“We have been rocked in a way that we have not experienced for many years,” Archbishop Kanishka Raffel told a prayer service at St Andrew’s Cathedral on Tuesday night, April 16, drawing together clergy and members of churches surrounding Bondi Junction as well as members of the public. 

“We cannot imagine the grief, disbelief and agonising sorrow of those who have lost the ones they loved. We express our sympathy and gather in respectful tribute,” the Archbishop said.

There are sorrows so inexplicable, cruel and meaningless that we can hardly breathe and hardly bear it.

The Governor of NSW, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley, joined Mark Buttigieg representing the Premier, Opposition Leader Mark Speakman, local MP Kellie Sloane, Police Superintendent Martin Fileman and representatives of Waverley Council.

Dean Sandy Grant and the rector of Bondi-Waverley the Rev Martin Morgan led prayers for the families of the victims, those still in hospital and the police, first responders and medical staff. There were also prayers for peace in the wake of the stabbing of an Assyrian Bishop at Wakeley in Sydney’s South West.


“There are sorrows so inexplicable, cruel and meaningless that we can hardly breathe and hardly bear it,” Archbishop Raffel said in his sermon (download pdf). “Many of us who did not know personally those who were killed this weekend, nevertheless have found ourselves in tears in recent days, because our common humanity binds us to them in ways that we don’t often acknowledge but which emerge spontaneously, insistently, in the face of such evil.”  

"Works of light"

“As so many have observed, even in the midst of the shadow that was cast over Westfield Bondi Junction on Saturday afternoon, yet there were those who pursued the works of light.”

Archbishop Raffel spoke of those who rendered aid, who resisted the attacker and the Police officer who brought the carnage to an end. “Works of light,” he said. “And in the aftermath, such works continue and will do so. Chaplains, churches, psychologists, parents seeking to assure, to calm, to enable others to process what has happened and to resolve to go on in hope and trust.

“In times like these we gather, we offer one another comfort and compassion, we seek to do the works of light that are in our power to do, and to resist the works of darkness. And we pray that God would turn our hearts, and open our eyes, to see in his Son the Lord Jesus Christ, the light of the world who overcomes the darkness.”

Photo: The Rector of Bondi, The Reverend Martin Morgan, leads in prayer at the lectern. Also praying from L to R: The Rev Emma Little, Randwick, Mrs Stephanie Leung, Darling Point, the Dean of Sydney, Canon Sandy Grant and the Reverend Matthew Wilcoxen, Darlinghurst. (download prayers in pdf)