LEICESTER, United Kingdom – Murdered British parliamentarian David Amess had a “charity of heart that came from his deep Catholic Christian faith,” remembered the Archbishop of Canterbury at his memorial service on Monday.

Archbishop Justin Welby led the service at St. Margaret’s Church, located next to Westminster Abbey, and considered the parish church for the Houses of Parliament.

Amess was stabbed to death during a scheduled meeting with constituents held at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. A 25-year-old British man of Somali heritage was arrested, and police said it was a suspected act of terrorism.

At the memorial service, which was attended by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other members of the government, Welby remarked on the work of political leaders in the country.

“The noble calling of politicians in a democracy is to make all manner of sacrifices – seen and unseen – for the freedom and prosperity of our nation. It is for that reason that across the nation we should be thankful to everyone who is here, and throughout especially the House of Commons, who give so much, despite the cynicism, abuse and cruelty that they so often endure,” the archbishop said.

“Too often, when great tragedies happen, we have to reflect that the best seem to be the first to suffer. In this great tragedy, there is a unanimous conviction amongst all who knew him that Sir David was of the best,” he said.

Welby mentioned the “robust fairness of spirit and charity of heart that won the admiration and affection of all sides, regardless of whether they agreed with him politically or not.”

“Public service in politics is a sacrifice that should be honored and respected, even when differences of opinion run very deep indeed. David showed that,” he said.

“Sacrifice is the rent paid to liberty by those who represent us. But when the cost is seen so visibly, with such demonic horror, what do we say so that we may comfort the grieving and be resilient in tragedy?” Welby asked.

“Cruel adversity is not final destiny. Darkness does not endure. The light that Sir David held out through his service, inspired by his strong personal faith – that light held by all in public service – may flicker but it will not be extinguished. In the face of such injustice, it must be for all of us to determine to shine that light all the more brightly,” he said.

“We mourn and grieve, and so we must. We shudder at loss, how could we do otherwise? Yet we also thank those who serve in politics: We need them, we join them in commitment to the life of hope through their service – a service to which all are called to emulate David in kindness, humor, grace and simply sheer goodness,” Welby continued.

“Above all, we hold to the Christian certainty of life, to the joy of justice done. David, full of faith, will rest in peace and rise in glory. Grief remains the deepest pain, but God promises an end in light, and love, and the enduring hope of the resurrection,” he said.

On Monday afternoon, John paid tribute to Amess in the House of Commons, calling him a steadfast servant, a dear friend and colleague, and a loving husband and devoted father.

“Sir David was taken from us in a contemptible act of violence, striking at the core of what it is to be a Member of this House and violating the sanctity both of the church in which he was killed and the constituency surgery that is so essential to our representative democracy,” the prime minister said.

“But we will not allow the manner of Sir David’s death to in any way detract from his accomplishments as a politician or as a human being. Because Sir David was a patriot who believed passionately in this country, in its people, in its future. He was also one of the nicest, kindest, and most gentle individuals ever to grace these benches,” Johnson added.

Amess’s widow, Julia, and other family members visited the Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea where he was killed, which has become the site of a memorial to the MP.

In a statement, the family said they have learned from the tributes paid to him that “there was far, far more to David than even we, those closest to him, knew.”

“We ask people to set aside their differences and show kindness and love to all. Please let some good come from this tragedy. We are absolutely broken, but we will survive and carry on for the sake of a wonderful and inspiring man,” the family said.

It was also announced on Monday that Southend in Essex would be granted official “city” status by Queen Elizabeth II, fulfilling a long-time goal of Amess.

Follow Charles Collins on Twitter: @CharlesinRome