Three months after parts of Cumbria were devastated by floods, the Methodist Church has insisted that its inhabitants must not be forgotten.
They also announced that a Methodist fundraising appeal has raised £74,432 to help victims of the floods, which destroyed businesses and homes in the county, particularly in Cockermouth.
“All the media attention has subsided and people are left with the reality of it,” said the Rev Richard Teal, Chair of the Cumbria District of the Methodist Church.
He said that Cockermouth had been going through “a sense of bereavement” but he is confident that the money that had been raised will make a difference.
The Methodist Church has been supporting people affected by the floods in a number of ways.
Lorton Street Methodist Church in Cockermouth is opening from 10am to 12pm for six days each week to offer free coffee and advice. The Mana Credit Union is also using the Church as a base to help people with debt management.
Much of their work has been in conjunction with others. A Food Bank project run by Churches Together in Cockermouth is providing people with food parcels, and hot meals are still being served at Christ Church in the town.
Teal said that the recent snow had delayed efforts to rebuild homes.
“People who were hoping to get back into their homes in the next few months will now have that put back by a few more months,” he added.
“The whole area was completely devastated,” explained the Rev Sue Edwards, a local Methodist minister who has joined with other clergy in providing pastoral care to those affected.
She said, “The housing estate on the other side of the River Derwent is like a ghost town. At the moment we are trying to help people out financially while they are waiting for their insurance, but there is a good community spirit.”