St Mary’s, Long Sutton, in row over water and parking

WATER ROW: Father Jonathan Sibley (right), Priest-in-Charge at St Mary's Church, Long Sutton, confirmation service with the Bishop of Grantham, the Rev Dr Nicholas Chamberlain.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
WATER ROW: Father Jonathan Sibley (right), Priest-in-Charge at St Mary's Church, Long Sutton, confirmation service with the Bishop of Grantham, the Rev Dr Nicholas Chamberlain. Photo by Tim Wilson.
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A Long Sutton church leader has defended his staff after two people were told not to use a nearby car park while visiting their parents’ graves.

Sisters Vicky Sneath and Becky Butt, of Norwich and Canada respectively, had parked outside St Mary’s Church Hall, Long Sutton, while paying their respects to parents Barry and Anne Twite, who died in October 2009 and May 2013 respectively.

The sisters went to buy water for flowers next to their parents’ graves but when they got back, Vicky and Becky found a note on their car which said “St Mary’s Church Hall car park is not a public car park”.

Ray Ketteringham (82), of Lutton and who is related to the sisters, said: “There was no water available on the churchyard site, so they went across to the Co-op and bought some bottled water.

“But when they got back and saw the note on the car window, they were upset because they were visiting Barry and Anne’s graves to pay their respects.

“Their mum and dad were big church people in Long Sutton and I think it’s ridiculous that they should have to buy water to put on flowers because there’s no water at the churchyard.”

The church hall itself is used each and sometimes you can have the whole of the car park full which makes it quite difficult to regulate

Father Jonathan Sibley, Priest-in-Charge at St Mary’s,

Father Jonathan Sibley, Priest-in-Charge at St Mary’s, said: “We don’t police people who park in the church hall car park which is used each day.

“The church hall itself is used each and sometimes you can have the whole of the car park full which makes it quite difficult to regulate.

“On market day, it gets totally impossible so we’re trying to be practical and polite in regulating the use of the car park.

“Unfortunately some years ago, somebody vandalised the churchyard tap but people can go inside the church and find bottles of water there.

“We do our best to be as beneficial and as helpful to people as possible.”