Families warned ‘don’t die during the Olympics’

09:53 08 February 2012

VIPS being whisked to the Olympic Stadium over special routes has  led to concerns over funeral travel

VIPS being whisked to the Olympic Stadium over special routes has led to concerns over funeral travel

ODA

Churches and funeral directors in Newham are warning residents not to die during the Olympics as conducting a funeral under proposed traffic restrictions could prove impossible.

Canon John Williams, rector of St Saviour’s Church in Forest Gate said: “You better warn your readers that they can’t die in August because we have nowhere to put them.

“I mean, it’s absolutely ridiculous. People want to be buried in the place where they worship, we can’t just send them to another church.” St Saviours’ congregation includes those who have moved as far out as Deptford and Chelmsford, leading Canon Williams to predict dwindling numbers of worshippers during the Games.

He added: “My main concern is chiefly the Sunday mornings when our congregation will be entirely disrupted. In that respect, I really think the Olympics are restricting people’s civil liberties...the freedom to worship.”

T.Cribbs and Sons, who cary out horse-drawn funeral processions from their Beckton base, dread the congestion brought about by 30 dedicated Games Lanes.

Funeral director John Harris said: “I would ask people that if you’re going to die, you’d better do it before the Games or try and hang on till afterwards.

“I don’t see why people in Newham should be inconvenienced if they lose somebody just because some dignitary needs to get to the Games on time.”

He added: “The answer we got back from Newham Council was that we’ll ‘just have to plan ahead’. You cannot legislate for funerals and if people want to be buried in a family grave, you can’t pick another cemetery, you have no other choice.

“I am not confident they are going to approach this sensibly. We were told to use alternative parking in the area but it’s too far away from our office and you can’t wheel coffins around the streets.”

Newham Council said they intend to contact residents and businesses in due course to minimise disruption during the Games.

A spokesman for Newham Council added: “They will also receive information on how to register for virtual permits and visitors’ permits from LOCOG which will enable them and their visitors to park in the borough. In addition, to enable residents to hold events such as christenings, weddings and funerals, Newham Council will be identifying a special parking process.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Monday, April 27, 2015
Alex Scheider and Sam Chappatte are stuck after the earthquake which killed 3,200

A Notting Hill couple trapped on Everest after the deadly Nepal earthquake have described the devastating scenes at base camp with constant avalanches and aftershocks.

Monday, April 27, 2015
There are severe delays on the Victoria Line

The Victoria Line is open again after being closed between Brixton and Warren Street for more than an hour during rush hour.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A 34-year-old has been charged with murder after a man was stabbed to death in Leyton over the weekend.

Monday, April 27, 2015
Amy Winehouse performing at V Festival  (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)

Amy Winehouse’s family has criticised a documentary about her life.

Monday, April 27, 2015
A Docklands Light Railway train passes in front of skyscrapers in Canary Wharf (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Workers on London’s Docklands Light Railway are to be balloted for strikes in two separate disputes over pay and conditions.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

We have censored part of this image

Keith Fraser, the UKIP prospective parliamentary candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington has apologised after retweeting an Islamophobic cartoon which looks similar to Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of the Prophet yesterday morning.