Very seldom am I lost for words so I was quite glad I wasn’t the only one left virtually speechless at the letter in last week’s Herald from the Right Reverend David Wilcox, assistant priest at St Mary’s Church in Willingdon. The clergyman wrote in referring to disgraced Reverend Gordon Rideout – jailed for eight years for sexually abusing young girls and boys, and said it is the acts that are evil, not the offenders themselves and that Rideout needs support. What’s a load of codswallop. I am all for a free press and saying what you think but as a mother of young children and a practising Catholic, I’d be absolutely horrified if priests at our church shared such an opinion. Personally, I find it particularly disturbing that a serving and highly respected man of God is defending the abominable actions of a defrocked convicted paedophile. Plus the fact that kind of attitude only fuels the fire of critics who would argue that is precisely why the likes of Rideout got away with his crimes for so many years while his victims’ lives were destroyed. They are the ones who deserve our sympathy and prayers.
I hope I’m not tempting fate but it really does look like spring has sprung and particularly on the drive into Eastbourne. The daffs are absolutely gorgeous and while I know the ones at the Willingdon roundabout have been planted out thanks to Ratton councillors using council cash, the ones from The Triangle to the borough boundary were, if memory serves me right, planted many moons ago by local Lions or Rotary club members. They really do look stunning.
Whispers that unpopular plans to turn the former council offices in Grove Road into a Tesco convenience store may be off are not true. New To Let signs placed on the building by commercial agents are looking for firms to occupy the rest of the ground floor along with Tesco. And not a sign that the supermarket giant has pulled out.