From a resident living near our Rossington church:

“I am so fed up with this. I have lived here for many years but have never encountered the disrespect and ignorance from your congregation around where they are parking to attend services. Sometimes I cannot even get outside my house to unload shopping. When I asked one of your congregation not to park on the green as it was not a parking space, she laughed.”

It is very upsetting to receive an email like this and to try to find a conciliatory response. At the moment we are trying to create a car park on the green at the side of the church as it is our land. The major problem is the cost, as we would have to create a hard standing area, probably with a metal mesh to allow the grass to grow through it and we do not have the finances to attempt this at the moment. That is in the future and we must face the situation that we have here and now.

The first thing I beg of you is to show respect and understanding to our neighbours. Our Christianity must be evident in our actions and in our words, otherwise we are hypocrites, and they were one group of people that Jesus had very strong words and feelings about. Even if you have to park some distance away, do please find a legitimate space. As a congregation and church we have a good reputation in the town, but creating ill will and anger with our neighbours is totally wrong and counterproductive.

Put yourself in the place of our neighbours and imagine what your reaction would be if, every Sunday, some inconsiderate people blocked access to the front of your house and were then rude and dismissive when you approached them. I know how I would react, so please …