V.H.' REPORTER How easy is it to get to Mass at an airport? The question cropped up again this week with the opening of a striking new chapel on Monday at Rome's new airport at Fiumicino. Pictured above, it w ill rouse envious glances among the hundreds of thousands who have passed through London Airport only to Sind that there is no chapel of any kind there.
London Airport, reputed to be one
of the world's greatest, seems to he out in the cold so far as Mass Facilities are concerned.
In New York, three airports have admirable facilities: at the Idle
wild (New York International) airport there is a Catholic chapel dedicated to Our Lady
of the Skies, with five Masses every Sunday—the first at hair an hour after midnight for the convenience of night staff and night travellers. A Protestant chapel and a Jewish Synagogue have been planned there, prompting "Aviation News " to hail the airport as " a Tr-Faith centre ". At New York's La Guardia Airport and Newark Airport, Mass is celebrated on Sundays and holydays of obligatimi. In Australia last autumn, Mass facilities were inaugurated at the Kingsfsrd Smith (Sydney) Airport.
For many years there has been a Cattmlie chapel at Orly Airport, Paris.
In Ireland. Shannon Airport has a chapel; Dublin Airport has Mass facilities, and a chapel is planned.
How comes it that London Airport is so behind? The chairman of the Catholic Aviation Guild there, Mr. D. H. Jenkinson, told the CA1HOI IC 1-1FRAI this week: "A small group of Catholics at the airport formed a guild a little over a year ago with the primary aim of erecting a Catholic chapel. But we are in need of outside financial support and the co-operation of more of the 5,000 Catholics estimated to be employed on the airport. Our guild has only 200 members at the moment, paying an annual subscription of five shillings, " We made enquiries about a piece of privately-owned land just outside the airport on the main road, hut the price was fantastically high; over £35.000 for a plot not more than 90 feet x 120.
"When we explored the possibility of renting accommodation for a chapel on the airport. the Ministry gelded us a figure of over 8800 per annum for the use of half of a nissen-type building.
"If we had a thousand guild members, we would be in a better position to bargain wills the Ministry. We are trying to get up a fund to provide a chapel, hut our members, as yet, are few and progress is slow."