CHURCHGOERS are full of praise after council officials tore up £70 parking tickets slapped on their cars while they were celebrating a holy day.
While more than 500 people were celebrating mass on Easter Sunday at St Werburgh’s Church in Grosvenor Park Road, some of their vehicles were being ticketed.
A passing Good Samaritan went into the church to alert worshippers and several abandoned the service to run outside, where they had parked on double yellow lines.
Their faith has been restored though when, after being contacted by The Chronicle, Cheshire West and Chester Council agreed to cancel the fines.
Fr Paul Shaw said: “There was a lot of bad feeling about it. The law is the law, we cannot object to it, but given it was Easter Sunday they could have shown some flexibility and some Easter spirit. The parishioners wouldn’t have been there for long.
“People love to come to church at Easter. This year we also had brilliant weather.
“There could have been people who don’t come regularly who might be put off by their actions.”
Betty Dillistone, of Vaughans Lane, Great Boughton, was at the mass with her husband Brendan, son David, daughter Deirdre and her daughter’s partner Ian.
She said: “Someone came in to the church and shouted ‘traffic wardens’. My husband and daughter’s partner both left but the traffic inspectors had fled.
“We were ticketed and so was our daughter Deirdre. We all parked around the back of the church because it was the only place we could get in. It’s ridiculous.”
Cheshire West and Chester spokeswoman Shirley Wingfield said: “A decision was taken first thing on Tuesday morning that the tickets to the 10 people have been cancelled out of respect to the church.
“All these people were parked in the back streets behind Bath Street – they weren’t in front of the church so there was no way of knowing they were at the mass.”