Gloucestershire church flooded in Storm Henk reopens for Easter

A church that was badly flooded during a storm has reopened to the public.

Staff at St Michael and All Angels Church in Tirley, Gloucestershire, have been working to get the church reopened since the area flooded during Storm Henk in January.

The storm battered large parts of England and Wales, causing flooding, strong winds and power outages.

Katherine Creese, the church warden, said: "We're very fortunate that we're back."

The village, near Tewkesbury, is prone to flooding and the church staff have a range of supplies to help them prepare.

However, the flooding which hit the area in January were so severe that the measures put in place did not contain the water.

River Severn flooding at Tirley in October 2023
The River Severn has flooded at Tirley on a number of occasions, including here in October 2023 [BBC]

Ms Creese said the staff always stack furniture and objects inside the church "up high" and flood gates measuring 0.9m (3ft) were also put in place - but water levels exceeded this.

"You can never really relax," she said.

"The water completely engulfs us from all sides.

"It can be up to two or three days before we know it's coming, so we start the preparations, once it's there, we can't access the church.

"It's better to put things up and make preparations so that we limit the damage for going forward... we'd rather do it and it not be needed, than not do it and have an awful clear-up job afterwards."

The church was able to reopen again with a service to mark Maundy Thursday.

Ms Creese said most of the work has been completed, apart from painting and "cosmetic things".

"It was so important to have it open again at Easter. It's such a special time of year," she added.

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