At all the Crossrail Liaison Panel meetings this year I have heard about the
problems at St. Benet’s Church in Abbey Grove.
Their church hall backs on to the railway line and there is a passage which is used as a fire escape. I didn’t take a great deal of notice of the Panel discussions; the hall had been used by all the usual groups, scouts etc. ever since the church existed but Crossrail said the land behind the hall was theirs.
I assumed common sense would prevail in the end. It’s not as though there is no room for a passage behind the hall, there will be fifteen or more feet between the passage and the realigned railway line.
However it seems that common sense did not prevail and Crossrail has compulsorily purchased the land which has been a vital asset to the church since God knows when.
Without a fire escape there can be no church hall and with no church hall a major source of income is lost and the church itself is threatened. It’s not only the shops in Wilton Road that are being driven to the edge of existence by Crossrail.
Next Sunday all the Catholic congregation and the many groups the church supports will be making their way to the pub to protest about how Crossrail has railroaded through the wrecking of their much loved church.
The Greenwich Morris Dancers are expected to be there, but don’t let that put you off!
There is a Facebook page where the issue is being discussed.