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Chiswick's Church of Our Lady of Grace & St Edward takes a "Not In My Back Churchyard" stance...

A church in West London is urging parishioners to pray against a proposed Cycle Superhighway.

Transport for London (TfL) is currently consulting on its plans, unveiled last month, for Cycle Superhighway 9 from Kensington Olympia to Brentford, with a future extension to Hounslow.

> Plans for new West London Cycle Superhighway unveiled - but there's a missing link through Kensington

The two-way, segregated route would run along Chiswick High Road and past the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Grace & St Edward (the red brick building obscured by trees to the right of centre in this artist's impression).

CS9 Chisicwk High Road.png

CS9 Chisicwk High Road.png

The call to prayer was spotted by Twitter user Darren Moore.

On its website, the parish claims that “the pavement outside of the church will be reduced to about one third of its current size and the Cycle Superhighway would have right of way.”

It asks parishioners to consider the effect it would have on:

Sunday Mass congregations gathering on the pavement, the elderly, and families with children vs speeding cyclists

Funerals: no right of way for carrying the coffin

No right of way for First Holy Communion & other processions

Weddings: no right of way for Brides in their wedding dresses.

However, a map provided by TfL as part of its consultation reveal that there would still be a signal controlled pedestrian crossing on Chiswick High Road immediately outside the church and across the Cycle Superhighway.

Chiswick High Road.PNG

Chiswick High Road.PNG

Moreover, given its location on the corner of Chiswick High Road and Dukes Avenue, access for vehicles for services such as funerals and weddings should not be an issue.

The church itself comes under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster, which in 2011 announced that it was encouraging staff to cycle to its head office in Victoria.

At the time, a spokesman for the diocese said: "The aim is to spread the message that our lifestyles – whether at home, in church or in the wider world – influence the environment, and that our respectful and careful stewardship is vital."

Caspar Hughes, a member of the organising group of Stop Killing Cyclists, told road.cc: “CS9 will reduce pollution and road danger for the congregation of Our Lady of Grace & St Edwards and the surrounding area.

“As we see time and time again speeding and distracted driving is a serious cause of danger to people.

“Creating an environment where cycling and walking are given priority will go some way to removing the dangers drivers present to us all.”

Anyone with an opinion about the proposed route may find it more beneficial to respond to TfL's consultation on it, which remains open until 31 October 2017 and can be found here.

One church in London that is rather more welcoming to people on bikes is St James's Piccadilly, which this Sunday holds its annual Blessing of Cyclists service, with tea and cake in the garden afterwards.

Blessing of Cyclists at St James's Piccadilly.PNG

Blessing of Cyclists at St James's Piccadilly.PNG

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

49 comments

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scouser_andy [44 posts] 3 months ago
13 likes

I hope they say a little prayer for me making my way through HGVs and buses if that scheme doesn't go ahead.

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harragan [226 posts] 3 months ago
29 likes

It's amazing what some people ask their god to help them with.  It's also amazing how un-Christian some Christians can be.

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fenix [867 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

The Rev Richard Coles is a cyclist - wonder if he can have a word with God ?

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Saesneg [3 posts] 3 months ago
6 likes
harragan wrote:

It's amazing what some people ask their god to help them with.  It's also amazing how un-Christian some Christians can be.

Christians are as Christians do, in my book.

 

If they're praying for CS9 to be denied the go ahead, then that's a Christian act. If they want 'Christian' to be a nice thing, they should perhaps act with a little more compassion.

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Yorkshire wallet [1636 posts] 3 months ago
7 likes

Allahu akbar!

Down with the anti-cycling infidels!

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regalslip [1 post] 3 months ago
8 likes

Is that photo Mark Williams from The Fast Show? Today I will mostly be opposing sustainable transport....

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Grizzerly [369 posts] 3 months ago
16 likes

Praying is what people do when they can't be arsed to actually do anything. 

Eg.  That scruffy old lady down the road could do with help getting herself washed and dressed each morning.   It's terrible,  something should be done, but I can't be arsed to do it myself so I will pray for her.   When she has been found lying in her hall having been dead for a month,  I'll pray for her soul.  I can't be arsed to do anything for her, but praying lets me feel good about myself and superior to everyone else.

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handlebarcam [1076 posts] 3 months ago
18 likes

Even if they do pray hard enough to convince their god to smite the bike lane, I have it on good authority that both the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Easter Bunny are pro-cycling. So, unless they can get Superman or Gandalf to fight on their side, that's two-against-one bitches.

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Simon_MacMichael [2503 posts] 3 months ago
6 likes

regalslip wrote:

Is that photo Mark Williams from The Fast Show? Today I will mostly be opposing sustainable transport....

It is, he plays the role of Father Brown in the daytime BBC TV priest/detective show based on GK Chesterton's books (though the series was set in the 1950s, not pre-war).

When I lived in the Cotswolds, I'd sometimes happen across them filming while out on a bike ride, bit weird coming across a 50s film set at times.

BBC used to schedule it right before a quiz show he hosted, which was an interesting juxtaposition.

I'll get me cassock ...

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Rapha Nadal [713 posts] 3 months ago
5 likes

Oh, magic sky wizard, please help us divert the evil Satan borne cycle highway so that your work of the created world may continue to be destroyed by traffic fumes and lead your flock to certain death by allowing them to access the busy road and play in the traffic.  Amen etc.

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hawkinspeter [1212 posts] 3 months ago
8 likes

As a practising Cthulhu cultist, I shall be performing some ineffable rituals to fortify ALL cycle paths (and psychopaths as well - 2 for 1). Great Cthulhu is most interested in speedy food delivery and you can shift a lot more humans on bikes than in vehicles. Also, HE doesn't like it when his food is coughing from all the smog and pollution - it masks all the mad screaming.

On an entirely unrelated note, does anyone have a good cheap supplier of goats?

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Butty [226 posts] 3 months ago
7 likes

I' sure that Didi could change their minds:

//www.gunaxin.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Tour-de-France-Devil-Didi-Diablo-02.jpg)

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Miller [69 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

That is a seriously weird rendition of a bicycle in the St James's flyer. 

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iandusud [24 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

I think they present some reasonable arguments for their case. Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favour of improving cycling infrastructure but it must be done in consultation with  locals and such concerns should be taken into consideration. 

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Trilby [1 post] 3 months ago
0 likes

There, but for the grace of God go I.

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hawkinspeter [1212 posts] 3 months ago
5 likes

Have they even read the bible?

Isaiah 40:3

Quote:

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Proverbs 15:19

Quote:

A slacker's way is like a thorny hedge, but the path of the upright is a highway.

Revelations 20:1

Quote:

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

Genesis 33:13

Quote:

Jacob replied, "My lord knows that the children are weak, and I have nursing sheep and cattle. If they are driven hard for one day, the whole herd will die.

Jeremiah 13:1

Quote:

The Lord said to me, "Go and buy some linen shorts and put them on. Do not put them in water."

Jeremiah 18:15

Quote:

Yet My people have forgotten Me. They burn incense to false [idols] that make them stumble in their ways- in the ancient roads- to walk on [new] paths, not the highway.

Deuteronomy 2:27

Quote:

'Let us travel through your land; we will keep strictly to the highway. We will not turn to the right or the left.

Genesis 8:15

Quote:

Then God spoke to Noah,

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thereverent [455 posts] 3 months ago
5 likes

I expect this is a reflection of the elderly avarege age of their congregation and the numbers that will drive to service on a sunday.

There would be a solution for not losing any pavemnt space, but this would mean taking out the right turn lane eastbound and making it no right turn into Dukes Avenue (which I would expect the church and it's congregation would complain about).

Chiswick is a lovely place, badly blighted by car traffic (Not helped by the M4 running through it). It badly needs more people on bikes and less in cars.

 

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BehindTheBikesheds [1150 posts] 3 months ago
7 likes

Yet another clueless, selfish type who'd rather people in his parish be subjected to the dangers of errant motorists some of whom will be within his 'flock', than allow the right to safe passage. How very unchristrian of him!

Also ignoring the fact that pollutants will be eroding his church and causing premature deaths in the locality.

Having had to put up with very inconsiderate parking from church goers in both town and village the past 30 years frankly he can go get lost.

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Shouldbeinbed [54 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

It sounds from the comments like the church in question has either experienced or naively bought into the #bloodycyclists and lycra lout myth that we're all irresponsible speed obsessed yahoos. Maybe the local cycling groups could reach out and give them an opportunity to actually talk to a cross section of potential users to share (vent?) their concerns and engage in a myth busting exercise with them. I'd imagine that the CS is going to be busiest and most likely to be problematic to their way of thinking in AM & PM rush hours, which I suspect will not intersect too much with elderly outdoor congregations of people attending regular services at least and early AM is not a big time for funerals to be occurring if my experience of them is owt to go by.

Cynically tho, I'd rather they continue pray against the possibility of cycling infrastructure than petition or protest in more earthly ways.

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DrG82 [216 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

As a practising Cthulhu cultist, I shall be performing some ineffable rituals to fortify ALL cycle paths (and psychopaths as well - 2 for 1). Great Cthulhu is most interested in speedy food delivery and you can shift a lot more humans on bikes than in vehicles. Also, HE doesn't like it when his food is coughing from all the smog and pollution - it masks all the mad screaming.

On an entirely unrelated note, does anyone have a good cheap supplier of goats?

 

But Cthulhu is obviously evil because he's got a motor on that bike, and he's got wings which are likely to aid him up the climbs.

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tsarouxaz [90 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

remember, this is the same old church that hanged and burned thousands of inocent people for no reason and gave power to thousands of evil people ,again, for no aparent reason..  cyclists road is none consiredred to them... they don't like it for no reason, they will pray for it to leave...

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KevM [47 posts] 3 months ago
11 likes

Religion annoys me. It turns respectable intelligent people (doctors/accountants/solicitors) into crazy folk with an imaginary friend. Their obvious intelligence fails them when applying common sense. They dont believe in Father Christmas because that would just be crazy but some other mythical being for which there is no physical evidence is ok.

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Ramz [72 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
regalslip wrote:

Is that photo Mark Williams from The Fast Show? Today I will mostly be opposing sustainable transport....

Boris Johnson in fancy dress

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don simon [1715 posts] 3 months ago
10 likes

Selfish cunts.

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dottigirl [811 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

It's always amused me how few cyclists are religious. I suppose the Sunday Club Run is our Church.

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Helmut D. Bate [86 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
Shouldbeinbed wrote:

It sounds from the comments like the church in question has either experienced or naively bought into the #bloodycyclists and lycra lout myth that we're all irresponsible speed obsessed yahoos.

Yeah, old farts who believe stone age silliness were never going to make the most progressive, critical thinkers.

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hawkinspeter [1212 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes
DrG82 wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

As a practising Cthulhu cultist, I shall be performing some ineffable rituals to fortify ALL cycle paths (and psychopaths as well - 2 for 1). Great Cthulhu is most interested in speedy food delivery and you can shift a lot more humans on bikes than in vehicles. Also, HE doesn't like it when his food is coughing from all the smog and pollution - it masks all the mad screaming.

On an entirely unrelated note, does anyone have a good cheap supplier of goats?

 

But Cthulhu is obviously evil because he's got a motor on that bike, and he's got wings which are likely to aid him up the climbs.

Lord Cthulhu has no interest in human morality and has little regard for UCI regulations.

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Username [229 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

The church's position on their Facebook page is a bit more naunced:

 https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1445435135552642&id=300823800013787

There are some very good and thoughtful replies by Hounslow Cyclists.

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muhasib [38 posts] 3 months ago
5 likes

Classic NIMBY tactic on their Facebook of agreeing with the sentiment of having the CS but that it just isn't practical where it is proposed to be routed; all crafted as a debate to imply that really they are onside and sympathise while actually totally opposed to anything that's makes a difference.

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brooksby [2812 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

So does this church believe that funerals, brides, and first communion processions (?) all have "right of way" at present? Would they care to test that by walking out into the motor traffic which currently fills the road next to the church...?

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