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All three Bishops from The Church of England in Lancashire have today issued a statement in the wake of the attack on mosques in New Zealand in which at least 49 people have been reported as killed, with many others wounded.

Rt Rev Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn; Rt Rev Philip North, Bishop of Burnley and Rt Rev Dr Jill Duff, Bishop of Lancaster said today: "We utterly condemn this abhorrent act of violence. We pray for those immediately affected and for the country of New Zealand, coming to terms today with the worst mass shooting in its history."

"Today, we stand together with Muslims in Lancashire and across the world in the treasured belief that, whatever faith, people should be able to live and worship without fear and threat of harm."

"No matter how many times these random acts of killing occur across our world we will remain steadfast in the face of evil."

"We pray for the recovery of all those injured in the attack; for comfort for all who mourn and for a just and tolerant world where such random and senseless actions are a thing of the past."