Putting the record straight

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THANK you for quoting my concerns regarding the proposed Remembrance Garden in Hellingly churchyard (Hialsham Gazette, February 2).

I should make it clear that I believe everyone should be able to remember their loved ones wherever, and in whichever way, they wish.

And while I share the Rev Charlie Hill’s view about ‘anonymous representations’, I am less happy about his statement “We began this process in a totally open way...we also invited anyone interested to look at the suggested site with the churchwardens and myself, and we have discussed what is happening with anyone who has approached us over the past 18 months”.

No doubt he hopes these comments will be taken as ‘gospel’ but they are, alas, ‘spin’ aimed at damage limitation.

Since plans for this garden, which were apparently drawn up over a year ago, there has been no consultation, no opportunity to discuss the matter, and no information, either in the weekly church diary (‘Parish Particles’), or the monthly Parish Magazine.

Nor has there been an official announcement of any sort.

Until January 23 when the vicar, doubtless prompted by ‘Chinese whispers’ circulating in the parish, felt compelled to make a statement in his closing notices after morning service.

As a regular churchgoer, and living within a stone’s throw of St Peter and St Paul, I hope you will allow me the opportunity to set the record straight.

Roger Paine

Church Path

Hellingly