Ding dong deluge

PUBLISHED: 07:43 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 14:48 20 April 2010

CHURCHGOERS in Feniton will be unable to attend Christmas services in their own church as a result of the freak weather last week.

CHURCHGOERS in Feniton will be unable to attend Christmas services in their own church as a result of the freak weather last week. Water flooded into St Andrew's Church as 75mm of rain fell in under 12 hours, equivalent to 75 per cent of the monthly rainfall. Early estimates suggest the 13th century church could need more than £100,000 to restore it. However, it could have been much worse had it not been for the community effort that saw more than 30 people turn out within an hour to rescue many of the priceless artefacts that belong in the building. David Lanning, churchwarden, who lives next door, said he and his wife had been kept awake by the storm. He said: "When I opened the curtains I saw that one of the benches in the churchyard was floating. "When I went into the church I found it was about two feet six inches deep. "I rang the Reverend Kate Edmunds and my wife rang around the parishioners and many appeared to help. "We didn't know what to do with the water so deep so we rang the fire brigade. "They had just got back in to Honiton but turned around straightaway and spent the morning pumping the church out." Mr Lanning said he contacted the insurance company who sent out a loss adjuster and gave the go-ahead for professional cleaners to start work on Friday, to clear up the muddy mess that was left behind. Many of the moveable items have now been stored in people's homes while the long process of drying out the church takes place.


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