25 February 2010

Methodists raise more than £70,000 to help victims of the Cumbria floods

A Methodist fundraising appeal has raised £74,432 to help victims of the floods which struck Cumrbia in November.

Methodist Churches across the UK have sent individual donations to The Cumbria Foundation totalling £36,000 while contributions to The Mission in Britain Fund have reached £38,432.77 with money still coming in. The Methodist Church in Britain sent out a cheque for £38,432.77 to the Cumbria Appeal Fund this week.

The floods destroyed businesses and homes in the county, particularly in Cockermouth, which was badly hit by the devastation.

Revd Richard Teal, Chair of the Cumbria District, said: "This money will make an enormous difference to people. Cockermouth has been going through a sense of bereavement. All the media attention has subsided and people are left with the reality of it. Things have been held up because of the snow and the bad weather. 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."

Cockermouth Lorton Street Methodist Church is opening from 10am to 12pm six days a week to offer people free coffee and advice. The Mana Credit Union is also using the Church as a base to help people with debt management.

Revd Sue Edwards, a Methodist minister in Cockermouth, has been offering pastoral support to people in the town along with other members of the clergy. "The whole area was completely devastated," 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."

A Foodbank project run by Churches Together in Cockermouth is providing people with food parcels, and hot meals are still being served at Christ Church in Cockermouth.

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