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Potters Bar Train Incident

To acknowledge the concern many children will feel about the incident. To express sympathy and support, and pray for people involved. To give thanks f

by Gordon Lamont

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To acknowledge the concern that many children will feel about the incident. To express sympathy and support, and pray for the people involved. To give thanks for the work of the emergency services.

Note: This assembly uses the idea that 'we care because we are all human'. It is written for a general audience and is not intended to meet the particular needs of those who are personally affected by the tragedy.

Preparation and materials

  • Like all rapid response assemblies, this responds to an emerging and changing news story and some elements may be overtaken by events.

    Please note: The news story will have moved on since this assembly was written and more details will be available.


  1. Introduce the facts of the incident in a clear and unemotional way.

  2. Say that when we are faced with terrible events such as this, we often don't know how to react - what to say or do. Suggest that there are some positive things that we can all do:

    We can think about and pray for those who have lost their lives, and their relatives; and we can think about and pray for those who are injured. Say that you will do this now and invite the children to join in with a prayer or time of reflection.


    We think with sadness of those who have died in this terrible accident.
    We think of their friends and relatives who are heartbroken,
    who feel lost and alone.
    We think of all those who were injured.
    Lord God, be with all these people.
    We don't know how to help,
    we don't know what is best
    and so we ask for your guidance.

  3. Say that you have a strange question: Why do we care when tragedies like this happen to people that we don't know?

    Suggest that we care because this is part of being human (you might add 'part of the way God made us' if this is your own belief). When bad things happen, we realize that we are all part of one human family. There is a saying from the Bible: 'When one suffers, all suffer together.'


    We thank you that we care about other people,
    even people we have never met.
    When bad things happen we think about the people who are hurt,
    and the people whose loved ones have died.
    Thank you that we care,
    that we are all part of the same family.

  4. Point out that although we probably can't do anything practical to help, there are people who can help, and have been helping - police, health workers, fire-fighters, railway staff, counsellors and many more; not forgetting friends and relatives who do what they can to help their loved ones.


    Thank you for those who help when things go wrong.
    Thank you for everyone involved in helping the people in this tragedy.
    We pray for them all as they continue to work,
    some as they try to find out exactly what happened,
    and others as they care for all the victims, their friends and relatives.
Publication date: 2002   (Vol.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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