Ceremonies themed on green pay respects to 72 who perished in blaze
Grenfell Tower survivors and bereaved families were joined by hundreds of mourners including pop stars Adele and Stormzy to pay silent respect to the dead one year on.
Those touched by the tragedy which claimed 72 lives gathered near the foot of the block in west London for a moving ceremony which was closed to the public.
Many arrived dressed in green, the colour that has come to symbolise the terrible events of June 14 2017.
The 72 seconds of silence which fell over North Kensington shortly before midday led a minute’s commemoration observed across the country, including at government buildings, the Palace of Westminster and by the Queen and the Duchess of Sussex in Chester.
The Mayor of London was among those to lay a wreath at the fence still separating the tower’s hollowed skeleton from the rest of London.
Nicholas Burton, a former 19th floor resident whose wife, Maria del Pilar Burton, died in January, was the first of the bereaved to lay flowers.
He told the Press Association: “It was emotional, of course, but it felt good because everyone around is your community, they’re friends that you know so it didn’t feel uncomfortable or strange – everyone just wanted to hug or say hello.
“I was just thinking about my wife during the minute’s silence, to tell you the truth, hoping she’s OK and I got a bit emotional.
“Then you remember everyone else who died in that tower and I know that I’m lucky to have had a bit of time with my wife.”
Singers Adele, Stormzy and Marcus Mumford all attended the event, having been vocal supporters of the families affected since the fire.
Mr Burton continued: “It was quite weird, I went into the sports centre and I hear ‘Hi Nick’ and it’s Adele calling me over, who introduced me to her new husband and then Marcus comes over and we had a hug, then Stormzy comes over – they have all been unbelievable.
“I was thanking them for all they’ve done behind the scenes that no one knows about.
“It was just nice and normal. They may travel the world and are known to millions but down on the ground they are normal people with big hearts wanting to give. This is their community as well, they feel part of it.
“That persona of being famous is out of the window and now they are part of the Grenfell community.”
Just after 2pm grieving families from a separate church service led a hushed crowd along Silchester Road to the tower.
Many held huge green hearts emblazoned with words such as “humanity”, “love”, “unity” and “grace”.
An anguished mourner collapsed to
the ground weeping as the march reached the base of the site.
Earlier, the day’s first service saw a community mosaic unveiled and a gospel choir perform songs including Bridge Over Troubled Water.
The names of all the dead, including stillborn baby Logan Gomes and Mrs Burton, were read out by different members of the community.
Members of the public were able to watch the ceremony from a giant screen erected outside nearby Kensington Aldridge Academy.
Parallel commemorations took place nearby, including an 11am service of remembrance at St Helen’s Church.
Among those in attendance was Tottenham MP David Lammy, who was friends with victim Khadija Saye.
He said: “I don’t think a year ago we could have envisaged how little support the community would be given by the local authority and the government and that’s in their own words.
“That has not been the best of our country. We need a redoubling of effort in the year ahead.”
It was emotional, of course, but it felt good because everyone around is your community, they’re friends
Top: a woman holding a young girl looks emotional as she covers her face during the memorial service at St Helen’s Church to mark the one year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire. Above: the tower is illuminated in green one year on from the tragic blaze.