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Jun 03, 2011

Diocese of Western Massachusetts Recovering from Rare Tornadoes

On June 1, tornadoes swept through western Massachusetts, destroying buildings and homes and killing at least four people. The rare storm system took many by surprise and left a trail of destruction.


The Diocese of Western Massachusetts is thankful that their parishes in the area did not suffer any damage, but community homes and businesses were affected. 


"Thank you for your many calls, emails and outpouring of prayers on our behalf," said the Rt. Rev. Gordon Scruton, Bishop of Western Massachusetts. "The storms left behind a trail of downed trees, power lines, bent and broken poles and debris. Businesses, homes and schools have been rendered uninhabitable. To date four lives have been lost with, in the Springfield area, around 50 injured needing medical attention. One cathedral family went to their basement with their 2-yr-old and 2-month old only to come out to no house at all. Our Cathedral organist/choir master had extensive damage done to their house. Out-lying communities, especially the towns of Monson and Brimfield, had extensive damage."


"We are trying to access support systems in order to help with the recovery from this experience," he said. "We 'do' blizzards, ice and hurricanes...not tornadoes. This is another opportunity to draw closer to God and to each other."


Financial donations to the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts will be used to help the relief effort. At the moment, the diocese is working with Episcopal Relief and Development and other ecumenical partners to be ready to accommodate volunteers and to wisely use resources to help.


Please make donations out to the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and mark with “Tornado Relief.” Address below:



37 Chestnut Street

Springfield. MA 01103-1705