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Grenfell Tower fire’s victims remembered at London church service as commemorations held nationwide

Hundreds gathered for a church service in London on Thursday, marking a year since 72 people were killed in the Grenfell Tower fire.

During the 11am service at St Helen’s Church in north Kensington, the names of the 72 killed were read out and 72 seconds of silence observed at noon, a mark of respect which was held across the country.

Clarrie Mendy, who lost two family members in the fire and organised the service, described as “a service of healing, community, inclusivity and solidarity, to know we are not alone”, reported the BBC.

Graham Tomlin, the Church of England’s Bishop of Kensington, said the day was one of “painful memories, a day we remember those 72 precious lives lost”.

He reportedly added that it was also “a day for justice, as we pledge ourselves again to the slow, patient search for truth and justice for those who lost their lives, and a day for peace” and that, while Grenfell Tower was “a symbol of pain and loss and a symbol of our failure to care for one another”, it could also become “a symbol of change and renewal”.

After the service, 73 doves – one of each of the victims and another for those who may have died and not been identified – were released outside the church, which was decorated with green ribbons in a symbol of solidarity with the victims of the fire. Those attending, also wearing green, then took part in a silent procession to the site of the tower.

Some 5,000 people reportedly took part in another silent walk to the tower in north Kensington, held at the end of the day, with firefighters from a nearby station forming a guard of honour.

Elsewhere in the UK, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duchess of Sussex were among those who marked the day by standing silent for 72 seconds at midday while on a visit to England’s north-west. The period of silence was also observed by the English football team while it was training in Russia ahead of its World Cup matches.

Earlier in the day, prominent buildings in London – including the 24 storey tower itself – had been illuminated in green at 12.54am BST, the time the fire was first reported.



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