A church congregation will be out in force today to wish competitors in the Tour de France ‘God speed’ along their way.

Worshipers at the parish church of St Peter’s-in-the-Forest, Walthamstow, will celebrate the arrival of the tour this afternoon by opening an open cafe for spectators.

The church has constructed a lifesize sculpture of ‘Jesus on a bike’ made from flowers woven around a bicycle frame and mannequin which will sit on the church railings.

The Vicar, The Revd Paul Trathen, said: “It is such a fabulous treat to have this iconic bicycle race passing so close to our church door.

“We really want to help the neighbourhood celebrate and put on our own bit of the show. “Our church banner also wishes the racers God speed.”

The Vicar stressed that an equally warm welcome will always be offered to all at the church ‘whether on wheel or foot’.