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/ 3 June 2019

Bishop of Kensington launches agenda for change following Grenfell tragedy

Ahead of the second anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, the Bishop of Kensington, The Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, has today published a report on the Social Legacy of Grenfell. This follows in-depth conversations and consultation with many of those affected by the disaster.

Launching the report at St Clement’s Church in North Kensington, Bishop Graham led a panel discussion with members of the local community, many of whom contributed to its findings. Community leaders sat on the panel, including Shahin Sadafi, the former Chair of Grenfell United, and Abdurahman Sayed, Director of the Al Manaar Muslim Cultural Centre, to discuss the report’s conclusions and take questions from local residents.

Over a period of six months the Bishop held conversations with survivors from the Tower, the bereaved, volunteers, community groups, activists and many others. His report looks beyond the important questions of building regulation and fire safety and seeks to identify the issues that Grenfell raises as an agenda for change in wider society, to improve community cohesion and wellbeing.

Through the discussions, the Bishop identified five strands of civic and social life which were frequently mentioned and should be focused on in the coming years:

  • Renewing democracy
  • Humanising welfare
  • Becoming neighbours
  • Providing homes
  • Valuing faith

 The Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, the Bishop of Kensington said:

 “One thing I have come to admire is the strength and determination of the local community of North Kensington and its cohesiveness, even in the most trying of circumstances.  My hope is that this report identifies a programme and agenda for change within our society which will be a lasting and fitting legacy to those who tragically lost their lives at Grenfell Tower on the night of June 14th 2017.

 Many have noticed how local and political debate in our nation is becoming more polarised and angry. In a very divided society, the tragedy of Grenfell has much to teach us about the importance of (and steps towards) a more united and compassionate society.”

Shahin Sadafi, former Chair of Grenfell United, said:

 “This is an excellent paper. It is a unique and honest look into how Grenfell has created a ripple effect in time. Society can truly turn the Grenfell tragedy into a positive movement that forces people to step back from their day to day lives and take note of the issues that could benefit everyone.”

A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

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