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At the very heart of Caring for the Community

by ajack last modified 03 Nov, 2021 03:51 PM

St Marks, Salisbury opens its doors wide on Sunday night.

The Church became the casualty centre for the victims of the serious rail crash that happened just down the road from the Church. 

Church members rallied round to help the shaken passengers and emergency workers after two trains collided at the entrance to the Fisherton Tunnel in Salisbury 

The Revd Andy Bousfield, Vicar of St Marks, said he responded quickly when he was contacted by the emergency services: 

"The phone rang, and it was the police saying we are outside St Mark's Church and was there any chance of opening up. I said I can be there in five minutes. 

The "walking wounded" from the crash who were  taken to the church which was set up quickly as casualty centre.  Andy said they were just really glad to be able to help and offer the building as a safe welcoming space: 

“We had 85 or so from the train, plus 20 or more from the emergency response services. Lots of offers to come down and help but we kept our team to a minimum so we wouldn’t be in the way of the response team.  

“Many neighbours popped by following a media request for blankets, some donating food and drink which was much appreciated, and our prayer chain was upholding everyone in prayer  

"The people we met mainly needed a place to sit, and we were able to offer a cup of tea and just the space really, which was so close to where the incident was, and we were glad we could be on hand. 

"All we needed to do really was stick on the kettle and we're so grateful to our neighbours who brought in some milk and biscuits and a bowl of fruit and chocolates, and blankets in case people needed to stay overnight. 

"I'm just grateful to the community who rallied around." 

The passengers who were taken to the church were quick to tell the gathered media, just how grateful they were to St Marks and the church members for their support and kindness.  

Prayers are still being said for the driver of one of the trains has suffered what is believed to have suffered "life-changing" injuries and for a further 14 passengers who were taken to hospital suffering from “minor injuries”. 

The St Mark’s Church Website proclaims: 

They are a Church that has a “concern to be daily led by God’s Spirit” and says: “At St Mark’s you will find a warm welcome!”  

That could not have been truer on last Sunday night. 

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