A VICAR wants the parking restrictions outside his church changed after they inadvertently led to £10,000 worth of damage.
Rev Richard Williams has been vicar of St Peter’s, a small church on Manor Road in Stratford, for 18 years. There is free parking on most of Manor Road, which means on Sunday morning it is often filled with cars left there overnight by people going into town.
“It became the nearest place to town that was derestricted,” said Rev Williams, who last Sunday got ticketed for parking outside his church. “You get a lot of people parking there all day.”
Last month, the problem was so bad, two elderly ladies parked on the grass verge outside the building.
“One of the elderly ladies was bringing a quite disabled lady to a tea-and-chat session on a Monday afternoon,” said the vicar.
“She mounted the kerb to park on the grass in front of St Peter’s and the car skidded and she hit the church and did a huge amount of damage.”
Luckily nobody was hurt in the incident that cracked the wall of the church.
Rev Williams said: “There were people sitting the other side of the wall and they were OK, if a bit shocked.”
But an architect estimated around £10,000 worth of damage had been done.
“That gives an idea of the lengths people are going to, just to park close to the church,” said Rev Williams.
On Sunday 24th November, the vicar himself was given a ticket for parking on double yellow lines, but it was the only space left.
With three Sunday morning services in two different churches, he’s on a tight schedule.
He said: “It’s a fair cop guv, but it just highlights the problem I have carrying out my duties when people park there overnight.”
The vicar and his churchwardens are frustrated, because when Warwickshire County Council added double yellow lines to the corners of Manor Road two years ago, restricting the spaces further, they wrote to them with a solution.
“We suggested that a much better solution would be to put a two-hour parking restriction and that way people wouldn’t be able to park overnight or all day for work,” said Rev Williams. “But they ignored us.”
Churchwarden Dave Johnston is furious and said the damage done was a “direct consequence” of the decision to ignore the church’s request.
“What is the point in having councillors that don’t report the views of those living in the parish?” he asked.
“If the council are so short of money I’ll pay for the bloody placard myself.”
It’s not just Sunday morning services that are affected. During the week people park in Manor Road and walk into town for work, but the church is used for after-school maths and English groups, pilates, and yoga.
“It’s a very active building, it’s used every day of the week,” said Rev Williams. “It frustrates other users as well.”
The overall figure of £170,000 in expenses also needs unpacking. Most people think of business expenses as person...
Although the government u-turned on their decision to ignore VC winners born abroad in September, there were concerns th...
They say there is an “appalling lack of information” handed out to users by energy suppliers, and three quar...