THE Bishop of Jarrow has called for “respectful and thoughtful silence” in a world still troubled by conflict.

Today (Sunday, August 3) on the eve of the centenary of the start of the First World War, the Rt Rev Mark Bryant blessed refurbished memorial and gardens at Washington Old Village, near Sunderland.

Poppies, crosses and wreaths of remembrance were laid by the community, serving armed forces personnel and associations as well as members of the public, miners’ associations and civic representatives.

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The Rt Rev Bryant said: “The original idea of commemoration was of course to remember the terrible things that had happened, so that we wouldn’t do them again.

“Now sadly we haven’t done that very well as the events of the last week have shown only too clearly.

“What I have been saying this morning is that in the face of such appalling tragedy, all we can do really is to hold respectful and thoughtful silence.

“We are not very good at that these days, if ever anything goes wrong, everybody feels the need to say something, and I think there are times when the only sensible and respectful thing to do is to keep silence, silence in the face of tragedy, silence in the face of heroism, silence as we try to work out what we can do to build a better future.”

One tribute of remembrance was laid by Second World War veteran Bob Douglas, 89, of Washington, who was supported by James Hurst, seven, of Usworth.

Rt Rev Bryant said: “It was a privilege to stand alongside young James at this rededication and on the eve of the WW1 centenary of the outbreak of war.”