Grenfell Tower Fire
The Grenfell Tower tragedy has moved us all deeply. I know that you will be praying – and have your churches open for prayer if that seems pastorally sensible – for the people of Grenfell Tower and all those who live in the vicinity of Latimer Road and the parish of St Clement & St James Notting Dale. We will particularly want to focus on those who have died, those who are bereaved, those whose loved ones are still missing, those seriously injured and in hospital. And for people who have lost their homes and everything they owned in the inferno.
I’m grateful to the local clergy and to Bishop Graham for their tireless work in caring and being alongside people all through yesterday – and to all those clergy who responded to the call-out and came to give priestly counsel and care. Thank you.
Brothers and sisters from other churches have also been involved, together with people of other faiths. I am also hugely grateful to all those staff and members of school communities who have been supporting children in our schools in the area, many of whom have been gravely affected.
In the aftermath of this event, there will be the need for further pastoral support for both the locals affected by this tragedy and for responders. We will obviously make you aware if and when such further support is requested.
This is another moment where we have nothing but admiration and deep gratitude for the work of our emergency services – particularly the Fire Service, as well as our NHS hospitals, called once again into emergency action. And where we can marvel at the signs of the Kingdom of God expressed in the neighbourliness and care that has been evident in the lives of people of all faiths and none in the local community and beyond. The gifts of clothing, food and hospitality have come from far and wide. Guidance on the Council website suggests that they are now inundated with items, so it may not be productive to carry on sending things. There is, however, a financial appeal. For details, see the council’s website.
Of course, there is still much to be done. A community has been shattered. We, the Church, have a calling to offer hope – practical and material – but also the hope that is found in Jesus Christ.