Category Archives: Arise Diary

Fire Diary – June 22nd 2015

June 22nd 2015, shortly after 5.30pm. A mother taking her young daughter to Ballet class in the Fleet Parish community Centre, adjacent to All Saints Church, notices smoke coming from the Church. Ballet staff summon the Fire brigade and inform the Hall manager who rings the Vicar and Churchwardens. The young Ballet students evacuate the Community Centre.

5.40, the Fire Brigade arrive to find the Church burning fiercely. They bring in more engines and a high turntable ladder to fight the flames from above. Their job is hampered by the frequent cascades of red hot tiles avalanching off the steeply pitched roof.

429120-1012x5566.30 pm, dense smoke envelops the Church and drifts across the High Street 50 yards away. Crowds gather, raising phones and cameras high. Many of them are remembering weddings, funerals and christenings attended in this place. The media arrive with radio vans and cameras. Our new Bishop, Andrew, and retiring Bishop Ian, who knows us well, both come to give their support. We hear that, even as our Church burns, members of another Fleet Church are already praying for us.

10.10pm the fire is being damped down but the east end is still flickering. An exhausted Fireman is sitting slumped outside the FPCC, while others keep a watching brief. The Police will be here all night. Many others who loved this building find sleep impossible.