if invited... Government officials oppose the plan because of the sensitivities involved and will take the final decision about the guest list. The proposal has also outraged some families of the innocent dead."