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CARLISLE: Bless this sewage-plant

27 July 2011

by Margaret Duggan

CLERICS are prepared to bless many things, but this is the first instance I have heard of a vicar blessing a sewage works. Yet what could be more of a blessing than clean water and the safe disposal of waste?

Canon Gary Wemyss, of St Mary the Virgin, Penny Bridge, Carlisle diocese, thanked God not only for the means to use water responsibly, but for the co-operation and understanding of everyone involved with the new United Utilities’ Crake Valley sewage-treatment plant.

The blessing had been suggested by the engineers, and about 30 of the project staff came to the ceremony — appropriately held in the pouring rain as Canon Wemyss gave thanks for the gift of water. In the afternoon, 36 visitors came for a tour of the site.

The plant had taken a year to build, but so happy had been the relationship between the works staff and the local community that United Utilities engineers passed on to the community the extra £300 that they had earned by building the plant without any reportable accident. It is going to be spent on the Penny Bridge Nursery, which intends to spend it on toys and games for the after-school club.

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