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October 06, 2007

Remembering the floods

Today saw the Abbey packed for a service of thanksgiving and remembrance. It is now just over two months since the devastating floods that struck on the 20th July and our Bishop, the Bishop of Gloucester decided some weeks ago that we were the appropriate place to hold this service for the whole county.

Around six hundred people attended together with the Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff and the Sheriff of Gloucester, all the Mayors from all the towns hit by the flood and of course the many whose homes and possessions, businesses and treasures, however humble, were destroyed. Six symbolic candles were lit in the centre aisle by those bereaved or representing those who suffered loss and the service was broadcast by BBC Radio Gloucester. An ITV News camera was also present, so no doubt there will be some reports on the TV as well.

For those of us there, it was a very moving and well thought out service. For me particularly, it was great to see the sailors, soldiers and airmen there in their uniforms alongside the Police, Fire and Ambulance services, because it reminds people that our standing armed forces are not just about fighting, but about defending us in all sorts of emergency. For once the politicians had to take a back seat and listen to the people they will always claim to represent telling of how they worked for themselves, their neighbours and those whose need was greater than their own. It was truly humbling experience even for those of us that were there and involved in the whole unfolding tragedy.

Our prayers of thanks and our hymns of praise rang through the building, but, as our Bishop reminded us, now is the time to build on the good that came spontaneously during the crisis when we looked after each other, and to make it the way of the future.

Posted by The Gray Monk at October 6, 2007 04:34 PM

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