A VIRTUAL VIGIL will be held in honour of the victims of Forbury Gardens on Saturday 27 June – exactly one week after the horrific attacks.
In the days following the attacks, Reading has seen an outpouring of grief and sadness that has united the local community, and has received solidarity and support from people around the country and across the world.
An online vigil at 7pm, the time of the attacks last Saturday, will bring people together to light a candle on their doorstep or put a light or candle in their window and to stand in solidarity with #ReadingTogether. The online vigil can be joined via a live stream on the Council’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/Readingcouncil. The Mayor of Reading will say a few words on behalf of community leaders and groups across the town, followed by the lighting of a remembrance candle. With COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings in public spaces and social distancing, we will pay our respects remotely until such time we can host a fitting event in Reading itself.
Reading will never forget James Furlong, Joe Ritchie-Bennett and David Wails. Everybody’s thoughts and prayers remain with the family and close friends of all three. We also stand together with all those who have been harmed by the attacks – whether physically or mentally.
Saturday’s vigil is one of a number of ways the Council is working to support all those harmed by the attacks and to remember the victims, working alongside community organisations, partners and Thames Valley Police, in collaboration with family liaison officers and the families of the victims, including:
- Setting up a #ReadingTogether support and information site at http://together.reading.gov.uk. The site contains a range of information including where to find support in the aftermath of the attacks.
- Opening an online book of condolence at http://together.reading.gov.uk/book-of-condolence/
- Establishing an official #ReadingTogether fund to support the victims, the families of those who have died, and anyone who has been affected by this tragedy.
- When the time is right, working with the families of the victims, all those harmed by the event and the local community to create a permanent memorial where people can pay their respects to those who lost their lives.
Reading Borough Council Leader Jason Brock said:
There is an overwhelming sense of grief within the Reading community about last Saturday’s tragic events. The Council and public are united in their desire to mourn the victims and appropriately remember them. We are encouraging people to pay their respects with us online on Saturday evening, and also to mourn and contribute via the book of condolence and supporting the #ReadingTogether fund”
Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, John Campbell added: “A week on from the tragic incident in Reading, Thames Valley Police is proud to be coming together in solidarity with the community to remember the three innocent men, David, James and Joseph, who lost their lives.
“In times of such tragedy, we often see the best of our communities and that has certainly been the case in Reading.
“I know it will take time for everyone to heal but we stand alongside you and will do all that we can to support you, as your Police.”