Cornish Business, Tourism and Voluntary Sector Leaders Voice Their Solidarity
Cornwall’s ‘Grenfell From Today’ Song Chosen for Multi-Faith Vigil
Bishop of Truro issues ‘A Cornish Prayer for Grenfell’
Cornwall Hugs is inviting the 1,000’s of Cornish volunteers and businesses, who welcomed Grenfell families for respite in Cornwall, to join Grenfell United’s Online Vigil on the third anniversary of the tragedy, this Sunday June 14th, 6pm. Due to Covid19, the Vigil for the 72 people who died in the fire on June 14th, 2017, will unite thousands around the world online, instead of in person at the base of the Tower in North Kensington. This year, the multi-faith act of remembrance, organised by survivors and the bereaved, includes the Cornish song of solidarity, ‘Grenfell From Today’ by Philip Stopford and Andrew Longfield recorded by the choristers of Truro Cathedral Choir. Meanwhile, Cornish Business, Tourism, Culture and Voluntary Sector Leaders have voiced their solidarity.
Grenfell United’s Multi-Faith Online Vigil is at 6pm on Sunday June 14th including the Cornish song of solidarity and can be viewed here: youtube.com/grenfellunited
A Memorial Church Service will also be broadcast at 11am with a blessing from Cornwall Hugs can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/GrenfellMemorialService
Karim Mussilhy, Vice Chair, Grenfell United said: “We hope many people will be able to join us online this year - even apart we can still show solidarity in this moment. Cornwall Hugs have welcomed families from Grenfell over the last three years. There is a special connection between the two communities. We are delighted to include the Grenfell From Today song in our online memorial event this year.” The song will be broadcast using the video directed by Paul Caddis, created with Grenfell families on respite in Cornwall, including a remembrance service on Penlee Lifeboat led by the late Rev Julyan Drew.
‘The song is a channel for our remembrance and a call to action. It’s also a testament to the legacy of love which followed Grenfell - a legacy we so need to draw on right now. As it says, ‘A new day, a new way, to create a world we’re worthy of. We must listen and learn to love, from today!’ and ’Let a stranger turn into a friend,’ said Esmé Page, founder, Cornwall Hugs.
‘Usually we attend the anniversary to represent Cornwall. But with the vigil being online, now all the volunteers who made Cornwall Hugs Grenfell happen - who welcomed and hosted well over 480 Grenfell guests - will be able to take part. We are all keenly aware of the power of solidarity these days and I’m sure Cornish participation will be strong. It will mean so much to the Grenfell families to know that Cornwall has not forgotten them!’
The Cornish business, tourism and volunteer leaders have spoken out in solidarity:
‘We live in very challenging time. We need to be together but forces continue to try and make that difficult. Even though we are apart physically, we can be still be together, and we are at one with the Grenfell community at this important time,’ said Peter Stewart, Executive Director Outreach & Development, The Eden Project, which welcomed 100’s of Grenfell guests during their Cornwall Hugs’ respite holidays.
Kim Conchie, CEO, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce said, ’Hundreds of Cornish businesses came together to welcome the Grenfell survivors and firefighters for respite and will, I’m sure, want to support the community by showing their solidarity and taking part in this online act of remembrance.’
‘On the third anniversary of the Grenfell tragedy we remember the words of Coretta Scott King: “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." Although the pandemic has prevented people from coming together this year, it does nothing to stem our compassion. We stand with the Grenfell families in love and solidarity.’ Emma Kell, CEO, Cornwall Museums Partnership, on behalf of all the Cornish museums and attractions who supported Grenfell guests.
Volunteer Cornwall Chief Executive, Ian Jones said, ‘Volunteer Cornwall’s volunteers enjoyed meeting the Grenfell families and it will be very special to be able to join in this vigil from afar’.
Dany Duncan, Elemental UK which provided water-sports for over 100 Grenfell guests, said, ‘Working with the amazing people of Grenfell Tower was one of the best, most humbling experiences of my life to date, strength is in community and we’ll be thinking of our Grenfell friends very much as the anniversary approaches.“
Many Cornish faith groups supported the work of Cornwall Hugs Grenfell and The Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen has written a prayer for churches to share in their online services to mark the anniversary which falls this year on a Sunday.
‘A Cornish Prayer for Grenfell’
Generous, hospitable God,
We pray for our friends in the Grenfell Community
as they grieve and remember.
We thank you that you comfort those who mourn
And the homeless find a home with you.
We thank you for blessing our two communities
with the joy of sisterhood and fellowship.
This third anniversary, give us, we pray,
Generous and hospitable hearts:
To find room in our prayers for those who grieve;
To stand again with those who suffer;
And to affirm once more our solidarity
with strangers who have become our friends.
For Jesus Christ’s sake.
About Grenfell From Today
The song of solidarity ‘Grenfell From Today’ was written by Philip Stopford and Andrew Longfield for the charity Cornwall Hugs. It was recorded by the choristers of Truro Cathedral Choir, directed by Christopher Gray, for the first anniversary of the fire in 2018 and released with a video of survivors, shot on location in Cornwall and Kensington, directed by Paul Caddis. http://bit.ly/GrenfellFromTodayð. The video features a remembrance ceremony at sea, held for Cornwall Hugs by the charity’s partner, RNLI Penlee Lifeboat in 2018, when Grenfell guests, led by the late Rev Julyan Drew, cast white roses into the sea off Penlee point.
The song ‘Grenfell From Today’ was released at the first anniversary of the fire and inspired a world-wide act of musical solidarity and remembrance. The sheet music was released freely and the song was sung by over 6,000 voices in hundreds of cathedral and community choirs from Auckland to Minneapolis, Buenos Aires to Moscow. It was released as single by Universal Music, reaching No 2 in iTunes Classic Songs. The single cover was designed by Jon Stubbington and all those involved gifted their time and skills to the project.
Cornwall and Kensington - Sister Communities!
Cornwall’s sisterhood with Kensington has grown over the three years with nearly 500 survivors, bereaved and firefighters visiting the county for respite through Cornwall Hugs Grenfell. This culminated in a celebration last August in Mousehole, Cornwall & Kensington Together, during which survivors and the bereaved unveiled a special Grenfell Street sign with iconic Grenfell Green Heart for the pre-existing street named Grenfell Street in the village. The sign stands as testament to the solidarity between the communities.
Esmé Page via firstname.lastname@example.org 07803 594 285
IMAGES: New Cornish Banner of Solidarity, Grenfell Street Sign Unveiling, Respite Holidays, ‘Grenfell From Today’, as attached.
Grenfell United: the bereaved families and survivors group, work together for their community and safe homes, justice and change. www.grenfellunited.org
Cornwall Hugs (#1177796) was founded by Esmé Page to offer respite to those affected by the Grenfell Tower Fire. The charity’s first campaign ‘Cornwall Hugs Grenfell’ supported survivors, the bereaved, displaced neighbours and firefighters, with nearly 500 welcomed for respite. The charity received 300+ pledges of holiday accommodation and is supported by over 250 businesses as well as by 1000’s of individuals, choirs and churches throughout Cornwall and beyond. cornwallhugsgrenfell.org
‘Cornwall Hugs Care Workers’
During Covid19 Cornwall Hugs has been working with Cornwall Council, Visit Cornwall and Volunteer Cornwall to find and match temporary accommodation to Care Workers needing to live away from home to protect vulnerable family members, while they continue in their vital frontline roles. The portal for this Cornwall Hugs Care Workers service is: www.cornwallhugs.org
‘Grenfell From Today’ by Philip Stopford with lyrics by Andrew Longfield
There are sights we should never behold
There are souls that cannot be consoled
Beautiful memories lost to the flames
The loved and the lonely were more than just names
And the young that will never get old
As the world wonders how this could be
Such a tower of humanity
Such a beacon of dread to the living and dead
With unanswered questions and things left unsaid
Such a sight that cannot be unseen
Chorus: A new day, a new way
To create a world we’re worthy of
A new day, a new way
We must listen and learn to love
There’s a child with no words she can find
To describe all the thoughts in her mind
There’s a motherless son with a heart to be won
And a hero unsung who is coming undone
There’s a mountain of grief to be mined.
And we give all the love in our hearts
To the lives that are coming apart
To heal body and soul, take the terrible toll
We give what we can to keep families whole
We are neighbours and all play our part
There’s a vow from the heart of this land
There’s a promise we all understand
From North to South, from East to West
A time to grieve a chance to rest
To our neighbours we offer our hand
Though your hearts they will never quite mend
Fall in love with your futures again
Let the joy of new memories shed light on the old
Let hope be the pathway for journeys untold
Let a stranger turn into a friend