St Leonard’s Church Southminster
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive
those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom,
and the glory
now and for ever.
The Lament of Grenfell Tower
How desolate now I stand, though recently so packed with life!
Ravaged by fire, I have become a bereaved parent,
Looming above my neighbours, naked and comfortless.
All night I weep; tears cascade down my smouldering walls.
My downfall was terrible! How I lament my former splendour!
My incinerated shell is a monument to preventable tragedy.
It was a carnival of horror!
My residents were engulfed by ferocious flames and billowing smoke:
They were suffocated or burnt in a moment.
I outstretched my hands, but few came to help;
I cried out desperately till I could cry no longer
for help that never came, from a government who had no help to offer.
The fire and ambulance services battled unstintingly, thankfully saving some.
But many were needlessly trapped, brought down by erroneous advice;
Others jumped, or desperately dropped children and babies into waiting arms or blankets.
Forgive me, my friends, for I failed to protect or save you!
I was beaten mercilessly, driven into deepening darkness.
My flesh is raw, my skeleton is broken.
I am betrayed by my managers; my renovators are disgraced,
Like the oxymoronic manufacturers of ‘safe’ combustible cladding.
Woe to you, law-
Woe to you, councillors who ignored warnings of imminent danger!
Woe to you, a Government devoid of compassion!
Woe to everyone who shows disregard for the lives of the poor!
There was manslaughter in the tower!
Of all my former residents, so few remain to comfort me!
The survivors were helpless: their homes destroyed, they were forced to flee;
They lodge in other boroughs now, with no place to call home.
The children whom I reared and loved, who once danced and sang, have disappeared.
Their parents can only groan, or have vanished too.
Seventy nine precious lives -
Entire families were annihilated, are unaccounted for, or wrenched apart with grief.
With countless more injured.
Pain and misery abound!
I have become a tomb in the sky.
My lift shafts and concrete core remain, but
My windows have melted; supporting iron bars smashed like cardboard.
My corridors, once bustling with humanity, are full of rubble.
Each home is dust.
And yet, there is hope!
Light has begun to dissipate the darkness:
Community and faith groups rallied;
Gloriously generous gifts of food and clothing accumulated;
Love, prayers and kindness poured out like rivers.
And so hope returns when I remember this:
The LORD’S love and mercy will continue,
Fresh as the morning, sure as the sunrise.
The LORD is all I have, so I place my hope in Him.
He is good to everyone who trusts in Him.
It is best to patiently wait for His deliverance.
He shall sustain and comfort His people.
He will bind up their wounds.
© Christine Lucas