Last night I returned from two days of meetings in London and began to write a new blog. I put my writing on hold at 9pm to watch the programme on BBC2 about Jo Cox and then decided I would finish writing this morning.
Today we have woken to the news of the unimaginable experience of the many people caught up in the fire in Grenfell Tower in Notting Hill. I am sure we are all responding in prayer for those affected, and I copy here a statement from the London District which you may fine helpful as you struggle to know how to pray:
Statement and Prayer from the London District Chairs in response to the fire at Grenfell Tower
It is with shock and dismay that we woke up to the news of the fire at Grenfell Tower in Notting Hill this morning. This has taken place in a densely populated, vibrant part of our city and the tower block has been the home of many families. Notting Hill Methodist Church is close to the fire and within the cordon established by police. Superintendent Minister of the Notting Hill Methodist Circuit, Mike Long, visited rescue centres this morning to see what help the Church might offer. The facts of the cause of the fire and the events that followed will take time to emerge and the effects on the local community will be long-term and far-reaching. As a District we will do all we can to support the local church as it works with the community in the weeks and months to come.
We pray for those caught up in the fire at Grenfell Tower,
for casualties, for the wounded, for the missing and the traumatised.
We pray for the emergency services and for those who are responsible for co-ordinating the response to this major incident.
In despair bring hope
In injury bring healing
In fear bring comfort.
In our helplessness be our strength.
In your mercy hear our prayers.
In Christ’s name.
Michaela Youngson and Nigel Cowgill
Chairs of the London District of the Methodist Church
The blog photo is of the MWiB task group members who met at Methodist Church House on Monday to plan for the 2018 Easter Offering service. The service is being written by Rachel Collins, who was the Helen Kim Memorial Scholar until last year. The theme is ‘Seek peace and pursue it’, words found in Psalm 34 and again in 1 Peter 3. The service will help us to understand the lives of people in other parts of the World Church and will also provide an opportunity to support others by our giving to the World Mission Fund.
On Tuesday (yesterday) the executive met to work through a very full agenda of business, including final preparations for our fringe event at Methodist Conference in Birmingham. I look forward very much to seeing some of you there.