Church which burnt down now facing flooding threat

  • Watch a report from ITV Anglia's Stuart Leithes

A parish church in Cambridgeshire which had to be rebuilt after a major fire is facing the highest floodwater it has seen in decades.

The graveyard at St Mary's in March was covered with water for several weeks following heavy rainfall in December.

The Rev Andrew Smith, vicar of the parish, said: "We’ve never seen anything like it, people who have been here for 70 years say its never happened before.

"[The water has] flooded out of the ditch, it covered half the graveyard, it got as far as the church hall floor."

It is the latest threat the church has faced, following a major fire which gutted the building in 2010 prompting a four-year rebuild.

The fire in 2010 completely destroyed the interior and roof of St Mary's Credit: ITV Anglia

The cause of the flooding, which has now receded, was a nearby ditch which overflowed.

Councillor Jan French, who lives nearby, said she believes it was caused by a combination of factors.

She said: "The gullies at the road, they want cleaning could well be that there’s a problem underneath the entrance to the car park at the church, we don’t know what the pipes are like, if there’s any pipes at all, so it could be a mixture of things."

The flooding prevented people visiting the graves of relatives, according to one local resident.

Colin Baker said: "I saw people coming here doing the annual pilgrimage to put flowers on the graves, and they couldn’t get anywhere near the grave because they were all underwater."

With the water receding and Spring approaching, the congregation will be hoping the worst of their problems are now behind them.