THE funerals of the nine
people who were killed when a police helicopter crashed on the
Clutha pub, in Glasgow, will be held over the next few days, as the
bodies of the victims are released to their families.
Six of those who died
were inside the pub, and three were in the police helicopter.
Investigations into what caused the fatal crash have begun.
Prayers were said in
churches across the city, and beyond, on Sunday, even as rescue
workers were removing bodies from the scene.
The Church of Scotland
chaplain to the Fire and Rescue service, the Revd Gordon Armstrong,
was at the scene after the crash. "For the emergency services, it
was personal, too," he said, "as some of their own were among the
casualties. You could see from their physical demeanour how they
felt. There was a sense of 'There but for the grace of God go any
The Clutha is just 400
yards from the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Andrew, and priests
were at the scene after the crash last Friday night, as were a team
from the Salvation Army. Mgr Christopher McElroy said that priests
were available throughout the recovery, and one priest was asked to
go into the ruined pub to pray over a victim.
"The cathedral has been
open throughout," he said, "and people have been coming in to light
candles to say prayers. The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, came
in on Tuesday, and lit nine candles for the victims - he was very
"Now, the recovery has
stopped; but the street is still closed, there is an eerie
The funeral for PC Kirsty
Nelis, who was in the police helicopter, is to be held at the
cathedral next Wednesday.
The Bishop of Glasgow
& Galloway, Dr Gregor Duncan, said on Saturday: "On behalf of
the Episcopal Church in Glasgow and across Scotland, I wish to
extend our deepest sympathy to all the families of those who have
lost their lives, and to those who have been injured in this
"We also offer our
gratitude to the many citizens of Glasgow who have come to the help
of the people caught up in this tragedy, and praise the exemplary
work being done by all the emergency services and medical
"Our churches across Glasgow, and beyond, will be praying for
all those affected by this tragedy and for the whole city of