Bishop calls for 'forgiveness' ahead of one year anniversary of Plymouth tragedy

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The outgoing Bishop of Plymouth has called for 'forgiveness' as the city prepares to mark one year since six people were shot and killed on the streets of Keyham.

Bishop Nick McKinnel, who will retire from the role at the end of this month, told ITV West Country he still remembers the 'shock' he felt on the night, and says even religion and spirituality struggle to make sense of such traumatic events.

Bishop Nick is preparing to retire at the end of August. Credit: ITV News

"I think forgiveness frees the person who is able to forgive," he said.

"If you live with resentments and hurts all of your life, it's that person who is most bound, until we find the ability to forgive.

"That's not to trivialise forgiveness, which is sometimes a very hard thing to find, but to find it eventually is a very liberating experience."

Bishop Nick is preparing to retire from the role he has held since 2015.

And despite the tragedy and trauma the city has been through over the past 12 months, he leaves with a great deal of hope for the future.

"I've seen the way people respond where there are difficult and sad events, the way people care for one another, and it gives you a lot of confidence in the way humanity can express love and concern," he said.

"In many parts of our country there is a cohesion to communities. So there is a lot of good news and good people out there caring for those around them."

The tragedy happened on August 12th last year. Credit: ITV News

The anniversary of the Keyham tragedy will be commemorated in a civic ceremony and a vigil for the local community.

On Friday a ceremony will take place at St Andrew’s Church in Royal Parade at 11am. It will be an invite-only service and guests will include the first responders on the scene.

At 7pm on the same day, a vigil will take place for the Keyham community in North Down Crescent Park.

The wider Plymouth community will also be able to pay their respects and light candles near Smeaton’s Tower at the Hoe from the same time.