For all the devastation suffered by churches in bad weather, our expertise and understanding of the role churches play in their communities shows that flooded churches can recover and thrive.
Situated perilously close to the River Severn, Tirley church is no stranger to floods, but the floods of 2007 had a huge and devastating impact on the church. Three years later, and after much hard work by Ecclesiastical and others, the church was re-consecrated by the Bishop of Gloucester in 2010.
Given its history of flooding and its potential to flood again, Ecclesiastical worked with the churchwardens to not only restore the church, but to give them back a church which would be more suitable to modern-day needs, and importantly more resilient to future floods.
Gone are the old pews, replaced by foldable oak chairs, much more easily moved in case of flood, and providing a more flexible and open worship space, which means that the church can now be used for suppers and socials. Timber flooring was replaced with solid stone, and all electrical sockets were moved above floodwater levels.
Perhaps the biggest and most obvious change was the raising of the organ 7 feet off the ground onto a specially designed platform supported by stainless steel stilts. This ensures that, should the river ever enter the church again, the organ is safe, and it’s also a dry refuge to put items of value.
"The end result is a stunning and sympathetic restoration while facing up to the inevitable.
Anyone visiting the church will be impressed by what’s been achieved. “As a specialist insurer, we recognise the importance of improving resilience to flooding and we’re always happy to offer flexibility within a claim settlement to support this sort of approach.”