Church services for shot officers

Church services for shot officers

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PC Fiona Bone (left) and PC Nicola HughesPCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes were killed on Tuesday

Separate church services are to be held later in Greater Manchester to remember PC Nicola Hughes and PC Fiona Bone.

The Bishop of Shrewsbury will lead a service at 11:00 BST at the Church of St James the Great in Hattersley.

There will also be a service of reflection at St Michael’s Church, Mottram, at 16:00 BST, close to where the officers were attacked.

Dale Cregan, 29, has been charged with the officers’ murders and will appear at Manchester Crown Court on Monday.

A remembrance service will also be held in Pc Hughes’s home village of Diggle, Oldham, where a book of condolence to be put on display for the public to sign at Kiln Green CE Church.

Greater Manchester’s Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said a prayer vigil would also be held on Tuesday, a week on from the officers’ deaths.

During morning Mass at St James the Great RC Church, the Rt Rev Mark Davies, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury will lead prayers for the officers, their families, friends and colleagues.

Later, at St Michael All Angels CE Church in Mottram, the service will offer members of the community the opportunity to come together to remember those affected by recent events.

Speaking to the BBC’s Songs of Praise, to be broadcast today at 16:15 BST, Sir Peter said the force was a “family” and his faith was important to him after the “very, very dark day”.

“I think a lot of us feel passionately that policing is a vocation. It is a calling,” he said.

Sir Peter FahySir Peter Fahy said he often felt “helpless”

“I feel that in terms of my own faith but I know a lot of officers that don’t have a faith, but feel exactly the same.

“You do often feel so helpless, so praying for the dead officers, praying for their families, becomes your own reaction, your own expression of hope really for them, at a time of great need.”

Sir Peter expressed his pride in being part of an “unarmed police force” that uses “minimum force”.

He said: “We believe very much in what Robert Peel laid down for us back in 1829, that we are a routinely unarmed police force, that we use the minimum of force and that we have this close, very close, connection with the community that we serve and that is really, really important to us.”

PCs Hughes and Bone died in a grenade and gun attack when they were called to reports of a burglary in Hattersley on Tuesday.

Mr Cregan was charged with their murders on Thursday, as well as the murders of father and son David and Mark Short.

Twenty-three-year-old Mark Short died from a gunshot wound to the neck in a shooting in the Cotton Tree Inn in Droylsden, Greater Manchester, on 25 May.

His father David, 46, was found dead at a house in Folkestone Road East, Clayton, Greater Manchester, on 10 August after police were called following reports of gunshots.

A 15-year-old boy, detained on suspicion of assisting an offender on Friday, has been bailed until next Thursday.