Christians respond to the London Grenfell Tower fire tragedy
Friday 16th June 2017
Christians across Suffolk are responding with gifts of food, clothing and donations to help those suffering in the aftermath of the tragic blaze at Grenfell Tower - as Bishop Martin tells how he feels heartbroken by the tragedy which could have been avoided.
The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said the disaster should never have happened.
To date 17 people have been confirmed killed, but the death toll could rise above 100 and Grenfell Tower locals are demanding answers amid growing anger at the devastating tragedy at the London flats.
Bishop Martin: “I have been horrified and heartbroken at the appalling fire and loss of life in the Grenfell Tower disaster.
“The stories of the survivors, and of those who perished while saying goodbye to their loved ones over the telephone are harrowing.
“This is clearly a disaster that should never have happened. There have been too many warnings that have gone unheeded, and we must ensure something like this cannot happen again.
“Suffolk people and Suffolk churches have quickly joined in the response of love and generosity that has sent food and clothing flooding into the churches, mosques and community centres around Grenfell.
“Churches this Sunday will be taking collections for the people of Grenfell Tower, not just to provide immediate relief, but to support the survivors and their community for the long process of rebuilding their lives.”
Bishop Mike added: "There is not only deep sorrow but also a sense of anger arising as details of multiple warnings about the unsafe nature of the tower block become clearer.
"One of the challenges now is to direct this anger in ways which address the hazardous conditions in other such blocks.
"Those in positions to effect this kind of change need our encouragement and indeed our pressure to do so."
Amongst those Christians responding are the South West Ipswich Team Ministry with a Grenfell Tower Relief Appeal.
The congregation were, like so many others, shocked at the devastation caused by the fire in the Grenfell Tower housing block in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Worshippers were shocked both by the loss of life, the missing, but also the loss to 120 families of everything they had, many of these are amongst the poorest despite living in one of the wealthiest boroughs in London.
Revd Robert Hinsley, team rector of these Ipswich churches, said: “We would like to play our part and extend the hand of friendship from Suffolk to our sisters and brothers who have been affected and who have provided such an amazing response in the hours after the blaze began.
“There are two opportunities to donate, a retiring collection will be held in each church on Sunday 18th June, and the collection from the team service at St Peters on the 25th will be donated to support those who have been affected.
“The donations will be sent through the Clement James Centre, a part of the church of St. Clement and St. James who have been responding since the incident began.”
Anyone who would like to support Revd Hinsley’s churches appeal can send cheques payable to SWITM PCC in an envelope stating it is for the Grenfell Appeal, to SWITM Parish Office, c/o St Francis Church, 192 Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, Suffolk. IP2 0QQ.