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Prepare your church for emergency response: Lessons from Grenfell

Prepare your church for emergency response: Lessons from Grenfell

This guide draws on our research into faith group responses to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and can be used in emergency response preparation. (2018)

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The fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017 shocked and horrified the country, the agony and trauma of its victims compounded by the apparent indifference and disorganization that ensued.

In the chaos, the role of the diverse faith groups in the community stood out. Churches, mosques, synagogues, and gurdwaras all stepped up to the plate, responding practically, emotionally and spiritually to a moment of pain and confusion. At least fifteen separate centres run by faith communities responded. Aid included acting as evacuation areas, receiving, sorting and distributing donations, offering accommodation, drawing up lists of the missing, supporting emergency services, patrolling the cordon, providing counselling and supporting survivors seeking housing.

This guide is based on our report, After Grenfell: The Faith Groups’ Response which explores what the faith communities did, how they managed to do it, and what can be learned from the experience. The guide offers a summary of the key lessons we heard from the Grenfell faith groups, and can be used be used by churches and other faith and voluntary groups in thinking about responses to emergencies. 

Download the guide in booklet form. 


Cover image: prayer wall outside Latymer Community Church, courtesy of Latymer Community Church

Amy Plender

Amy Plender

Amy is the author of After Grenfell: The Faith Groups’ Response. Her research interests include theological responses to suffering and mental health, theology and the arts, liturgical practice, and interfaith dialogue.

Watch, listen to or read more from Amy Plender

Britain, Christianity, Church, Communities, Religion, Social Action, Trauma


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