Interfaith leaders hold Grenfell Tower victims vigil
North Kensington residents, local councillors, members of the public, and faith leaders all gathered together yesterday at the Westway Sports Centre to hold a vigil for the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster in West London.
Among the assembled faith leaders was Dr Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington, who addressed the assembled crowd, saying:
“It will be important in the coming days for faith leaders to speak with one voice to help channel the frustrations and emotions of the community into a steady determination to ensure nothing like this happens again. This will require conversation and communication between faith groups, local people, the Council, the Government – we all have a part to play in rebuilding a future together.
“Last week showed the importance of faith and community groups, as they rose to the challenge magnificently to offer help when it was needed. We are here for the long haul – our churches have been here for centuries and we intend to be so for centuries to come, and we are committed, along with others, to play our part in rebuilding the community here. And we believe it can happen, partly we because we believe in this community that has shown its strength and courage in the past week, and also because we believe in a God who makes all things new and who always give us hope.”
During the vigil, Bishop Graham also read from a statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in which the Archbishop reaffirmed the Church’s commitment to work with survivors to help them reclaim their lives, and praised the courage and resilience of the community in responding to the disaster.
Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement for the vigil in the Westway 20 June 2017
“Having visited the site of Grenfell Tower, with Bishop Graham a week ago, you have been in my thoughts and prayers daily, so horrified was I by the suffering that you have undergone and the trials that remain for you now.
“I know that the Church has been constantly present and will continue to be, once the media has ceased to focus, and other attention has moved on. We commit to being alongside you and to helping you in any way we can. As well as that, you will remain in our prayers and thoughts, and Bishop Graham will continue to work with the local clergy, volunteers, people of other churches, other faiths and no faiths, to support in you in the difficult journey you have to travel.
“None of us underestimate the challenges that you have, but given your courage and the way you have stuck together in the last week, neither do we underestimate your own capacity to rise above these difficulties. You are truly brave and wonderful people.”
The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury