People continue to pray for couple’s safe return

The Reverend Chris Fuller.
The Reverend Chris Fuller.
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A leading churchman says his door is open for people struggling to come to terms with the Manchester Bomb outrage.

People of all ages descended on St Hilda’s Church, in South Shields Market place, last night, to pray for the safe return of teenager Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry, who are still missing.

There was a lot of sadness and disbelief over what has happened.

Father Chris Fuller

Father Chris Fuller opened the doors of his church to those wishing to light a candle and say a prayer for Chloe, 17 and Liam,19.

The couple from South Shields were at the Ariana Grande concert on Monday when a bomb was detonated inside the arena.

As yet, they have not been located.

Last night, around 20 people visited the church to light a candle and pray for the couple to be found safe. Some were friends of the teenagers, others were complete stsrangers who have been touched by the plight of their families desperate to find them safe and well, including one person who had been at the concert that night.

Prayers were also written and left on a prayer tree inside the church.

Father Chris Fuller said: “I had no idea what was going to happen, but I felt it was important to provide a place for people to go to, if they felt they needed to.

“We had 20 people throughout the hour and a half we were open, saying prayers and lighting candles. Some were friends of the two people missing and others were strangers.

“Somebody who had been at the concert came in to prayer for their safe return.

“There was a lot of sadness and disbelief over what has happened but also a lot of gratitude for the church being open so they could come and spend some quiet time with their thoughts.

“As yet, we have no further plans to extend the opening times of the church but if people feel the need for us to do so, we will look at it.

“In the meantime, if anyone sees me out and about and they need to talk, then don’t hestitate to stop me.”

The church will be open on Saturday from 10am until 3pm and on Monday 10am until noon for those wishing to light a candle and say a prayer.