Churches mark fourth anniversary of tragedy at Grenfell Tower
London – Monday, 14 June 2021: Churches across the Diocese of London and further afield are marking the fourth anniversary of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower with a series of memorial events.
St Clement, the parish in which Grenfell Tower stands, opened its doors to allow parishioners and members of the local community to light candles in remembrance of the 72 residents who lost their lives.
At 3am on the night of the fire, St Clement opened a community response and evacuation centre in its building to serve those affected by the fire, remaining open for the days and weeks that followed.
In the four years that have followed, the church has remained a crucial fixture of the local community, offering itself a beacon of support to residents around Ladbroke Grove. In June 2018, to mark the first anniversary, a Garden for Peace and Healing on the north side of the church was dedicated by the Bishop of London and the Mayor of London.
On Monday, St Clement’s church – together with over 100 churches in the Diocese of London and across the country – rang its bell 72 times at 7pm as an act of remembrance. The 72 rings marked the beginning of two minutes of silence, observed in the local community and elsewhere in memory of those who died in the fire. Participating churches were invited by the Bishop of Kensington, the Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, to join in the act of remembrance.
The Church of England national weekly online services came from the Revd Gareth Wardell, Priest-in-Charge of St Clement’s with St Mark’s, Notting Dale, and St James’s, Norlands, said, together with the Bishop of Kensington. The service featured readings from children from St Clement and St James Church of England Primary School. It is available to view here.
The Revd Gareth Wardell, Priest-in-Charge of St Clement’s with St Mark’s, Notting Dale, and St James’s, Norlands, said:
“Ringing our church bells is a really important way to signal to our local community that those who died are not forgotten. We remember them, and they are forever in our hearts. We will continue to strive for justice for all those who lost their lives.”
The Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington, said:
“I know that this national act of remembrance was greatly valued by the Grenfell bereaved and survivors, and they asked if it might be repeated this year. There is a sense that until some measure of justice and closure has been achieved through the Grenfell Public Inquiry, and particularly bearing in mind those who continue to be affected by the Cladding Crisis, it is important to keep the memory of Grenfell in the public consciousness, particularly as public acts of remembrance are still limited this year due to the restrictions on gathering due to the pandemic.”
“My thanks go to all those that joined in the act of remembrance on Sunday, and to those who are praying for and celebrating the memory of the 72 victims of the tragedy, whose legacies live on.”