As I’m sure you are aware, Storm Desmond has caused immense disruption, with schools, hospital services and travel all being affected in addition to the thousands of homes that have been damaged and hundreds evacuated.
Many communities are gathering together to provide relief and assistance to the areas worst hit by the flooding, including Sandylands Methodist Church who have worked in conjunction with volunteers and local organisations to offer support.
For those of us who cannot give our practical support, however, there is still much we can do and I know a number of you have already asked how you can donate to the relief and clean-up work. The Revd Richard Teal, Cumbria District Chair, reminds us of the wonderful response that the Methodist people made in 2009 and says that “the devastation this time is worse than before”.
The Cumbria Community Foundation, which played a significant role last time, has set up a Cumbria 2015 Flood Appeal to raise funds to support the individuals and communities devastated by the flooding. Richard suggests that this would be the best conduit for donations and we are very happy to endorse that call.
More information, including full details of how to give, can be found here. Please pass on this information to your circuits, churches and members, as well as considering a one-off donation from your district. I am aware too that Cumbria is not the only part of the country that has been affected by the storms and we are mindful of all those who may be struggling to respond to other pressing priorities locally.
The Revd Richard Teal has asked that you join him in prayer for those affected by the flooding:
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.
Thank you so much for supporting the people of Cumbria through prayer and action at this difficult time.
Head of Mission and Advocacy, Methodist Connexional Team