Sidmouth church to erect offshore cross for Good Friday

Town councillors have mixed views over plans to erect wooden cross on rock groyne this Easter

A WOODEN cross will be erected on one of the rock groynes off Sidmouth beach today, Good Friday.

But the church’s decision to do this, so people could see the importance of the religious event, was not without dissention from some of Sidmouth’s town councillors.

Asked by East Devon District Council to comment on the proposal, Councillor Maggie Baldwin thought it “set a bad example” to the public, bearing in mind the warning signage to prevent people climbing on the rocks.

“If we expect the public to keep off them, why is the church special?” she asked.

“I agree, I feel the signage is up to keep members of the public off the groyne and it will set a precedent if we allow it,” said Councillor Frances Newth.

Councillor Ian Barlow added: “What if someone else wants to put something else up there for something else? What if the Communist Party wanted to put a hammer and sickle up there?”

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But Councillor Ann Liverton felt members were making “jolly heavy weather” of the request, which had already been agreed by EDDC, which was only seeking the town council’s opinion, not approval.

She said: “It is East Devon’s decision. The church will properly do it and properly make sure people who do it are covered by insurance, and if anyone else wanted to do something similar it would be treated in a fair way, treated on its merits.

Having just returned from abroad, she added: “Every country in Europe is festooned with Easter things.

“If there are people in the area who want to put lights there during Diwali, I’m sure EDDC would be very happy. I don’t see it as a problem at all.”

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