Shropshire Council finds new temporary home for flood-devastated Barnabas Church Centre
A church building in Shrewsbury that was ravaged by the recent flooding is to move into a new temporary home next Monday, thanks to Shropshire Council.
The Barnabas Church Centre in Longden Coleham has been totally devastated by the flood water rendering them inoperable for up to next three months – though their food bank remains open.
When council officers saw their problems first-hand they quickly offered temporary accommodation for the Centre’s midweek activities, at the Shropshire Council-owned former training and development centre on Racecourse Crescent in Monkmoor.
The centre is less than five minutes by car from the Barnabas Church Centre and is currently vacant.
The Barnabas staff are very keen to use it while they deal with the loss adjuster and insurance process for their buildings in Coleham.
Council officers have been working hard over the last couple of days to prepare the centre for temporary occupancy, including carrying out electrical and plumbing work.
Shropshire Council Leader Peter Nutting will hand over the key to the Monkmoor buildings next Monday (9 March) at 11am.
Councillor Nutting said:
“We are very aware how badly homes and businesses have been affected by flood water and we’ve been working hard with partners and the local community to respond to this.
“The flooding at the Barnabas Centre has had a big impact on the church congregation and also the numerous local groups and people who attend clubs there.
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to offer them a new home in Monkmoor – rent free – while they carry out the necessary work at their buildings in Coleham and I look forward to handing over the keys next week.”
David Matthias, church leader, said:
“We are delighted that the council have responded to our need for midweek facilities so quickly. Many different community groups use this building so we can still host them for the time being while our own building is sorted out. This gives us a warm and safe home for all but the largest groups.
“We have really felt the support of our neighbours in Coleham, and the wider community, and now also the local authority too”
Anna Turner JP, the Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, visited the Barnanbas Centre last week on a visit to meet flood-affected residents and businesses in Coleham.
Mrs Turner said:
“Last Friday I visited The Barnabas Centre to offer support and let them know we cared about their predicament. It was a second visit inside one week for a repeat flooding which they had endured.
“I could hardly keep eye contact with Dave Matthias because we both felt extremely tearful and devastated that their community hub had been a victim yet again.
“I desperately looked to Shropshire Council searching for a solution, not believing that it could be possible to sort out the need for such large accommodation, particularly whilst they have been stretched to the limits of resources. Unbelievably quickly, council officers have waved the magic wand and The Barnabas Centre have temporary accommodation within one week.
“Sometimes one feels proud to be part of a very tight- knit community whom know how to help each other, and this is one of those occasions.”
Note to media: Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting will hand over the keys to the Monkmoor Centre to Dave Matthias on Monday 9 March 2020 at 11am. Reporters and photographers are invited to attend.