Rapid Response Team
back to Grenfell
Jackie Blanchflower, Church Leader for Latymer Community Church, recently invited the RRT Chaplains back to West London to a planned one-year anniversary event following the tragedy.
During the period 14-16 June, the RRT chaplains once again came alongside, talked and prayed with a number of people (names have been changed.) Here are just a few reflections from the RRT Chaplains:
An Interview with a Rapid Response Team Chaplain
Pat – a Chaplain from Woodford Green, Essex, was asked a few questions about her own experiences as a Rapid Response Team Chaplain:
Q. Although we deploy to support those in need, what have you personally learnt from your ministry with the rapid response team?
A. I find where someone is grieving there’s a need to understand the process that they are going through. I want to help but not with glib words but respond appropriately with the right words of understanding. My understanding of both the spiritual and psychological aspects of grief and trauma has grown.
Q. How have you grown through your deployments with the Rapid Response Team?
A. You are taken to a realm of grief that you wouldn’t normally see day by day. I’ve had a closer walk with God because I need to be fully dependent upon Him for Him to give me the right words.
Q. Have the things you’ve experienced changed you?
A. It has caused me to have a deeper walk with the Lord. I experienced a number of bereavements some years ago and I remember praying and thinking ‘this pain must be of use sometime’. That prayer has been fulfilled through ministry with the Rapid Response Team. Yes, the deployments have caused me to have a deeper dependency on the Lord.
Q. How do you prepare for a deployment with the Rapid Response Team?
A. I always go to the deployment area and find a quiet place, the area where people are placing flowers perhaps, and sit and watch and pray. For just a short time when you are deployed you become involved in their lives and the tragedy. Hopefully you can handle it as the Lord would have done, bringing hope and compassion.
Jackie Blanchflower – Church Leader for Latymer Community Church, says…
“Once again huge thanks all round to the BGEA Rapid Response Team of Chaplains, who served so amazingly last week during the Grenfell anniversary period. It meant such a lot to us to know that you were there and enabled me to say to all the staff team – do what you need to do on the 14th because we knew that the Rapid Response team could cover things at Latymer. I have referred Rachael to the church I know near where she lives and she already knows a couple of people from the night shelter there and I am praying that she can really be discipled and grow in her faith. I was so encouraged to hear that Bruce – one of the RRT Chaplains – had prayed with 10 people on Sat when it had seemed very quiet, and that 600+ messages had been put on hearts (and added to the prayer wall) over the anniversary 4 days.
Our service went really well on Sunday with a number of people coming for the first time, some of whom had been to the tea on Saturday. We are so encouraged by this. In the end I preached on Faith, hope and love as this is what got me through the last year, and I trust will get me and those there, through the next. I embarrassed the Rapid Response Chaplains there, by saying they had embodied Faith, Hope and Love in their time with us – encouraging our faith, sharing hope and pouring out love in our community. The events went off far better than we expected – Praise God. Thanks for all your prayers for us.”