My wife and I have been following the unfolding tragedy at the Pike River mine with mounting concern for all those involved ever since the terrible explosion at the end of last week.

We have both been praying for a positive outcome. We have heard in the last hour, however, that it seems all hope is now lost for the 29 miners involved and so, however inadequately, we wanted to send this immediate message to you to say how deeply we feel for the families of those miners lost underground.

Our hearts go out to them, and to all the people of New Zealand, at such a desperately difficult time of anguish.