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2017: Reflections from the editor

With the tower still smouldering, the streets surrounding were full of survivors, mourners, media and those offering practical support.

I'd gone to support friends at a nearby church who'd been offering food, clothing and prayer to those caught up in the blaze but was struck by the deep discomfort I felt just looking at the building which I'd been talking about on radio on all day.

That night, I slept very little as the harsh reality of the deaths, the images of the smoking tower and the stories of survivors filled my mind.

Grenfell wasn't the only story that made 2017 a tough one for journalists. We were too often needed to report on terror attacks, mass shootings like the one we saw at the Texas church pictured below or the regular updates of religious persecution around the world.

First image: Nick Wagner and Austin American-Statesman via AP. Second image: KSAT via AP

The world has seemed an increasingly dark place over the past 12 months, yet we know as Christians we have an opportunity to bring some light.

Knowing how to do that at times like Grenfell can be particularly difficult and while it can also be difficult to switch off having been talking about these events in detail throughout the day, the opportunity to provide news from a Christian and often prayerful perspective is a privilege that none of the news team here at Premier take lightly.

Being able to speak to church leaders on the ground, working in tough situations and encouraging believers to pray is something different we are able to offer, providing a news service like no other in this country.

As a team, we'd value your prayers as we navigate our way round some very difficult stories.

And as the world becomes darker, the need for positive and uplifting news becomes ever more important. Whether it's the London church which continued their worship at a nearby train station after their service ended (pictured below) or the church in Stoke which was able to provide school uniforms for over a hundred children from families struggling financially, it was great to share stories of churches offering glimmers of light in 2017.


We need more of these stories and I'm convinced they're already happening across the country with little notice.

We want to celebrate what the Church is doing - but to do that we need you to let us know what's happening in your areas.

I'd encourage you to get in touch via our website to enable us to share these stories with readers and listeners.

As we say goodbye to 2017 we'd like to say thank you to those who've listened to our broadcasts or read our stories online.

Here's to a much brighter 2018.

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