Photo Credit: Tasmanian Anglican
[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The generous response by Australian Anglicans to a disaster relief fund enabled the Diocese of Tasmania to provide its flood-hit community with emergency care packs. The diocese had already established a permanent Disaster Fund following a bush fire in 2013; so it was able to offer help to those affected by the floods within 24 hours. An emergency appeal raised around $60,000 Australian dollars (approximately £36,000 GBP).
In addition to providing immediate financial relief for those whose homes and livelihoods had been severely affected, the diocese was able to create a number of care packs. These contained food and household goods, together with a message from the bishop and a New Testament. In a further boost to the local community, the diocese bought the contents of the care packs from a local store which had itself been inundated by the floodwaters.
The packs were delivered personally by parishioners and this offered a chance to minister to many households, the diocesan magazine, the Tasmanian Anglican, reported. Parishioners are now revisiting the same homes with a gift of Anvers chocolates, to listen again and see how people are getting their lives back on track.
“Most people needed to tell so many sad stories and it was an excellent opportunity to meet people,” the Revd Chris Thiele, priest-in-charge of the appropriately named Bridge of Hope parish in Latrobe, said.
The fund has helped more than 20 farmers in the parishes of Latrobe and Sheffield to buy feed, fodder or fencing from a local agricultural store. “The level of feed was already low in the region, after prolonged drought, and what little there was has been destroyed by the floodwaters,” the Tasmanian Anglican said.