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.”