A prayer for Ava

Leaders of churches across Merseyside lament together in the wake of the death of 12-year-old Ava White.

A joint Statement from the Presidents of Churches Together in Merseyside in the wake of the death of Ava White on 25 November 2021

As Church leaders we lament the needless loss of this young life, and know that we speak for many within and beyond the Christian community of Merseyside, in expressing our heartfelt condolences to Ava’s shattered family. We are deeply saddened by this mindless act of violence, and know that words alone will never fully express the loss and the sorrow that they must now be feeling. In expressing our love and solidarity with those whose lives will be so shattered by this event, we renew our resolve to work with people of goodwill across our city region to promote peace, hope and an end to violence in every form across our communities. As the wickedness of a few inevitably dominates our thoughts in the days ahead, let us not forget the qualities of goodness and love that define the lives of so many in this noble city.

A prayer for Ava

A city acquainted with grief

Weeps once again for a young life

So mindlessly and needlessly cut short

And there are no words to describe our sorrow.

A moment of light and hope

Has instead been wrapped in darkness

And our hearts ache

For those who are shattered by this loss

God of comfort and consolation, who is no stranger to grief and sorrow,

Hold us in our pain, our anger and our bewilderment

Help us surround this shattered family with our love

And to somehow find hope amidst this darkness

As we lament this broken, hurting world

Where our children are too often overtaken by violence

Grant us the determination to seek better pathways

So that healing and hope may yet be known


Rt Revd. Paul Bayes – Bishop of Liverpool
Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP – Archbishop of Liverpool
Revd. Phil Jump – Chair, Churches Together in Merseyside and Regional Minister, North Western Baptist Association
Revd. Dr Sheryl Anderson –Chair, Liverpool Methodist District
Revd. Geoff Felton – Moderator, Mersey Synod, The United Reformed Church
Major David Taylor – District Commander, Salvation Army North West Division
Rt Rev Tom Williams – Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Liverpool
Rt Revd. Julie Conalty – Bishop of Birkenhead
Rt Rev Tom Neylon – Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Liverpool
Rt Revd Beverley A Mason, Bishop of Warrington
The Very Revd Dr Sue Jones, Dean of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
Canon Tony O’Brien, Dean of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

Listen to the prayer for Ava on YouTube

Churches Together in Merseyside website