St James' church is acting as a refuge for around 40 Weybridge residents following a large fire at the Community Hospital late last night.
People living near the scene of the fire were evacuated from their homes for safety reasons after the blaze broke out at the day-time medical centre shortly before midnight on Tuesday and quickly engulfed the three-storey building in flames.
St James’ rector, the Revd Brian Prothero, and curate the Revd Theresa Ricketts, rallied throughout the night to support those affected. Brian said:
“I received a phone call just after midnight to tell me about the fire at the health centre. Theresa and I dispensed tea, coffee and sympathy in the church to those evacuated. Thankfully there were no injuries but it was very distressing for those involved and will be a massive toll on the many people who rely on the walk-in centre.”
"We offered tea and coffee and shelter and just did our bit - as did many others. Police and Fire Services were amazing - they deserve a massive pay rise!"
Bishop Andrew visited earlier this morning and tweeted his support:
"Dropped in on St James' this am - a place of sanctuary for 40 residents after fire at Weybridge community hospital. Vicar Brian a hero."
13 fire crews from across Surrey tackled the blaze which has left the centre severely damaged and unlikely to reopen in the near future, the NHS said. An investigation has been launched into the cause of the fire.