St. Mary the Virgin Church service highlights Heathrow concernsMay 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm | Posted in Heathrow airport | 7 Comments
Tags: Church, Harmondsworth, Heathrow, Heathrow expansion, No third runway, NoTRAG, Sipson, St. Mary the Virgin
Photo of St. Mary the Virgin Church in Harmondsworth Village on 8 April 2008 by JL2003
This evening, Sunday 25 May 2008, there was a Service of Hope in the ancient church of St. Mary the Virgin in Harmondsworth village near Sipson. Built in 1067, the church is a listed building, and will be left standing when nearby homes are demolished … if Heathrow expansion goes ahead. Standing room was at a premium for the special service highlighting the plight of this ancient community.
I grew up in a parish that was mentioned in the Doomsday Book and do have a slight appreciation, or at least an awareness, of the significance of a church to a community when these holy places of worship were planned and constructed nearly one thousand years ago.
Every week I see and hear aircraft over St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Flying directly overhead, as they do several times during a brief sermon, the noise from aeroplanes is especially noticeable during the quieter parts of a church service, such as the sermon and prayers, but can also be heard during the introduction to hymns and psalms. At such times, I often think the founders and departed souls of this holy place and Most Noble Order would be turning in their graves if they could have foreseen the noise pollution it now suffers from many times each hour. If only they were to return (!) and witness how the spiritual home of The Most Noble Order of the Garter is abused to such an extent by air traffic noise, we would have a right royal spiritual rebellion on our hands! And this situation I am describing is as things stand before the proposed expansion of Heathrow airport should go ahead … oh, dear.
Considering the church of St. Mary the Virgin, it is a sad reflection of our time that the British Government is intent on destroying a community, while apparently intending to leave a structure (representing the destroyed heart of that community) intact—at least for a little while.
Whatever happened to common sense, let alone compassion?