By Elspeth Kernebone
7 March 2022
Anglicans have been urged to give generously to support flood recovery efforts in NSW and Queensland after the region was hit by torrential rain.
Towns along the east coast such as Lismore, Mullumbimby and Tweed Heads were among those hit by major floods last week, killing at least 16 people, destroying homes, displacing thousands.
Anglicare North Coast chief executive Leon Ankersmit said the organisation was assisting with the immediate response to the floods, mainly clean up, and preparing to help long term where it could.
Dr Ankersmit said Anglicare NC volunteers would be travelling around the flood hit areas, trying to help churches support their communities. He said it was asking parishes to refer to Anglicare NC any households in need of immediate assistance, which could be anything from cleaning out mud, to ripping up carpet, and in later days, replacing white goods and furniture.
This week, the organisation plans to send out a travelling team with a pressure cleaner to help households clean up.
Dr Ankersmit said over the coming weeks, Anglicare NC would also be working with households referred to them to help them recover.
He said if Anglicans in Melbourne wanted to support recovery efforts they could donate to the recovery fund, which has so far raised $40,000.
Bishop of Grafton Murray Harvey said the diocese would not know the extent of the damage to church buildings until waters had receded, in a pastoral letter published on the diocese website.
Bishop Harvey said coming after floods in 2021, bushfires in 2019-20, and the COVID-19 pandemic, most people were close to the end of their emotional resources.
“In such cases we are reminded even more of our utter reliance on God and his strength. We are to remember that ‘The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this’,” he wrote.
The Grafton diocese covers much of the affected area on NSW’s north coast.
At least 17 NSW council areas have been declared disaster areas after the flooding.
The Bureau of Meteorology is continuing to forecast showers and thunderstorms for the north-east NSW and south-east Queensland region.
At least 11 people have died due to flooding in Queensland, and five in NSW.
Information about the Anglicare North Coast flood appeal is available at: anglicarenorthcoast.org.au/donate/