Bishops’ statement on latest flooding incidents

The three Bishops of the Diocese of Blackburn (The Church of England in Lancashire) – Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn; Rt Rev. Geoff Pearson, Bishop of Lancaster and Rt Rev. Philip North, Bishop of Burnley – have made a joint statement following the latest flooding in Lancashire and other parts of northern England.

They said today: “Communities across the County of Lancashire and in other parts of northern England have once again been affected by unprecedented levels of rainfall leading to flooding and evacuations from homes in villages such as Ribchester and Whalley.

“Coming so soon after the last floods, these incidents, occurring during the Christmas period, led to untold hardship for many as they struggled to defend their homes against the unprecedented rising water levels.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have had to leave their homes at a time of year when they should be relaxing in those homes with their families and friends.

“Our thoughts and prayers are also with those who are facing disruption in power supplies and with anyone whose lives have been affected in any way by the floods.

“As with the previous floods earlier in December, the emergency services and the army have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of those affected and we pay tribute to their steadfastness in this time of trial. We hope everyone in the worst affected areas will cooperate fully with their instructions and will draw strength from their presence.

“There are also numerous volunteers, including volunteers from local faith communities, doing what they can to alleviate the situation. We hope people will continue to pull together.

“At this time of year we remember the birth of Jesus, our Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us’. In Psalm 46, v1 it says ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble’. We hope people will draw comfort from these words at this difficult time.

“There is an online and text appeal to help local flood victims, coordinated by the Community Foundation for Lancashire, and we would urge people to give what they can at this difficult time to ease the flooding crisis.”

Ronnie Semley

December 27, 2015

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