Christ Church blesses long-awaited crosswalk

Christ Church blesses long-awaited crosswalk

Fr. Al Marcetti blesses the new crosswalk that will safely bring Christ Church parishioners across the street.

LINCOLN – Parishioners at Christ Church in Lonsdale are rejoicing at the installation of a new crosswalk connecting the church to its parish house across John Street/Route 123.

After eight years of negotiations with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation by the church community, work on the long-awaited crosswalk was finalized Aug. 11 with a blessing by the Rev. Al Marcetti.

Marcetti said efforts to install a crosswalk began long before he came to Lincoln, but that he realized the need for one after witnessing four car accidents at the intersection of John Street and Lonsdale Avenue in six months as pastor of the church.

Parishioners Arthur and Marilyn Fletcher have been lobbying for a new crosswalk for years, working with Town Councilor Bruce Ogni over an eight-year period to petition the state for the crosswalk that would bring them safely across the street to the parish house and adjacent parking lot.

Though there is a light at the corner of Lonsdale and John Street, Marcetti said this is not a convenient way for the congregation to get from the parking lot to the church, noting that many of the elderly congregation park in the lot and then make their way to the church by the back entrance.

Marcetti said, “We were stunned when a work crew showed up this spring and jackhammered the sidewalk in preparation. Then a several weeks later, the lines were painted. It was at this point that we decided the crosswalk needed a blessing.”

After the 9 a.m. Sunday Service on Aug. 11, Marcetti held a Blessing of the New Crosswalk celebrating the achievement. With the processional cross held high, the blessing, which asked for the “safe use of the crosswalk and common sense for the drivers,” was pronounced. Then, parishioners joined Marcetti in their first official use of the crosswalk.

Issuing high praise for a lowly sidewalk, Marilyn Fletcher said the new addition to the area was “stunning and beautiful."

Christ Church parishioners use their new crosswalk for the first time after an eight-year effort petitioning the state.