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Last Updated: Friday, 14 January, 2005, 21:13 GMT
Archbishops pray for tsunami dead
Dr Rowan Williams and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor
The two archbishops prayed together for the tsunami victims
Anglican and Catholic leaders have prayed together for tsunami victims at London's Westminster Cathedral.

It was the first official visit to the cathedral by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, who gave homily during Vespers, the evening service.

He and Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor knelt together in the Chapel of Holy Souls.

They prayed for "our brothers and sisters who have died, or who have lost loved ones and livelihood".

Before Friday's service, the archbishops opened an exhibition designed to promote Anglican-Catholic understanding.

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said: "Today here in Westminster Cathedral is another stage of our growing friendship."

As they prayed for the Asian tsunami dead and injured, and their families, the two archbishops said: "We know that every life is sacred to you, and that each person is held in your hands."

Showered with petals

Dr Williams said the church was a house of prayer for all nations and had to build a community where everyone could pray.

The collection from the service was donated to the tsunami appeal fund.

In Southampton on Friday, the Earl and Countess of Wessex met at the Council of Faiths Tsunami Appeal families who lost relatives in the disaster.

The royals helped sort clothes for those in the worst-affected areas, at the Vedic temple in Northam, where they were greeted with a traditional welcome of prayers and were showered with petals.

The number of Britons presumed to have died in the disaster is now 400, including 51 confirmed dead. The total number of deaths is estimated at 155,000.

In Derbyshire, one of the youngest British victims was buried in her home village of Mappleton, near Ashbourne.

Five-year-old Isabella Peatfield was on a last-minute Christmas break with her parents when she was swept away. Her parents Kim and Tristan survived.


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