Bishop renews appeal for Sri Lanka flood victims

Bishop Paul Slater, the Bishop of Richmond and responsible for the Leeds Episcopal Area, has made a renewed appeal for support after meeting families who have lost their homes and livelihoods in the devastating floods which hit the link Diocese of Colombo, Sri Lanka earlier in the year.

Bishop Paul, with his wife Beverley, is making his first trip to Sri Lanka and has met with families who are still homeless following the June floods in the south-west of the country.

Pictured, Bishop Paul meets with members of a Tamil Christian family who are in Baddegama and are waiting to be rehoused after the floods in the summer.

“In Baddegama the floods caused land slips and homes were washed away,” says Bishop Paul.

“Families are being temporarily housed in buildings provided by different aid organisations. I was able to visit a number of Tamil families who were members of the church in Baddegama.”

Bishop Paul has also met with Roman Catholic leaders in Sri Lanka. The Roman Catholic church is the largest Christian denomination in the country and at the Peace and Reconciliation Centre at Oppuravilam he met with Bishop  Justin, Roman Catholic Bishop of Jaffna.  The centre, just north of Vavuniya, in the north of the country, an initiative of the Diocesan Board of Social Responsibility.

The Anglican Church of Ceylon in rebuilding homes and livelihoods for thousands of people still affected by the devastating floods of May and June 2017. The  Board of Social Responsibility say the situation is still difficult.

It writes,  “The Church continues to support many people recovering from the disaster. People have returned to their homes to find their houses either fully destroyed or  partially damaged.

“Household goods have been damaged and washed away and many do not have the basics to restart their lives. They do not have utensils to cook and eat, they have to sleep on wet floors,  school pupils’ books and uniforms have been lost or soaked in the flood water, and there are basic human needs  required for people who have lost nearly  everything.

(Left Bishop Paul and Beverley Slater meeting local members of the Board of Social Responsibility)

“The Church is in the process of providing recovery assistance, cooking utensils and bedding but while some are returning and settling, others are left out without proper shelter and livelihoods for their income. These people are helpless to overcome the situation.”

The Disaster Relief team in the Diocese of Colombo has been heavily involved in relief efforts over a number of months, but as they say, “facing a mudslide or a flood which takes your home and in some cases the very lives of your loved ones away is clearly a trauma from which people willoard of Social Responsibility) take a long time to recover.”

The Sri Lanka appeal aims to raise £13,000 across the diocese and all monies will be used directly in relief efforts by  a trained recover and Relief team who work with local churches and priests to coordinate relief and recovery in the worst affected areas.

If you, your church or school can respond to the Appeal you can either send a cheque or make a BACS payment as follows:

Cheques should be made payable to ‘Leeds DBF’ with a note or written  on the back of the cheque indicating it’s ‘For the Sri Lanka fund’


BACS payments to



Leeds DBF


Reference: Sri Lanka

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