You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Grenfell Tower: 24-hour vigil to mark anniversary of tragedy

The Guardian logo The Guardian 13/06/2018 Harriet Sherwood
Banners at the top of Grenfell Tower: Banners have been unfurled over the top four floors of the tower in memory of victims of the tragedy. © AFP/Getty Images Banners have been unfurled over the top four floors of the tower in memory of victims of the tragedy.

A 24-hour vigil to mark the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire will begin at 6pm on Wednesday as part of a series of events that will include a nationwide one-minute silence at noon on Thursday.

The names of the 72 victims of the blaze in west London will be read aloud at St Clement’s church, close to the tower block, at 1.30am, the time at which the fire took hold on 14 June last year. A roster of clerics from local churches will say the Lord’s Prayer on the hour throughout the night; otherwise the vigil will be largely silent.

Video - Grenfell Tower fire: One year on (PA)

UP NEXT
UP NEXT

The vigil is one of a number of events on Wednesday evening and throughout Thursday to commemorate the victims of the fire, their families and loved ones, survivors and members of the local community.

MSN has launched a campaign to tackle loneliness, which affects 9 million across all age groups and walks of life in the UK. Discover more on this 'silent epidemic': Please donate now

The commemorations include church services and special prayers of remembrance at the al-Manaar mosque, wreath-laying and the unveiling of a community mosaic. A silent walk – the latest to be held on the 14th of each month since the fire – will begin at 6pm near the tower and end at Kensington Memorial Park.

Grenfell Tower Management company chief Robert Black steps down © Press Association Grenfell Tower Management company chief Robert Black steps down

Fr Alan Everett, the vicar of St Clement’s, said the local community had been “dreading this week. The anniversary has stirred things up for many people. None of us quite knows how we’ll feel. There’s been some discussion about re-traumatisation.”

He added: “Almost everybody will be massively relieved when it’s over. Most people just want to get through this week. A background of distress and fear has been building.”

17 confirmed dead in Grenfell Tower fire © Provided by ITN 17 confirmed dead in Grenfell Tower fire

Everett was woken on the night of the fire, and went straight to his church. After switching on the lights and opening the doors, people from Grenfell Tower and the surrounding blocks arrived, seeking shelter and solace.

On Sunday, St Clement’s dedicated a garden of remembrance on the north wall of the church, facing the tower. The highrise is now covered in white sheeting.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 14:  In this image taken by eyewitness Gurbuz Binici, a huge fire engulfs the 24 story Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road, West London in the early hours of this morning on June 14, 2017 in London, England.  The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has declared the fire a major incident. Fatalities have been confirmed and at least 50 people are receiving hospital treatment.  (Photo by Gurbuz Binici /Getty Images) © Getty LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 14: In this image taken by eyewitness Gurbuz Binici, a huge fire engulfs the 24 story Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road, West London in the early hours of this morning on June 14, 2017 in London, England. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has declared the fire a major incident. Fatalities have been confirmed and at least 50 people are receiving hospital treatment. (Photo by Gurbuz Binici /Getty Images)

“It’s been very positive to turn a really grotty space into something rather beautiful for the community,” said Everett. He hoped the garden and church could be “a place of peace and sanctuary”.

Last week, banners were unfurled over the top four floors of the tower, either with a green heart, the symbol of Grenfell, or the words: “Grenfell: forever in our hearts”.

Undated handout photo issued by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry of the kitchen in flat 16 where the fire started on June 14 last year. © PA Undated handout photo issued by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry of the kitchen in flat 16 where the fire started on June 14 last year.

On Wednesday evening, a concert in memory of Gloria Trevisan and Marco Gottardi, young Italian architects who died in the fire, will be held in Fulham to raise funds for an annual award for Italian graduates to study and gain experience in conservation in the UK.

The couple, who had planned to get married, rented a flat on the 23rd floor of Grenfell Tower. The award would be “a lasting and fitting memorial to [their] lives and talents”, said the organisers.

People place candles at the memorial wall on Bramley Road, London, as they attend a vigil to mark four weeks since the Grenfell Tower fire. © PA People place candles at the memorial wall on Bramley Road, London, as they attend a vigil to mark four weeks since the Grenfell Tower fire.

On Friday, schoolchildren across the country are being asked to wear “green for Grenfell” to mark the anniversary, and raise funds for local charities. Schools are being asked to share their activities and photos on social media, using the hashtag #GreenForGrenfellDay.

Sandra Ruiz, whose 12-year-old niece, Jessica Urbano Ramirez, died in the fire, said: “Green for Grenfell Day is an opportunity to celebrate community spirit up and down the country. In the days after the fire, a community of volunteers surrounded us and helped us through the most difficult of times.

Candles are held by people attending a vigil held at the Maxilla Social Club, west London, to mark one hundred days since the Grenfell Tower fire. © PA Candles are held by people attending a vigil held at the Maxilla Social Club, west London, to mark one hundred days since the Grenfell Tower fire.

“If there is to be a positive legacy from this tragedy, we hope it is that we celebrate and emulate here in North Kensington, and across the country, the community spirit that we saw in the days, weeks and months after the fire.”

The inquiry into the fire, which began hearing evidence, has paused for this week to allow core participants and others to take part in commemorative events.

MSN Loneliness Campaign: Who's affected and how is loneliness being tackled? Discover more and please donate now

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from The Guardian

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon