The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) has received with grief the news of a serious plane accident in the French Alps.

On 24 March, Germanwings flight 4U 9525 crashed in mountainous southern France while en route to Düsseldorf from Barcelona. Officials fear that all 144 passengers and six crew have been lost.

On this tragic day for the friends and family of those aboard flight 4U 9525, CEC expressed its deepest sympathies. “We pray for the presence of God’s comforting peace in the coming days and months for all those who have been touched by this unforeseen tragedy,” remarked CEC general secretary Rev. Guy Liagre.

On this same day, members of the Conference of European Churches Governing Board meet in Brussels to focus on upcoming programmatic work. “Here we gather from all corners of Europe, from across church traditions and cultures. We are drawn closer together in our common sorrow for this loss of life in France today,” Liagre reflected. The board will remember the victims in their evening prayers.

“The World Council of Churches joins the Conference of European Churches Governing Board’s word of sympathy and mourning,” said the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. He added “We call for prayer for all the victims and their families in this tragedy. Let us also remember the team working with the victims and support their families these days.”