London faithful respond to Grenfell Tower fire


In the hours following last night’s fire, Londoners of many faiths have responded, helping survivors of the fire and emergency workers. From the Telegraph:

Mrs [Samantha] Cameron [wife of former prime minister David Cameron], who lives with her husband close to Grenfell Tower, is understood to have joined volunteers at Notting Dale’s St Francis of Assisi church, where she was seen handing out bottles of water…

Volunteers from the Muslim Aid charity collected and distributed donations alongside Anglican and Sikh volunteers. Shopkeepers and businessmen offered their services for free.

And in what is an area of stark contrasts, with million pound plus homes yards from impoverished families living  in social housing alongside, middle class residents were joined by working class neighbours in donating food, soft drinks, nappies and clothes for those who needed it.

The Anglican Area Dean for Kensington, the Reverend Mark O’Donoghue, said: “Its been a very London response, with people of all faiths and social class trying to help. This disaster has brought out the best in people.”

One of his churches, St Clement of Notting Dale, was contacted by the chef at designer Stella Macartney’s nearby studio who came in to cook lunch for those gathered inside.

In Metro:

In a show of kindness to the survivors who have been evacuated from their homes, mosques, temples and churches in the local area have opened their doors to offer assistance.

Harjinder Kukreja‏, said: ‘Sikh Gurudwaras in London have started collecting and distributing spare clothes, toys, toiletries for Grenfell Tower evacuees.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby pointed those wanting to help to St. Clements Church, which is functioning as an evacuation and support center (reminiscent of Trinity Wall Street in New York following 9/11).

The Standard quoted Welby’s words to the BBC:

“As we’ve seen, and we saw in Manchester as well of course, is just everyone coming together when there is a tragedy on this scale. And just outpouring of the most extraordinary love and generosity, and people just getting stuck in – putting their own interests aside. It’s just incredible.”


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