Church and Community Pulling Together in Floods
A parishioner from Broadway, Worcestershire tells the story of how one local community has been pulling together and what role the church has been playing to help out in the severe flooding.
In Broadway, St Michael's church was opened at about 10.30pm on Friday to travellers who were arriving. They'd been directed off the motorway and other main roads and were trying to find their ways across country.
The church stayed open all night, manned by volunteers who gave out hot drinks, bread and soup. Makeshift beds were provided in between the pews for around 40 - 50 people.
A Broadway restaurant, Russells, brought an enormous cauldron of watercress soup and lots of bread, and a rep who'd found a bed at The Lygon Arms , brought a freezer bag of individual desserts destined for Waitrose!
Our brand-new curate, Rev Richard Harding and his wife, who had flood damage themselves, mucked in brilliantly and the vicar, the Rev Terry Mason, his wife and daughter (who herself lives in Tewkesbury and hasn't been able to reach her own home yet) were also here.
We had all sorts of people - some en route to Bristol airport to go on holiday; some on their way home; an 85 year old, a baby in arms and a Jack Russell. Everyone was so grateful and people were so quiet, kind and considerate. They arrived in shock and some of them completely lost - not even knowing where they were. They were amazed and thankful that the church was open.
Our next-door neighbours, who have a B&B, had a bulging houseful, but still took in extra bodies to sleep on floors and we've heard of many other instances of people in the village taking in stranded people and giving them beds for the night.