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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 November, 2003, 11:49 GMT
Far from home, Britons remember
By Lisa Mitchell
BBC News Online, in Istanbul

As The Lord Is My Shepherd rang out, Christ Church in Istanbul became a little piece of England.

With the most familiar of hymns, the British community joined together to say prayers for their lost colleagues and loved ones.

Among them was the family of British consul general Roger Short.

His name was among the 12 consulate dead, both British and Turkish, remembered in the congregation's prayers.

British consul general Roger Short's widow, Victoria (centre), daughters, Elizabeth (left) and Katherine (right), and son, Thomas (left), leave Christ Church in Turkish capital Istanbul
Mr Short's family leaves the church

Reverend Ian Sherwood, the vicar who comforted Mr Short's widow in the aftermath of the blast at the consulate, preached a sermon of friendship.

He said the attacks had been an "evil attempt to overthrow goodness".

But he said the British culture was one which "knows how to go on" and because of that the terrorists would never win.

"Already the mission of life goes on and indeed the mission of the British consul general."

He said there was a wonderful feeling of friendship between the Muslims and Christians in Turkey,- and he invited Muslims and agnostics in the congregation to come up for a blessing during communion.

Vicar, the Reverend Ian Sherwood, greets worshippers at Christ Church in Turkish capital Istanbul
Mr Sherwood greets worshippers
Then he called on Islamists to stand up against the extremists.

"Let us not be afraid and lily-livered about what is going on."

Speaking to the families of those who died Mr Sherwood said: "I know you are crushed."

But he said it was time to start moving forward.

As the service ended one after another friends or colleagues took it in turns to offer their condolences to the British consul's widow.

Worshippers talked of the "sombre" atmosphere in the 135-year-old Anglican church.

"There is a mood of determination to carry on with life and of forgiveness", said Andrew Boord, a British businessman working in Istanbul.

As people streamed out into the autumnal sunshine, the security guards armed with automatic weapons were the only reminder of how far from England they really were.




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