LETTER: Church parking should be exempt

FATHER Andrew Wadsworth deserves the sympathy of every right-thinking person in his opposition to the West Sussex County Council’s proposal to raise money for its coffers by imposing parking fines on those using his church for funerals and wedding ceremonies, and the church hall for social activities during the week.

Surely places of worship used in serving the community in these ways should be exempt from such charges.

The function of the church is not only to provide places for worship on Sundays, but for community events that serve wider social needs, maintained at the church’s expense.

Hopefully the new mayor of Bognor Regis, Tony Gardiner, whose plan to visit all places of worship in the town of every denomination during his year of office is to be commended, will share with the powers-that-be his concern at the effect of these parking changes on the effectiveness of our town’s churches.

His visits will help to bring together more closely the churches of Bognor Regis and district, bringing all Christians into closer unity and healing their divisions.

One of the benefits would be to teach the value of silence in our increasingly noisy and distracting world, and copy Chichester which has launched a monthly ecumenical contemplative prayer group for quietly waiting upon God.

(Rev) John Brown

Manor Way

Middleton-on-Sea