‘I’ve read comments on Facebook in the last couple of days from people saying we can’t do this again. They were flooded in 2012, weren’t able to get insurance and they’ve been flooded again now.’
Rev Bull reports that St Michael’s church now sits under four feet of water. ‘Everything is a write-off,’ he says, explaining that church services won’t be able to resume until after Easter.
These scenes of ‘utter devastation’ were repeated across England and Scotland during December and January as record levels of rainfall caused by storms ‘Desmond’, ‘Eva’ and ‘Frank’ led to floods that wrecked thousands of homes and businesses. Military troops were mobilised in some areas to aid emergency services.
But local communities have pulled together, as Rev Bull explains. ‘It’s heartbreaking to see the damage that has been caused but heartwarming to see the way people are working together to help each other out at this dreadful time.’
‘The community are so resilient. People carry on…The Church is playing a big role.’
Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, praised those who had volunteered to help. In a statement he said the people of York have responded ‘with tremendous spirit, resolve, and generosity, to the plight of their flooded neighbours’.
The organisation that runs the Keswick Convention also praised the ‘extraordinary’ resilience of the people of Cumbria during the tragedy. ‘The town has pulled together to stand by one another…the community and people h
As the scenes of devastation resulted in media coverage across the world, Pope Francis asked the thousands gathered at the Vatican to pray for the victims of the storms. ‘May the Lord give comfort to all these peoples, and may fraternal solidarity aid them in their need,’ he said.
David Cameron praised the work of emergency services and pledged £50m funding to help local authorities’ response to the floods, with a further £40m going towards a flood defence package.
But as the clean-up operation gets under way, some have laid the blame at the door of the UK government. The Association of Drainage Authorities has argued that not enough money was being spent on the day-to-day maintenance of equipment to prevent floods. They say that since 2000, the UK has had its five wettest years on record, yet the Environment Agency’s overall spending on flood management has fallen by 14%.ave cared for each other.’