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Wednesday, October 26, 2016
London: blessings for Our Lady of the Westway
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¬†On Tuesday, Bishop Bernard Longley, Chairman of the Catholic Children's Society (Westminster) put the final touch to £1million improvements at the Westway Traveller site, W10 by blessing the completed works and the community of Travellers living there. In addition to blessing twenty amenity buildings, Bishop Longley took the opportunity to spend time with the Traveller community and to visit individual homes. He also took great pleasure in dedicating two shrines to Our Lady on site. He said: "This is my second visit to the Westway Traveller site and it is very pleasing to see the big improvements the amenity buildings have already made to the day to day quality of life for families here. It has to be said that being situated beneath a flyover is not ideal, so investment which helps make life tolerable for these children and their families is to welcomed. My congratulations go to all those who helped to see this project through." Tom Ward, who is an elder, and spokesman for the community spoke of his gratitude for the Bishop's visit. He said: "It is an honour and a privilege to welcome Bishop Longley to our site. Our faith plays a big part in our lives and the blessing of the buildings and our shrines means a great deal to us." The work was undertaken following earlier representations from the Society and the Travellers, to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea who agreed that basic cooking, washing and toilet facilities on the site were inadequate for families with young children. Work began in January this year to up-grade the existing amenity buildings and, for the first time to provide separate kitchen and bathroom facilities. The work has taken nine months to complete and according to a representative from of N M Construction, who carried out the work, it was an unusual assignment. He said: "In reality we were working in people's front rooms and living space and we had to be sensitive to that. Each family was able to choose from a range of kitchen and bathroom units and they also chose colour schemes, so each building is truly individual,. He added: "Over nine months we have got to know the Travellers well and experienced great hospitality and kindness. All the team are sad to say goodbye but the Bishop's blessing of the buildings we built has been a great way to celebrate the completion and to cement the friendships that have been formed here." For more information about the Catholic Children's Society Westminster, visit their website at:
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