Southwark Cathedral reopens doors after London attack

Southwark Cathedral
Image caption The cathedral was in the area that was cordoned off in the days after the attack

Southwark Cathedral has opened its doors for the first time since the London Bridge attacks.

Eight people were killed when three men drove into pedestrians on the bridge before going on a stabbing spree in nearby Borough Market.

The cathedral was in the area that was cordoned off in the days after the attack on Saturday 3 June.

During one of the morning services, the Bishop of Southwark praised the "rapid" response of the emergency services.

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Media captionLondon attack: Southwark Cathedral clergy praises response of police

The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun said: "Just over a week ago, this cathedral and this community witnessed terrible things which should not have happened.

"A young nurse gave her life by the entrance to Montague Chambers trying to save a fellow human under attack.

"Others suffered terribly and many more would have been killed or injured had it not been for the rapid and effective response from the police."

Image caption The Very Revd Andrew Nunn said the strength of goodness is greater than evil

Speaking ahead of the first service, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn said: "Evil is not stronger than good.

"You know there are so many, many, many millions and millions of good people around the world.

"Life can be affected by a few evil people as we saw last week.

"Actually the strength of goodness is so much greater and that's what we are going to be proclaiming today as people come into church, and we'll be continuing to do that as we rebuild this community together."

Image caption A book of condolence has been opened at the cathedral for the victims of the attack

The Dean added: "Today we will be able to do normal services as it were, but they won't be normal because we will be remember those who died.

"I can imagine a lot of people will want to come here today.

"We've been here for 1,400 years, we've seen a lot of things happen in the City but we have not seen a week like this to be perfectly honest."

Image caption Police officers were on patrol outside the cathedral

Close to the cathedral, Londoners and tourists were handed 3,000 roses by a group of British Muslims.

"After the events of last weekend we are making a symbolic gesture of love for the communities affected by the attack," said Zakia Bassou, one of the organisers of the event.

"The whole concept is we are not going to let London Bridge, or any bridge, fall down."

Londoner Elida Ercolano was visibly emotional after receiving her rose.

"I think it's lovely, it's what London is actually about as a city," she said.

Image copyright David Mirzoeff
Image caption Roses with messages are given out to passers-by on London Bridge

All eight victims of the attack have been named.

They were 30-year-old Canadian national Chrissy Archibald; Australians Kirsty Boden, 28, and Sara Zelenak, 21; James McMullan, 32, from Hackney, London; Frenchmen Alexandre Pigeard, 26, Xavier Thomas, 45 and chef Sebastien Belanger, 36; and Spaniard Ignacio Echeverria, 39.

Image caption Eight people were killed in the attack last Saturday

Since the attack, 20 people have been arrested, with 13 buildings searched. Seven people remain in custody.

The police said they had questioned 262 witnesses from 19 countries - of which 78 are classed as "significant" - but they believe there are more people with information and have urged them to come forward.

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