More local tributes to crash victims

Tributes continued to be paid in local churches over the festive period to the victims of the tragic accident in

Glasgow’s George Square.

As everyone across Scotland struggled to come to terms with the horrific incident, which happened just three days before Christmas, the community’s thoughts were with the families and friends who had lost loved ones in the tragedy.

Six lives were lost and a number of people were seriously injured when a bin lorry crashed in George Square on Monday, December 22 at 2.30pm.

The vehicle mounted the pavement near the Gallery of Modern Art and travelled out of control along Queen Street, across the traffic lights at St Vincent Street, and up the side of George Square on one of the busiest shopping days before Christmas.

The area was full of people and several pedestrians were knocked down in horrific scenes of devastation.

The lorry eventually stopped when it hit a taxi and crashed into the Millenium Hotel.

The police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Six candles were lit and hundreds of floral tributes were laid outside the Gallery of Modern Art after the accident and many local church services over the festive period, and across the whole of Scotland, have paid tribute to the victims and everyone who was affected by the tragedy.

Rev Andrew Lees, minister of Baldernock Parish Church and chairperson of Milngavie Association of Churches, said: “The awful shock and compelling sense of sympathy which the recent terrible events in George Square provoked in us all has endured through Christmas and beyond.

“Within our local churches, Christmas devotions reflected the deep sense of sadness which was felt, and in being felt, shared with all those affected. Especially so in the prayers sincerely offered on their behalf.

“Such petitions were given greater poignancy and meaning in being presented as they were in the spirit of the season.

“The spirit first revealed to Joseph by an angel who told him to call his son the name which means “God with us”. May He be so for all sore saddened at this time and for everyone we pray for in the new days ahead.”

Rev Fergus Buchanan of St Paul’s Church in Milngavie, said: “The inevitable regret is being expressed that this happened in a season of joy and celebration and fun. One cannot argue, however, that the right decision was taken to switch off the lights in George Square and to silence the traditional music. One young woman interviewed for television said: ‘You feel bad about celebrating Christmas.’

“This won’t be the first Christmas where I have felt exactly like that. My first Christmas in St Paul’s in 1988 fell under the shadow of the Lockerbie bombing and the loss of 259 lives. If the celebrations were inevitably muted that year I remember thinking that this particular tragedy forced us back on the central meaning of Christmas.

“Matthew links the birth of Jesus with an ancient prophecy that said: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and they will call him Immanuel’ – which means, ‘God with us.’ ” (Matthew 1: 22-23).

“Still the message persists: ‘God is with us’ not just in the days of joy and celebration and fun and achievement but even in the darkest of days.”

A special Christmas Eve service was also held in St Andrew’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Glasgow, with Archbishop Philip Tartaglia. He said: “I was shocked and horrified to hear the news of this incident.

“My heart breaks for all those who have been directly caught up in it as theywent about their business just a few days before Christmas.”