The President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Loraine N Mellor, and the Vice-President, Jill Baker, have called for all Methodists to pray for those affected by the fire that engulfed a shopping and entertainment complex in the Siberian coal-mining city of Kemerovo, killing at least 64 people, the majority of whom were children.
Kemerovo, a coal-producing area, is 2,200 miles east of Moscow. The 23,000 sq m shopping centre opened in 2013 and contained a cinema, trampoline park and a petting zoo.
"Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of those who were killed and injured, and to all affected in whatever way by this horrific and preventable fire," the Revd Mellor said.
The President shared the following prayers:
Sisters and brothers in Christ, at this time of death and parting, we are confident that God knows us and is with us. As we seek the strength and comfort of God, let us bring our confusion and sorrow, our anger and pain, and lay them before God.
God of infinite compassion, look in love on those who mourn. Be their support and strength that they may trust in you. And be delivered out of their distress; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen