As anyone who has lived in the U.K. knows, a small amount of snow can cause a great deal of havoc. The last time I was in England when it snowed, the city of my birth came to a standstill — and there was only two inches of the white stuff. I remember standing in a bus shelter and listening to a transport official's radio as bus after bus was abandoned. The snow had gone by lunch the following day.
I was reminded of this while reading in the Church of England Newspaper that the Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt. Rev. John Saxbee, has written a special blessing "for every single gritting truck — and their crews — who are out on the roads when most people are still tucked into bed." These trucks spread grit and salt.
Apparently short services are held simultaneously at all nine Lincolnshire Highways gritter depots, where the prayer was read by local clergy, including the bishop. The prayer asks for drivers to avoid becoming embroiled in road rage incidents.
It says: "Dear God of love, be with those who travel on our roads by day and night. May they be alert in situations of danger, and patient and courteous to fellow travellers." It calls for a special blessing over the "men and machines."
"May they be protected in their endeavours and succeed in making safe the highways for all those who use them, and spread throughout our county the good news of your love and protection." The initiative has won the praise of Chief Inspector Paul Elliott, who says: "When the drivers spread their load of salt and grit they will extend this blessing, symbolically. The blessing services showed that the church cares very much about road safety."
Latest figures show that accidents in the county have been reduced by 25 per cent.