Churches reach out to those affected by Cumbrian floods
Teams of church volunteers have been offering support and help to those affected by the Cumbrian floods.
In Cockermouth, volunteers have been working closely together through Churches Together in Cockermouth.
Christ Church has been opened up for two days to provide shelter to those evacuated, who have also been offered food and drink. The team has continued to keep close contact with the emergency services’ Gold Command based at Cockermouth School.
Meanwhile members of St Elizabeth’s Harraby and St Luke’s Carlisle have also been offering support at the Greystone Community Centre in Carlisle as well as at the city’s Richard Rose Morton Academy which has acted as a reception centre.
The University of Cumbria chaplaincy team has also helped students who were evacuated. The chapel and bar on the Fusehill campus were opened to greet people with shelter, drinks and snacks, and the Community Centre on Close St was offered as a reception centre.
And the team at Holy Trinity Church Carlisle opened up their church hall to provide help, shelter and refreshments for those affected by flooding on the city’s Caldewgate and Shaddongate.
In Kendal, St Thomas’ church was used as a base by the emergency services on Saturday night and Sandylands Methodist Church acted as a reception centre. Help was also offered at Kendal’s Leisure Centre which was a reception centre.
The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev’d James Newcome, said: “This gives an idea of how church families have rallied to the call at this difficult time.
“However, we know from past experience of floods in 2005 and 2009 that this is just the beginning of a long and difficult process for those people affected. We must be there to draw alongside those who have been so badly affected, and to offer the practical, physical and spiritual help they need both now and in the future.”
Meanwhile a number of churches have been badly affected by the floods.
In Appleby, more than two feet of floodwater swamped the parish church after flood defences - which the community had paid for at a cost of £50,000 - were breached.
There are also reports that Isel Church in the Binsey Team Ministry was surrounded by up to five feet of water though it has not yet been possible to assess the damage inside due to access difficulties.
Kendal Parish Church saw its three church halls flooded as well as the kitchen and boiler room, though the main church building was unaffected. Natland Church’s boiler room was also flooded.
The churchyard of St Peter’s Camerton in west Cumbria was also partially covered by flood water after the River Derwent broke its banks.
Notes to editors
The Diocese of Carlisle has also issued a prayer for all those affected by the Cumbria floods:
Creator God, we remember at this time all those whose homes and communities have been damaged by flooding in Cumbria.
In the name of Jesus we give thanks for the courage and dedication of the emergency services who have come to the help and rescue of all in need.
We celebrate the kindness of neighbours in caring for the most vulnerable.
Lastly, we ask in the power of your healing Spirit to rebuild not just the physical communities which are coping with many problems today but also to give us a sense of trust in your goodness through the kindnesses of one another, in Your Holy Name.
For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager on 07469 153658, 01228 815401 or at email@example.com.