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Bishop Mike Harrison / X
floods bishop pic.jpg
Bishop Mike Harrison / X
World News

Clergy among those counting the cost of Storm Babet

by Donna Birrell

Clergy are among thousands of people affected by severe flooding across the country.

Red weather warnings across parts of Scotland have led to many people being evacuated from their homes amid fears of more rivers flooding. In England, severe "risk to life" flood warnings have also been issued for Derbyshire, as Storm Babet continues to hit the UK.

In Suffolk a major incident was declared on Friday, as persistent rain and high winds caused flooding and major disruption.

The Bishop of Dunwich Rt Rev Mike Harrison posted a photograph on social media of his living room under eight inches of water with the caption :

“Oh dear - home deluged with 8 inches of rain on ground floor + oak tree at front down taking power line with it. Humans fine, chickens lost, bees ok, neighbours great, hospitality in near future unlikely.”

Premier has since learned that Bishop Mike has now discovered two of his chickens alive and well.

The rector of the Suffolk Benefice of Debenham and Helmingham, Rev Susan Taylor has been speaking to Premier about the situation :

“It has been absolutely horrendous. It’s been very difficult for Debenham and the surrounding parishes.

“It started raining early in the morning (on Friday) and then the water seemed to rise very quickly to a much higher level. There were floods here in 1993 but these floods were much higher and have affected many more homes.

“Lots of people are feeling devastated, upset and anxious about the damage and the upset to their lives. The schools were badly affected. Teachers at the primary school were carrying children on their shoulders, to get them to the tractors who then carried them to higher ground.

“The tractor drivers have been amazing. They work tirelessly all day and well into the early hours of this morning to help get people to where they needed to go. It’s a huge community effort.

“Listening to people was a big part of what we were doing yesterday. Being literally a shoulder to cry on at times and offering a warm, safe, dry place for people to be. Supporting the school, helping to coordinate a little bit, helping to coordinate the tractor drivers and who's going where, but mostly in a pastoral role. I think we have a church that is really well integrated in the community in Debenham and across the parishes.

“Church people working together with all the people across the community, to help each other and be there for each other.

“I think the shock is much more noticeable today (Saturday). Now yesterday, it was just trying to make sure everybody was safe and dealing with the immediate emergency of the rising water. Today now there is dismay and anxiety and yes, the loss of our safe space - our home - the treasured things like photographs, books.”

Church of England vicar Sharon Grenham-Thompson who is known as 'Glamvicar' on social media, also posted a video of her local street completely underwater, with the caption "My poor parishioners!"



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