back to article Bishop to bless road salt supplies for added winter safety

Supplies of road salt held at council depots in Lincolnshire are to be blessed by senior church figures in the hope that this will help in the expected winter battle against snow and icy roads. The Louth Leader has the story, reporting that no less an ecclesiastical figure than the Right Reverend Christopher Lowson, Bishop of …


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  1. mdava

    What a crock

    Is someone going to pop round and sprinkle some fairy-dust on it as well?

    1. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge

      Given the track record of our local authority as far as gritting goes, we stand a better chance of fairy-dust being sprinkled on the roads round here.

      I suppose I'll just have to use the ashes from the solstice bonfire instead.

    2. Marvin the Martian

      Fantastic! I'm sure this is all set up by the atheist league.

      Think of it, this gambit is the setup for a country-wide test for the workings of the Lord:

      *some stock in the central depot is blessed, other not,

      *salt trucks are randomly assigned their classic routes,

      *salt truck gets filled from randomly chosen salt heap (so driver does not know if salt is blessed or not).

      *effectiveness of de-icing is kept track of as usual and/or required amount of salt per mile for safe driveability.

      Pretty much bullet-proof double-blind test setup as far as I can see. Now the only thing to do is to have kept track of what salt (via what truck) ended up working how well, some easy stats, and presto a publishable paper + newspaper articles and radio interviews all round the world... Some junior academic's career should be founded on this.

      As MDava suggests, you can extend this to check whether placebo effects work here, with fairy-dust alternatives (or midichlorian-activated, for the Jedists), and so forth. Super!

      1. Simon Neill

        How about

        Blessed midichlorian-activated fairy-dust delux edition? that should be so good it goes back in time and melts the ice last year.

      2. Christoph

        Don't forget the FSM

        Include some spaghetti sauce for the Pastafarians.

      3. Dunstan Vavasour

        Thou shalt not put the Lord to the test

        Of course, it was the Lord who created double blind testing, so He can present whatever results He chooseth. Experience shows that He's not going to give short cuts which remove the need for faith.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Randomness is a matter of faith

        Thus spoke the New Scientist a few years ago. Not the existence of randomness as an emergent property, e.g. the behaviour of dice which we all know to be random if unbiassed. But the laws of physics governing how dice behave are well known, such that a rigged casino dice-throwing robot design is entirely conceivable.

        The question requiring faith in randomness as an inherent property of the universe concerns whether this exists or not at the quantum level. Einstein famously stated his view as, "at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice." usually restated as: God does not play dice with the universe".

        1. scrubber

          Don't believe everything you read

          Uncertainty is as effective as randomness.

          When playing poker the next card to come can be:

          1. Known because the deck has been stacked

          2. Known because the card is marked

          3. Known to external people through a camera

          4. Unknown only to the players due to some combination of above

          5. Unknown to everyone due to decent shuffling

          The card is what it is, it is not in some quantum state, but the fact that it is unknown to the players allows them to play as if it was random and bet accordingly. With 1-4 above there is no quantum state for sure but the lack of knowledge of the players makes it as good as random for them. No faith required.

    3. Code Monkey


      If I crash my car can I sue him for ineffective witch-doctoring?

    4. Graham Marsden

      As someone once said...

      ... Religion was originally mankind's attempt to communicate with the weather!

    5. Def Silver badge

      "Is someone going to pop round and sprinkle some fairy-dust on it as well?"

      That's essentially what he's going to do, isn't it?

  2. jake Silver badge

    Gawd/ess. The mind boggles.

    Surely teaching winter driving skills would be more practical than "bless me, Father, the roads are icy"?

    But then I'm a Finn ...

    1. Marvin the Martian

      That would interfere too much with skiving off work.

      "My job is near, but the roads are icy.

      The pub is far, but I'll drive carefully."

      Rewrite as haiku if needed.

  3. Natalie Gritpants Silver badge

    I'd be more comfortable with Morris Men doing their thing.

    After all I don't think God will mind if you don't get to work a couple of times this winter.

    1. Elmer Phud


      You've not read 'Lords and Ladies, then?

      And you've never seen an all female Morris team in action with them sticks?

      1. Graham Marsden

        @Elmer Phud

        I hope we're not talking the Stick and Bucket Dance here...!!!

  4. Khaptain Silver badge

    Didn't we hang people for this kind of thing at one point in time.

    Instead of praying for miraculous salt properties or for dry roads he should be praying that we don't take him away to an asylum.

    Blessed are the ignorant ( this guy must be pretty well blessed then).

    His is the one with the image of the great sky fairy on the back and little wings on the shoulders.

    1. pdogguk

      Yes we did hang people for things like this. We should bring it back.

      Blessing salt? To do what exactly? Salt lowers the melting point of water. This is a scientific fact and Jesus is surplus to requirements.

      They should bury a newt's tail with a lock of hair and a toenail if they really want to see results.

  5. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge


    There are some problems with your post.

    The post is required, and must contain letters.

  6. SoupDragon

    Plastic jesus

    Reminds me of that great song that did the rounds many years ago (I am sure still available if you google 'plastic jesus')

    lyrics started

    I don't care if it rains or freezes

    so long as I've got my plastic jesus

    riding on the dashboard of my car

    I can go 100 miles an hour

    as long as I've got the almighty's power

    glued up there with my pair of furry dice

    Maybe if he blessed the power stations I would get better electricity and fewer bugs in my software?

    1. Elmer Phud

      Sounds fishy to me

      as title

    2. Graham Marsden


      The thing is, according to a friend who works in the Middle East, people there *do* drive like maniacs at high speeds with no seat-belts etc.

      If you try to point out how dangerous this is they just shrug and say "Insh'Allah" (if God wills it), ie they believe that if it is Allah's will that they have a fatal crash, nothing they do can influence it anyway...!

  7. John Lilburne

    One would have thought a bit of the FIRE FROM HELL wouldn't be amiss in thawing the snow and ice.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's not enough

    I think a couple of human sacrifices would better incite the Gods to guarantee the effectiveness of our salt on ice. Or sexually abusing some kids? I have to admit I didn't keep up with what pleases the Gods in the last couple of decades.

    Alternatively, the church could ask God to hold onto his holy white shite this winter, while hinting that "Duh, hello?" it causes massive disruptions.

  9. CaptainHook


    Are blessings like Homeopathy?

    Bless the salt bunker once.

    The salt in the bunker gets used and you have bring more salt in, but you don't need to bless each truck load coming in because so long as 1 grain of salt that has been blessed remains in the salt bunker it passes the blessing on to all the other grains of salt, with the blessing becoming stronger each time you dilute the supply.

    Religion is an extremely efficent method of protection.

  10. adnim

    Oh my!

    Is this the idea of the bishop trying to garner support for an all but dead, antiquated superstition or has this come from the mind of a misguided council official?

    Whatever the case, I really do hope that donations to the church, if any, for such a pointless task do not come out of the tax payers purse.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      They probably misheard...

      someone say that they wanted a blessing up the gritter.

  11. DT

    Do those praying consider, even momentarily, that they might be able to influence the will of a God?

    What new information are they going to impart to an omnipotent being?

    Do they think God requires advice or encouragement?

    Trivial requests epitomize the concept of taking the Lord's name in vain.

    1. Adrian Jones

      To quote Ambrose Bierce:

      PRAY, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.

      Just about sums up this farce.

  12. MJI Silver badge

    Does it matter?

    What harm is there doing this?

    We are still more or less an Anglican country.

    It is the sort of traditional thing the clergy do.

    Don't come down too hard on the Anglican clergy as they are generally decent people.

    1. BenR


      They make nice cake, and the instances of death when they run out of it have greatly dissipated over the years...


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop spiking my drink

    I'd like to inform my dear colleagues that putting LSD in my morning coffee is not fun. Now I'm reading that council are (and probably paying for) getting their salt blessed?

    What's next? Fairy dust on JobCentre queue?

  14. TRT Silver badge

    Forget feeding 5,000 with 12 fish...

    How are we going to grit 20,000 miles of road with a 1kg box of Saxa?

  15. Anonymous Coward


    I think it was 'Blessed are the salt-bringers'.

    Ah. What's so special about the salt-bringers?

    Well obviously it's not meant to be taken literally, it refers to any council worker performing winter duties.

    1. Elmer Phud

      thank you

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Jesus H

    "Great is the Lord ... "

    If he keeps sending all that snow he's not really all that great.

  17. lawndart

    Great. Now I'm having a religious vision:

    "It's all right dear, I wore a blessed condom once, I always fire blanks and there's no chance of any disease."

    1. lawndart

      Hmm, that was supposed to be a reply to CaptainHook's Homeopathy post.

      Someone give the gremlins a thump.

  18. Khaptain Silver badge

    I presume that someone from the "Bishes" entourage must be reading this article, I am a little amazed at the amount of thumbs down.

    The subject is just a little too touchy for some people and apparently don't like to have a little fun from time to time.

    PS : Don't forget to leave your "tithes" as you pass the door...... The Sky Fairy is very powerfull but unfortunately is very poor....

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If proof were needed that we're headed for a return trip to the 9th century at a stiff clip, indulging this retarded crap is it. What next? Government sponsored witch-burnings to cut winter fuel bills for the poor?

    Give these people a minutes indulgence, and the next thing you know the Archbish of C is waxing lyrical about the increased relevance of religion to modern society in the Grauniad.

  20. Juan Inamillion

    God of Hellfire

    Almost certainly better off bring in Arthur Brown and his hat...

    1. CD001

  21. Richard 45

    He did it last November as well:

  22. Elmer Phud

    What have the Romans done for us?

    The Romans would have given us a specific salt god and another god for the gritter.

    None of yer namby pamby generic mutterings that hope to hit the target - a few direct offerings of Ice Age DVDs and some burnt thermal underwear would do the trick.

    How to differentiate between god of the snowdrift and god of the pile heaped up by your neighbour is a tricky one though.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be a proper experiment you'd also need salt blessed by

    other religious leaders - Rabbis, Imans, Druids, Hindu priests etc.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At last!

    A council has come up with a plan to counter a zombie incursion. Or is that vampires I'm thinking of?

  25. CD001

    We'll know it's worked if there's a huge increase in the number of fatalities, on roads gritted with "holy" salt, of say, gay people, Wiccans or other heretics...

  26. scrubber


    Hope they're not using Holy Water or there may be a miraculously empty salt cave when the rock is rolled back.

  27. David Barrett

    "We are enormously grateful for the hard work of those who salt the roads in all hours and in all weathers"

    All Weathers? Pretty sure its just ice and snow... Not much call for a "Summer Salting"

    PS. Are they f**cking serious? blessing grit?

  28. Michael Strorm

    Sounds like a decent guy... fact, a real salt-of-the-earth type.

  29. David 45

    What twaddle

    Fat lot of good that will do! If there was a half-decent god, he/she/it wouldn't allow the roads to get clogged with the white stuff in the first place. I rest my case.

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