INSURERS are assessing damage to about 40 churches after the St
Jude's Storm, which swept across southern England this week.
Ecclesiastical Insurance said that it had received notifications
of damage from C of E, Baptist, and Methodist churches, which were
now being assessed. Most of the damage is thought to be to church
roofs - including serious damage to Orford Methodist Chapel in
Suffolk, where a concrete pinnacle fell from the roof, leaving a
gaping hole behind.
The St Jude's Storm swept in across the Atlantic early on Monday
morning, causing four deaths and widespread traffic chaos, as
hundreds of fallen trees blocked roads and railway lines.
One of the historic trees felled in the high winds was the
128-year-old "Tree of Heaven" in the Bishop's Palace in Wells,
Somerset. The head gardener, James Cross, said: "It's incredible to
see how the base of the trunk has snapped. We've got a good view of
a hollow interior and some rotten sections; so we're feeling
relieved no one was in the area at the time.
"Once we have cleared up, we will plant a semi-mature Tree of
Heaven to replace it, and it will take about 100 more years for it
to grow to the size of this one. As the Tree of Heaven crashed
down, it sadly destroyed part of a neighbouring mulberry tree that
was planted in 1897; so we will have to remove that, too, and
The storm has been named in the UK after St Jude the Apostle,
patron saint of hopeless causes and desperate cases, whose feast
day fell on Monday, jointly with that of StSimon.
The storm has gained other names as it tracked across Europe.
European storms used to be named, officially, after the person who
first spotted them, but today's names are chosen by individuals
using a scheme operated by the Institute of Meteorology of the Free
University of Berlin. Anyone can pay €299 (£255) to name a
high-pressureweather system, or €199 for a low-pressure one. Names
alternate each year between male and female, and are pickedby
Monday's storm is being called the Christian storm by EU
institutions, named after Christian Widera. But other countries
have picked other names: Sweden has chosen Simone, and the European
Windstorm Centre has called it Carmen.