News Release

Working in partnership – serving communities, serving people

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?’” Opportunities for service are all around, especially in our local communities. 

Missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are fulltime volunteers and serve because they love God and see their fellow human beings as His children. They don’t receive any pay for their service and partner with others in the communities where they live, including local church groups.

Young Latter-day Saint missionaries and fellow members of their congregations in Cardiff put their faith into action when earlier this year, relentless rain from Storm Dennis hit South Wales hard. More than 500 homes and businesses were flooded, in some cases with over five feet of water, when the River Taff breached the flood defences and reached its highest level in recorded history. 

Debris near River Taff
Connor Hall and fellow church members clearing debris near the River Taff© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

In response to the devastation, more than 35 missionaries from the England Birmingham Mission and over 130 local members of the Church offered help and support to the residents of Pontypridd. Together, missionaries and members provided 5,890 hours of service toward the effort.  

On two Sundays, when the need was greatest, worship services for two Cardiff congregations were adapted so churchgoers could go out and help those in need. 

 “We couldn’t just stand by, seeing our neighbours in great need,” said Cardiff Stake (diocese) President Jason D. Spragg. “As Christians, we were anxious to help out as many people as we could, one by one.” 

Members haul out debris
Church members Hope Parsons Man and Zachary Hutchinson hauling out debris from the devastated area© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Gavin Reardon, Director of Softwashing UK praised the efforts of the volunteers, “They've been amazing. We've turned up [with] these people's belongings out into the middle of the road, and they've gone and loaded 100 skips.”


“They’ve sanitized, we’ve been using disinfectants and bleaches . . . They make the place safer, cleaner. It's been an honour the last six days to work with your young people,” Reardon said of the young missionaries. “The work they've done from eight o'clock in the morning to half-past six, sometimes later, for the last six days has been incredible. Never once did they moan, never once did they say no, never once did they have a problem in doing anything asked of them. They have been an absolute credit.”

Gavin Reardon and volunteers
Gavin Reardon, Director of Softwashing UK [Centre back] with missionaries Elder Slade Farnsworth, Elder Ethan Farar, Elder Brendan Pricer and Elder Harrison David [L-R]© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

In addition to homes and businesses, allotments next to the river were devastated by the flood. The allotments are not only used by individuals and families, but local churches also grow food there to feed the homeless. Countless gardeners have worked hard to cultivate and make improvements on the land for years, even decades. 

Tin Plate Allotments Management Committee member Julie Bliszko said that the destruction was overwhelming with “rubble and broken things everywhere.” She didn’t know where to begin. 

“We’re quite humbled with the amount of help and support.” The volunteers were “enthusiastic and full of life and energetic. It gives us a purpose . . . as opposed to [asking the question] where do you start? [We found ourselves saying,] It's okay, right, we'll tackle that now and let's get on,” she said.


David J Hughes, president of the England Birmingham Mission said that most of the missionaries who helped out call Wales their home for months at a time. 

He added, “So whenever disaster strikes, you know, what can we do, but help? Whenever you have helped out somebody in need, you just feel great, don’t you?”

Missionary Elder Brenden Pricer said, “We’re here to serve people and just serve them in any way I can, give them my very best.

“It's been a really, really cool experience.”

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