Historic City Charter Service remembers Novichok anniversary

by Michael Ford last modified 27 Feb, 2019 01:06 PM

On the anniversary of the first Novichok attack in Salisbury, 4 March, the Parish Church for the City Centre will remember the event at the City’s Charter Sunday service.

The annual Sunday service features a traditional procession of Salisbury City Councillors and other representatives of civic life dressed up in their traditional regalia, processing through the streets to the ancient St Thomas's Church to give thanks for all that is good in the community.
But this year the Rector of St Thomas, the Revd Kelvin Inglis, will also be using this special civic service to remember the victims of the March and June attacks, to offer thanks for the response of the community, then and now.

Revd Inglis said:
“The traumatic events of last year caused hardship and suffering to many people. In response our public services gave us something of which we could be very proud.

“We were reminded once more of the values we share. In the face of the evil and indiscriminate attack on our city, we uphold the rule of law, the freedom to live in peace, and care and concern for the vulnerable in our midst.”

March 4th is the first anniversary of the first Novichok attack which poisoned Mr Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Local policeman Det Sgt Nick Bailey also fell ill, after responding to the incident in Salisbury.

A separate Novichok poisoning, that police linked to the first, happened on 30 June, which led to the death of Dawn Sturgess.

Ms Sturgess and her partner Charlie Rowley became unwell at a house in Amesbury; she later died in hospital on 8 July.

The City was granted its Charter in 1227 and the Charter Service, which is one of three occasions in the year when the City Council and other local dignitaries march in procession to St Thomas's for the Service takes place at 10.15am on Sunday 3 March and is open to all.

Revd Inglis said he would positively welcome media attendance for the procession and at the opening of the service.

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