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+++ London skyscraper fire: card. Nichols’ gratitude for rescue efforts. Solidarity machine in the local churches +++

The gratitude of Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, goes to the emergency teams and “their heroic rescue efforts”. “My prayers are with all those who have been affected by the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower”, the archbishop writes in a tweet, while dead and injured people are being counted in London. Since the early hours of day, the huge solidarity machine has been in motion to take in the hundreds of people evacuated from the skyscraper. The fire broke out in a 24-floor skyscraper in North Kensington, not far from Notting Hill, in the west of the British capital, close to Latimer Road station, in the night. All the local churches opened their doors to take in the people. Caritas Westminster too immediately took action and first made an appeal to collect blankets, food, phone batteries. Then, given the supportive response it received, it stopped the aids and opened a bank account for donations. “The response of the local parishes – they say at Caritas – was incredible”. Those most in the forefront include St. Francis of Assisi in Notting Hill. “The Church – Martha Behan, communication director, tells SIR – is full of people. All the local churches are doing the same and have opened their doors. They have come in their pyjamas, they have lost everything. We do not know yet how long they will have to stay. We have made no long-term plans. We are providing assistance and accommodation. They will stay here as long as they need to”.
Since this morning, volunteers from St. Clements’ Church, an Anglican church not far from Grenfell Tower, have been handing out meals and refreshments to the people who have been evacuated from the skyscraper. A few beds have also been put up in the Anglican Church of St. John, in Notting Hill.

Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Anglican Church, invited Londoners to pray for all the people involved in the terrible accident and to donate to the Church of St. Clements all it needs to take in the people. The archbishop too expressed his gratitude for all the emergency teams that are working on the place.

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