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God shielded us from huge Saddleworth Moor fire, church minister claims

Wed 27 Jun 2018
By Alex Williams

It is a miracle there have been no reported injuries caused by a massive fire which has been tearing through moorland in Greater Manchester, a local church leader has told Premier.

Rev Chris Viney from St James Millbrook believes God has been protecting his community, even though dozens of people needed to be evacuated from their homes in Saddleworth Moor on Tuesday evening.

The associate minister - based a mile away from land engulfed by the flames - said: "One of the things that we did in the church here [last night] was gather together and pray.

 

"God was at work because it could have been so much worse than it was."

Sleeping bags, roll mats, food and drink were stockpiled at the church in the event displaced families or members of the emergency services would need them.

It is understood the majority of evacuated houses were in the Stalybridge and Carrbrook areas.

Local residents, who have described seeing 20 foot flames and ash falling from the sky, have been urged to stay inside and keep their windows closed.

Peter Byrne/PA Wire

 

The army has been on standby to step in.

Rev Viney added: "We should all pray for the community of Carrbrook at this time that they receive the peace of God into their lives, having suffered the trauma that they did last night.

"We could see the fire coming down the hillside, towards the top end of the village.

"It must have been very, very scary for the people who live in the houses near to where the fire was."

National Police Air Service/PA Wire

 

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said 50 firefighters and ten fire engines have been working in "tremendously difficult conditions" to tackle the blaze.

Meanwhile, speaking in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Theresa May said ministers are keeping the situation "under constant review".

Click here to listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking with Rev Chris Viney at St James Millbrook Church:

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