After devastating floods, Australia’s churches are struggling to cope with the damage.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Church of Christ in the Highlands and the Church in the Hills are all recovering from floods, while the Anglican church has suffered heavy damage to its buildings.
But the damage is being felt far beyond the flood-ravaged regions.ABC Brisbane’s Ben Thompson has been following the devastation in the flood ravaged region for many years.
In the wake of the floods, Mr Thompson said it was hard to understand the devastation caused by the floods.
“It’s like an ice age, it’s just a lot of people who have been devastated,” he said.
“But then when you get back to normal, then it’s like the world is back to the way it was.”
You see people who’ve lost everything and they’re still holding on.
“Church in the hills in the Brisbane suburb of Gippsland has been badly damagedThe church in the town of Gifford, which has a population of about 600 people, was destroyed by the floodwaters.”
They’ve lost their buildings and they’ve lost so much that they’re completely down in the dumps,” Mr Thompson told ABC Brisbane.”
I think they’re in the worst shape of any church in Australia.
“The Church in Giffard has been flooded in recent daysThe Church on the River in the Townsville suburb of Maitland is also struggling to rebuild after the floods left many homes uninhabitable.
The church was flooded by the strong south-westerly winds of late July, with many of its windows shattered.
The Bishop of St John the Baptist, who has been the church’s bishop for more than 30 years, has said it will take many months to rebuild.
The Australian Church in Christ has lost a significant amount of property in the floodsIt’s a rebuilding process, he said, with members trying to rebuild the church after the damage, and finding ways to keep their church alive and running.”
There’s been a lot that’s happened in the past few months, but I think that’s also been the reason for it, it was very difficult,” he told ABC Queensland.”
The floodwaters came in at the wrong time.
They came in as a flood, so they just flooded all over the place.
“The Bishop said it took a year for the church to rebuild, but has since re-opened.
The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Adelaide was also damaged in the flooding, and will be closed for the next two months.
Mr Thompson said the damage was significant for the local community, and the community’s ability to hold on to its heritage.”
If we were to lose the Cathedral, then there’s a significant number of houses that would be lost, and there’s also a significant loss of the community,” he explained.”
So, you’re losing a lot in terms of cultural heritage.
“The Catholic Church in Queensland is now rebuilding after devastating floodThe Australian Catholic Church was forced to re-open in late May after the flood waters devastated its church.”
We’ve been very, very fortunate that it’s still there, we’ve got quite a number of properties still there,” Archbishop John McIlroy told the ABC.
Archbishop McIlroys statement was followed by a community response that was swift, with churches and community centres open for worship.”
Our church has been a centre for worship, we’re also a centre of community, we are a very community-oriented church, and we are all in a great way.
“And it’s a really good time for us to reopen,” he added.
Archbishops call for stronger response in floodsIn a statement, the Bishop of Adelaide said the community was now in a stronger position to respond to the flood.
“Today’s flood in Adelaide is a wake-up call for us all to be prepared, to get together and to be together, to have compassion, to reach out to one another and to work together,” the statement said.
The Anglican Church has received several calls to reopening in the region, with the archbishop’s statement saying they were all welcome.
“In the past, we were the ones who did it first, the ones with the churches that were open, so that’s the thing that’s changed now,” he stressed.
The Catholic church has received a lot more help from the community and has been able to reopen, the bishop said.
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