Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire flooded churches invited by neighbouring parish

Flooded church in Tirley Image copyright PA Media
Image caption St Michael and All Angels, in Tirley, is surrounded by floodwater after heavy rain during Storm Dennis

Congregations forced out of their churches by flooding during Storm Dennis have been invited to join services in a neighbouring parish.

People from Tirley and Ashleworth, in Gloucestershire, were asked by the Church of St Mary in Hasfield to join them for Sunday worship.

Reverend John Longuet-Higgins said it was "wonderful to have them".

St Michael and All Angels, in Tirley, and St Andrew and St Bartholomew, in Ashleworth, are closed due to flooding.

Reverend Longuet-Higgins said: "I've been here over seven years and it's now my fifth or sixth time, that's a lot of flooding.

"We think about 20 people have water in their homes and it's a horrible thing to have but they're very phlegmatic about it. I'm amazed at how people live with it, really."

Image caption Parishioners from Tirley and Ashleworth joined the Sunday service at the Church of St Mary in Hasfield

Tirley church warden Katherine Creese said she thought the flood water was the "highest since 2007".

She said: "We look from afar and judge it coming up the floodgates.

"It's come higher up the roads than before, so hopefully by today it will be gone down just enough to get in, in waders through the back fields."

Ms Creese said the "worst part" was the debris in the floodwater and the "smell and the unpleasantness of all that".

Image caption Ashleworth church warden Veronica Funnel said cleaning the church would be difficult as the water was so dirty

Veronica Funnel, warden at the church in Ashleworth, said that unlike the church in Tirley, they could still get into their church.

Ms Funnel said: "The water is much dirtier this time and a lot more debris with it, so cleaning up the church will be much more difficult. "

The area flooded in 2007 when the Severn burst its banks during the wettest summer on record and there were serious periods of continuous flooding in 1997 and 2001.

The Environment Agency said river levels remained high and ongoing river flooding was probable for the River Severn.

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