Church Falls Silent to Honour Those Killed in Norway Horror; WE WANT TO EXPRESS OUR GREAT SADNESS, PRIEST SAYS

Article excerpt


THE church bells sounded, and then there was silence.

It was that minute of silence that spoke loudest at a service of reflection for those killed in the atrocities in Norway on July 22, at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay yesterday.

More than 100 people gathered in the church's Grieg Room for the short and simple service to remember the 77 people who were killed in the attacks by anti-Islam fanatic Anders Breivik.

In hazy sunshine, the Norwegian flag flew at half-mast as people gathered for the service, organised by the Welsh Norwegian Society.

Shortly before the service began, Norwegian father of three Bjorn Wagnild and his Port Talbot-born wife Carole-Ann reflected on the tragedy which struck shortly before they left for their visit to Wales.

Mr Wagnild said: "We know the parents of one of the boys who died. They live just half an hour from where we live in Norway.

"Norway is such a small place that everybody knows somebody who has been affected by the tragedy in some way.

"There is just a feeling of numbness, but also anger that something like this should happen to young boys and girls who were at the beginning of their lives.

"When we went to bed on the Friday it was said that seven people were dead. When we woke the next morning the news was that 85 had been massacred.

"It is good to see how this has brought the country together, Christians, Muslims and Catholics united.

"I think it will continue to unite the country. Politicians from the right and left, and the King and Queen, have come together. We are one nation. It's like it was in World War II."

There have been close links between Norway and Wales since the mid-1800s, thanks to imports of wood and exports of coal.

The port of Cardiff was one of the first to have a Norwegian Sailor's Church established to provide religious and social care to thousands of Norwegian sailors employed in the Norwegian merchant fleet. …