The Rector’s Church Warden in Faughanvale, Elaine Way, says there’s "a wee bit of the Dunkirk spirit" about the community following this week’s devastating floods and she says parishioners are determined to worship in their local church this Sunday.
The village of Eglinton was among the places worst affected by Tuesday night’s downpour. St Canice’s Parish Church and the nearby church hall were both swamped by floodwater. A number of homes and businesses close to the church were inundated.
This morning, the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe visited the church and met parishioners to see the effects of Tuesday’s deluge. While the Bishop was there, members of the parish team in Faughanvale met a loss adjuster to establish the extent of the damage and determine how the parish should proceed.
Mrs Way told BBC Radio Foyle on Friday morning that the parishioners wouldn’t be defeated by the flood. “We won’t be beaten by this,” she said. “We had a team of people who just turned up at St Canice’s Church and the church hall on Wednesday – people of different beliefs and none – and they just got stuck in to try to make the church presentable. We’re going to worship at the church on Sunday no matter what. There was a wee bit of the Dunkirk spirit about the village and people have been remarkable; but there’s an awful lot of pain and hurt and distress.”
Bishop Good cut short his holiday to visit parishes affected by the flooding. Yesterday he said he was heartbroken by what he had seen. "I recognise how distressing these incidents were for parishioners, but clearly that pales in comparison to the distress of many of our neighbours who were hit much harder: homes were inundated, property destroyed, cars literally washed away. Thankfully no lives were lost and that is something to be grateful for."
The bishop said the flood victims were uppermost in his thoughts and prayers at this time. He commended clergy, church volunteers, parishioners and others who responded to the crisis. “If there is one positive to be drawn from the harrowing events of last Tuesday," the bishop said, "it is surely the confirmation that community spirit is alive and well in our midst. Long may that continue.”