BY JOSEPHINE SIEDLECKA
A BISHOP has offered prayers for the victims of the flash floods which devastated north Cornwall last week.
Bishop Christopher Budd of Plymouth said: “The devastation visited on Boscastle recently has caused havoc to many peoples’ lives and property as well as marring the beauty of that village.
“On behalf of the Catholic community in the Southwest, I wish to express my sincerest sympathy to all the people who have been affected by this disaster. I would also like to express my deepest admiration for the doughty spirit of villager and visitor alike and the dedicated work of the many members of the emergency services involved in the rescue.
“Everyone is relieved that there were no fatalities. I feel sure that with the right sort of assistance and support those affected will be able to reconstruct their lives again over the coming months and years. They will be supported in this with the prayers of the Catholic community.” In a letter which was read out to the people of St Paul’s, Tintagel on Sunday, he wrote: “My thoughts and prayers have been with the people of Boscastle since the awful events of Monday last. I am also only too aware that others in the area have suffered loss, especially those in Crackington Haven. They are all in my prayers. Along with you all I am immensely grateful that there was no loss of life.
“It has been moving to see the mutual help offered within the village community of Boscastle and the dedicated and untiring work of the emergency services.
“To those of you who live in or near Boscastle I would wish to assure you of the continuing support and prayers of the Catholic community, not just in Cornwall but also across the diocese. The time will come when media interest will fade and the emergency services are no longer on hand. That is the time when our support will be so crucial. We will endeavour to maintain that support for as long as necessary into the immediate and longer-term future.
“Responding to the hurt of those whose lives and property have been damaged by this disaster presents a great opportunity for all Christians in this area to join together in prayer and concern for the whole community.” A special Mass was celebrated at St Paul’s the day after the floods. The church was at the centre of the official disaster area. Many parishioners were caught up in the deluge. One family in Boscastle had to swim to safety when their home was washed away. Another was stranded for hours when a footbridge collapsed.
Parish priest Fr Bryan Storey said he had been inundated with phone calls from people all over the country offering to help the victims of the flood.