A silent vigil for victims of the recent Sri Lankan terror attacks was held at the University Church on Sunday.

The Easter Sunday bombings killed 253 people and injured at least 500 more, targeting churches and hotels in Colombo in the early hours of the morning.

The University Church told Cherwell: “About forty people, including members of the University’s Sri Lankan Society, attended the Candlelit Vigil at St Mary’s on Sunday. The service, which included an extended period of silence, provided an opportunity for participants to reflect, to think and to pray. Many participants lit candles, while a number left flowers before the altar. The lighting of candles in Eastertide is significant. It symbolises the hope of the resurrection.”

The Reverend Dr William Lamb, Vicar of the University Church, said: “Our hearts of out to all those affected by this tragedy.

“Along with our interfaith and ecumenical partners, we are becoming increasingly concerned at the rise of violence directed at religious minorities. In recent months, we have seen violent incidents in New Zealand, in Sri Lanka, and in a Synagogue in California.”

He continued: “One of the roles of a University Church is to promote education and learning. Our task is to work with others to help people understand the place of religion in the world – and to recognise that ‘religion’ is not simply a system of beliefs but a lived and embodied practice. It is not simply about the head. It is also about the heart. And that is one of the reasons why we will be gathering to pray and to show our love and compassion at the Vigil on Sunday.”


For Cherwell, maintaining editorial independence is vital. We are run entirely by and for students. To ensure independence, we receive no funding from the University and are reliant on obtaining other income, such as advertisements. Due to the current global situation, such sources are being limited significantly and we anticipate a tough time ahead – for us and fellow student journalists across the country.

So, if you can, please consider donating. We really appreciate any support you’re able to provide; it’ll all go towards helping with our running costs. Even if you can't support us monetarily, please consider sharing articles with friends, families, colleagues - it all helps!

Thank you!