Robert is pictured in the picture, below right, addressing us as the night began.
This vigil has drawn many pro-life groups together in a joint venture involving witness to the sanctity of human life, compassionate counselling for mothers-to-be and prayer.
It has won the support of church leaders - including Bishop Hopes, auxiliary Catholic bishop of Westminster, in west London, and Father Paschal Ryan, an episcopal vicar in central and east London in the archdiocese of Westminster, who led the closing prayers at Friday night's vigil. I also spotted at the vigil last night Father Alexander Sherbrooke, parish priest at St. Patrick's, Soho Square.
It won the support of Good Counsel Network and Helpers of God's Precious Infants - themselves tireless, all-year-round, witnesses, counsellors, and spiritual intercessors outside abortion clinics in London and elsewhere in the UK. And it won the support of SPUC.
Most important of all, lives have been changed and lives have been saved - an eternal consequence of the fantastic effort and leadership shown by this young inspiring team.
By harnessing the support of church leaders to their efforts, they are harnessing the support of officials who can completely transform the pro-life battle. I believe that the episcopal charism, in particular the power of teaching unchanging the truths guarded, but not owned by the church, such as the truth about the value and inviolability of human life, has the power completely to change the society in which we live.
100 young people last night were inspired by the presence of Fr Ryan, episcopal vicar in the archdiocese of Westminster, and by the strong support of Bishop Alan Hopes, who's made his backing very clear.
40 days for life, in a statement yesterday, put it like this:
"A great turn out for our vigil of 80-100 people came between 7pm-830pm last night, a good number staying all night! It was very likely there were two turnarounds on Friday thanks to some incredible counselling."Thank you Bishop Hopes. Thank you Fr Ryan. And thanks to all who participated in this witness and in similar witnesses elsewhere in London and throughout the UK. With the help of God, and with wise human and spiritual leadership, may pro-life witness outside abortion clinics spread like wildfire throughout our land.
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