The Bishop of Lancaster said he extended his 'prayerful sympathies' to all those affect by the flooding

A Mass at Lancaster Cathedral to mark the start of the Year of Mercy scheduled for today has been cancelled due to the severe flooding seen in Cumbria and North Lancashire in recent days.

Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster said he extended his “prayerful sympathies and thoughts to everyone affected by the devastating floods”.

“I assure everyone affected of my ongoing thoughts and prayers, and those of so many more nationwide. May the Lord be close to you in this time of trial,” he said in a statement released on Monday.

”My heart goes out in particular to those of you who now have had to endure such upheaval and destruction for the second time in recent years. I know that the wonderful spirit of community solidarity which sustained you then, will again give you the courage and determination to meet and deal with the present dreadful adversity.”

The statement continued: “I pay tribute to all the emergency services for their unstinting work and to the local radio stations for keeping everyone informed, also to those responsible for restoring power and utilities to houses, schools and businesses throughout our regions. We are greatly indebted to them all.”

An emergency appeal has been set up to help those affected by the floods. To donate, go here.