Your letters: December 28

Have your say

Same-sex marriage

Quakers support a change in law

Following the recent publication of views by David Ruffley MP and Bishop Nigel Stock on the legalisation of same-sex religious marriages, Bury St Edmunds Quakers feel it appropriate to make known the stance of the Religious Society of Friends.

Quakers believe there is something of God in every person and that leads us to say that all committed loving relationships are of equal worth. Thus Quakers in Britain wish to celebrate them in the same way.

The new regulations (from December 2011) allow civil partnerships in Quaker Meeting houses in England and Wales, however, we see that as being a legal contract, not a spiritual one. That is why, after a process of discernment reaching over several decades, we have sought and now support a further change in the law so that same-sex marriages may be celebrated within a couple’s worshipping community. We do not seek to impose this on anyone else. For Quakers this is an issue of religious freedom.

Bury St Edmunds Quakers

St John’s Street

Bury St Edmunds

Civil partnership is sufficient

I would like to congratulate MP David Ruffley, for his stance on the issue of same sex marriage. From whatever angle you approach this subject ‘marriage’ as Mr Ruffley points out is

the – time honoured – ‘union of a man and a woman’ and it is not the union between individuals of the same sex. That situation is already covered by recognising – as very many gays already do – a civil partnership as being the sign of their commitment. This solution may not be religion-based, but seems to be the most acceptable answer to a contentious situation.

Brian Davies

Bury St Edmunds


Gradual creep of parking charges

Your report of St Edmundsbury’s parking review did not mention that three car parks in my ward may be subject to a new £1 evening and overnight

charge from April 2013 (Bury Free Press, December 14).

Since my election in 2003 I have seen the gradual ‘creep’ of parking charges. Sunday was the first change, though at present there are areas where it does not apply until after morning worship. This still encourages some drivers to clog up residential roads in the afternoon, to avoid paying.

Now it seems that no car park will be free even overnight. This is a problem for those residents who take advantage of car parks when there is no room on the road. A striking example of this is the area around the Manor House car park during the pantomime season.

As a result of my concern about local people losing this parking ‘perk’ I asked the cabinet to exempt those with residents’ parking permits from

any new night charges, since they already pay an annual fee to park outside their property. I was therefore delighted when the chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee incorporated this proposal into his report, which was duly accepted by cabinet.

Will Suffolk County Council follow the night charging example and expect £1 from those who park in the evening on Angel Hill, Cornhill, the

Butter Market and side streets? I hope not, or the at times chaotic and illegal parking in Abbeygate ward will only get worse.

Cllr Paul Farmer

Borough and town councillor

Abbeygate Ward


Vandalism is 
such a shame

To the rear of where I live there is a large and beautiful public grass and wooded area.

Several years ago a local family erected a very convenient bench alongside one of the wooded areas, dedicated to the memory of one of their loved ones

Whilst walking the dog around this lovely public area today I found that the bench had been totally destroyed and covered by branches ripped from adjacent trees. I assume it was done over the weekend of December 14-16 as I was not aware of it before then.

No doubt this vandalism will have been done under the cover of darkness by a brave group of mindless cowardly people and nobody will have seen a thing. I expect that after this brave gesture of criminal damage they all went home to warm beds without giving their actions a second thought.

But just maybe, by bringing people’s attention to this matter through your newspaper pages someone might just question where their son, daughter, friend or partner was and what they were doing. However, at the risk of appearing cynical, I anticipate that even if the perpetrators are eventually identified the worst thing that would happen to them would be a slap on the wrist and the only thing they would feel sorry for was being caught.

It concerns me that there is a growing minority in our society who seem to have a total disregard for others and who consider it normal to vandalise and cause trouble at will. Thank heavens they are not permitted to carry guns as they would be in America.

I can only imagine how distraught the family who so kindly provided this bench must feel and I hope that will be able to retrieve something from this ‘season of goodwill’.

Alan Taylor

Great Barton


Time to spruce up
the hospital

I must put pen to paper, as I have before, about West Suffolk Hospital.
We have the best staff and medical team and surgeons we could wish to have – run off their feet, that I know, but when you go up to the hospital, it is so grubby and filthy from the outside. When you see other hospitals on the television, all brushed up, ours looks dreadful by comparison.

Cannot we get some of those sentenced to community work to come in with a paint brush and scrubbing brush, after all, they do make use of the hospital.
We are letting Bury St Edmunds down with the look of the place.

J M Kingham

Fornham All Saints