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/ 14 June 2019

Bishop of Kensington calls Grenfell Our National Shame

The Bishop of Kensington, the Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, joined survivors of the Grenfell Tower Fire at a service in North Kensington this afternoon to mark the second anniversary of the tragedy.

The service, held at St Helen’s Church, North Kensington, marks exactly two years since the tragedy, in which 72 residents died.  It was one of many across the Capital, including at 10 Downing Street and Kensington Palace.

Bishop Graham was joined by the MP for Kensington Emma Dent Coad, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, in a service led by the Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, and the Revd Steve Divall, Vicar of St Helen’s Church, North Kensington.

The walls and pews of St Helen’s were decorated with green ribbons for the memorial service, while members of the congregation were given green sashes to wear around their necks.

The service featured the singing of Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist and Grenfell survivor Leanne Mya, and the release of white Doves and Green Balloons.  It was followed by a silent procession from St Helen’s church to the base of Grenfell Tower, where wreaths and flowers were laid, and candles lit.

The Bishop of Kensington, the Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, said: “One year ago today, we stood here remembering the 72 who died and looking for justice. Today we are here again to remember those who lost their lives, to sympathise and support those whose lives were changed forever by what happened on June 14th 2017.  But if we are honest, not much has changed.

“Grenfell happened because we failed to love our neighbours. We were more interested in other things than the safety and security of those who lived in Grenfell Tower. We failed to pay attention to their needs, because we were too wrapped up in our own. But it’s never too late to learn.”

The Bishop of Kensington’s remarks can be viewed in full here.

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