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Beloved in Christ,

Greetings. This will be my final note on the fire situation on the Coast. I’ll be packing and moving today and tomorrow. +Trevor will keep you apprised of developments from this point forward.

  • Archdeacon Carol Wagner advises me that her team(s) of clergy and lay people – especially those with disaster recovery training – have been engaging with people impacted by the fires and are offering excellent pastoral care
  • There is also very good cooperation between the different relief agencies as needs are being assessed and as interim shelter and care programmes come on line.
  • Archdeacon Carol believes around 100 homes are now being listed as having being destroyed. This means many hundreds of people are homeless.
  • Our GM Mr Trevor Ament and Property Manager, Michael Stallard visited the district yesterday and met with clergy, school and community leaders; these people expressed their gratitude to our diocese for the rapid and generous response. Anglicare has been universally praised.
  • Mr Ament also advised me that whilst our Wambiri site seems to have escaped the flames, the smoke damage is likely to be significant.
  • The Local Government website has information on donations: “The Tathra Fire Official Mayor Appeal fund has just been set up. Authorities are asking people who want to help to donate money to this official fund, they’ve asked us to thank everyone who has donated goods, they say there is now enough, and if people want to help they can ring 64992345…and make a donation. That’s the number for the Mayoral Appeal Fund. More information here: .“
  • You may wish to use the following prayer:

 Almighty God, who alone created the beauty and the bounty of our land, who cares for and loves this diocese, uphold your people in Tathra and across the Bega Valley, we pray.

Please bring an end to the loss of homes, stock, fauna and property. Bring aid to the firefighters, emergency workers and disaster recovery teams  who, by serving others, serve you. Give them courage and strength to persevere, to find the ability in their bodies and souls to keep working for another day or hour or minute. Ease the winds that have spread the flames and disperse the smoke that has covered the sky.

And Lord, please bring hope to the displaced and the homeless. Keep alive – in their minds and hearts memories – the traces of that which may be lost. Remind us that through Jesus, you hold the promise of a new tomorrow.

Be a comfort and relief to all who grieve and enable us to continue in showing your love and compassion.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.