Vicar’s vigil to contemplate Hackney riots

As Hackney recovers from Monday night’s mob violence, the vicar in whose graveyard the civil disturbances began organised a vigil today for the community to come together in a mark of solidarity.

Rev Rob Wickham of St John in Hackney Church found it “heartbreaking” to see Monday night’s mob violence unfold in his parish.

“My primary calling is to love the people of Hackney and to pray for them but I was out on the streets (on Monday) recognising the disturbances effectively began in my churchyard,” said Rev Wickham.

“The community needs to come together to say those sorts of violence are not welcome,” added Wickham.

“By the sheer nature of people coming together it’s a powerful act, and it’s to say the events are not typical events in Hackney - we are reminding ourselves that Hackney is a very vibrant and diverse and wonderful place to be and that still continues,” he said.

“It’s one of those cataclysmic moments when a community will never go back to how it was before, but we can build something which is better and stronger.”

The vigil took place today at noon in the Lower Clapton Road churchyard.