Plymouth shooting victims remembered at church service

  • Watch part of the special service at St Andrew's Church

A church service has been held to remember those who lost their lives in the Keyham tragedy last week.

The Bishop of Plymouth the Right Reverend Nick McKinnel held the service at the Minister Church of St Andrew on Royal Parade.

Luke Pollard, Gary Streeter and Alison Hernandez were among those who attended to pay their respects.

The Right Reverend Nick McKinnel, Bishop of Plymouth Credit: PA

People lining the church pews stood at the beginning of the service before Right Reverend Nick McKinnel opened with moving words to the congregation.

"We have held vigils and a minute silence and church services in Keyham and elsewhere. And now we come as a city in mourning to remember those killed in the tragic shootings in Keyham last Thursday," he said.

The congregation were asked to pray for those who mourn the loss of loved-ones and for all who have been affected by the shocking events.

He also gave thanks for the "courage and compassion seen in recent days", saying he hopes a community where "all feel safe, valued and cared for" will come out of the tragedy.

There was then a minute of silence for victims Maxine Davison, 51, Stephen Washington, 59, and Kate Shepherd, 66, along with father and daughter Lee Martyn, 43, and Sophie Martyn, three, as well as their murderer, Jake Davison.

The service included readings and prayers led by representatives of the Keyham community and civic and local religious leaders.

Floral tributes in Keyham Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

The clergy for St Mark's Church, one of the main churches in the Keyham area which has been open to support those affected since the tragedy, attended the service. Their church is still open to all, especially those in Keyham.

Reverend Nick McKinnel looked back at past events which had rocked the city, including the Fastnet Race disaster and the Lyme Bay canoeing tragedy.

He said: "The 12 minutes of murder in Kehyham last Thursday night brought shocking scenes to the very streets of a quiet residential district of our city in a way that none of us could have imagined.

The candles burning for the victims at St Andrews Church. Credit: PA

“Most immediately we feel a deep sense of sadness and sorrow. We stand alongside those who are bereaved and injured and distressed.

“We weep with those who weep we cry as the writer of that psalm does, out of the depths of despair.

"For a three-year-old child to be killed so senselessly, and her father. For someone not to return from walking the dog because a gunman is in the park. For someone to murder the parent that gave birth to them...or a woman to be shot outside the hairdressers and for children of primary school age to witness bodies lying in their road.

"It is too unbearably painful to contemplate. We join their families and fiends and neighbours in turning for their loss and praying for their healing.”

He also gave thanks to the emergency services for "running to a situation fraught with danger" for people's protection. 

Five pillar candles burned as prayers were read and sang. Many people gathered outside of the church lining walls to sit, listen, pay respects and reflect. 

The Lord Lieutenant of Devon. Credit: PA

The Lord Lieutenant of Devon addressed the congregation to say this week was only the beginning of along and painful readjustment, and gave a special mention to the people of Keyham and the wider community of Plymouth.

The lieutenant, as the Queen and wider royal family's personal representative for the county, passed on thoughts, prayers and encouragement to friends and families of the victims to find the strength needed through this difficult time.