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Churchgoers hit for six over parking

PUBLISHED: 15:02 18 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:13 03 March 2010

YOU can only have six car-loads in your congregation before we charge your worshipers - that's the message to town centre churches today.

Vicars, priests and ministers had united to try to persuade council chiefs to allow members of the congregation to park free until noon every Sunday.

YOU can only have six car-loads in your congregation before we charge your worshipers – that's the message to town centre churches today.

Vicars, priests and ministers had united to try to persuade council chiefs to allow members of the congregation to park free until noon every Sunday.

But the council is proposing there should be just six permits for every church – with the churches deciding which members of their flock were worthy of such a permit.

The campaign against the car parking charges had involved many clergymen across the town, including Father Haley Dossor from St. Mary Elms Church.

He said the new on-street restrictions prevented members of the congregation parking on the street for more than an hour.

That was not enough time for people to attend a church service – so members of the congregation could face fines every Sunday.

He said that not operating on-street car parking charges until after noon on Sundays would solve the problem for the churches.

However the council seems certain to reject this proposal.

"With normal tariffs now applying on a Sunday in off-street public and private car parks, it is important that consistency is maintained on a Sunday with town centre on-street pay and display parking," the council report says.

"If the committee is minded to try and assist the churches then the best option would be for the relevant orders to be amended to provide six permits being made available to each church.

"It will be a matter for the church to determine which members of their congregation should have use of a permit."

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