Suffolk Bishop says Grenfell Tower tragedy should never have happened as Christians unite for victims
PUBLISHED: 13:40 16 June 2017 | UPDATED: 13:40 16 June 2017
Suffolk’s most senior clergyman has said he is “horrified and heartbroken” by the Grenfell Tower fire, with the county’s Christian community rallying to collect essentials for those suffering in the aftermath.
The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said the tragedy should never have happened.
As the death toll continues to rise, Londoners have started to demand answers as to how the flames could have spread so quickly.
Bishop Martin said: “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.”
The Rt Revd Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, has also expressed his shock, and has called for measures to be taken to ensure this can not happen again.
He said: “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.”
The South West Ipswich Team Ministry has created a Grenfell Tower Relief Appeal.
Revd Robert Hinsley, team rector, 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.”
A collection will be held at each church in the ministry - St Mary at Stoke, St Francis and St Peters - this Sunday for people to donate.
Alternatively, cheques payable to SWITM PCC can be sent 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.